Money makes the world go round, and nowhere is that more evident than in the ranks of the world's wealthiest persons. From tech tycoons to retail magnates, the world's richest persons are an interesting group whose fortunes seem almost unreal.
They are the founders of your largest online retail stores, the CEO of the electric car you drove to work, executives of your favorite luxury brands, creators of your social apps, and a small group of men who either want to take you to space, or land you on Mars.
The richest persons in the world have grown powerful to revolutionize entire industries, shape-shift economies, and disrupt traditional business models, but how did these lots get there, what did they do differently, and what can you learn from their rise to wealth and fame?
Bernard Arnault & Family – $190B
Fashion, Luxury, and Art: The World of Bernard Arnault
Currently, the richest person in the world, Bernard Arnault, is a familiar name that has dominated the pinnacle of fashion, luxury, and art for many decades.
The French billionaire is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company, in which he and his family hold a 48% stake. The company generated a new revenue record of $83.4 Billion in 2022. Arnault has built a fashion empire of the world's most revered luxury brands, including the Dior and Fendi of this world.
As an inherent fashion enthusiast, Arnauld showed interest in everything luxury from an early age. However, his big break did not come until 1984, when he acquired a controlling stake in Christain Dior. He revolutionized Dior to become one of the most profitable luxury brands on the planet.
When he is not scheming some new items in the fashion and luxury estates, you can expect him to collect contemporary art or bring his wealth of experience into the development of cultural institutions such as the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
Arnault is also popular for his philanthropy; he and his family recently pledged a staggering $226 million to rebuild Notre Dame, which was heavily damaged by fire in 2019.
Elon Musk – $175B
From PayPal to Mars: The Visionary Mind of One of the Richest Men in the World
When you think of the ultimate tech entrepreneur of the new millennium, Elon Musk's name is hard to ignore. He is the second richest person in the world.
A serial businessman who founded Tesla, SpaceX, Neural Link, and the Boring Company, Elon defiled the odds through revolutionary visions and innovative business acumen. He has earned his claim as one of our generation's most brilliant tech minds.
From building electric cars to colonizing Mars, it is common to find Elon dominating the news feeds of most tech-related conversations around the globe. He is unarguably the most vocal billionaire you'll see around. He acquired the social platform Twitter for a record price of $44 Billion in 2022.
His big break came when he sold PayPal, his co-founded online payment company, to e-Bay for $1.5 Billion in 2002, earning an estimated $180 million from his majority stake of 11.72%.
His SpaceX Mars program aims to land the first human on Mars by 2024
The Man Who Changed Retail Forever
Generational wealth, as you may have guessed, is often disruptive.
When Bezoz started Amazon from his garage in 1994, it was hard to predict how such a simple idea would transform existing traditional retail models and how we shop forever.
Under Jeff's leadership, Amazon, his retail e-commerce company, has grown into a vast empire that offers services in everything from everyday household items to video streaming and cloud conferencing.
Like many billionaires, Jeff did not stop only at Retail. He has several other ventures, including a prominent American Newspaper, the Washington Post, which recorded nearly 65 Million visits in May 2022,
The Amazon owner is also fast becoming a strong competitor of Elon Musk in the Billionaire space race. His Blue Origin program is designed to convey tourists to outer space, aligning with Musk's life's goal to conquer space and land a man on Mars.
After Starlink, a broadband internet service owned by Elon Musk, came to wide acclaim from the Pentagon in 2022 for providing internet access to the remotest places on earth. Jeff Bezos Project Kuiper, a similar satellite broadband service, is scheduled to begin testing in 2024.
Bill Gates– $116B
Pioneering Microsoft to the Gates Foundation
Unarguably the oldest name on the list, there is no chance you didn't hear of him growing up if you are a baby boomer or millennial.
The co-founder who gave us Microsoft in 1975, when most Americans used typewriters, building it into the dominant software company of 1990s, Gate is one of the oldest emblems of lasting wealth in the last 30 years.
He has claimed the top spot of the richest person in the world for almost two decades, a feat he shared with only four other persons, Forbes reports.
Tendering his resignation from the company he built in 2008, Gate, through the Bill and Melinda Foundation, an NGO he co-founded with his wife, has focused on philanthropy, improvement of global health, and poverty alleviation, especially in Africa.
Bill Gates has donated billions of dollars to the causes he believes in, giving a whooping $5 billion donation in 2022 to top the Chronicle of Philanthropy annual list.
Warren Buffet –$105B
From Value-investing to Billion Dollar Donations.
Warren Buffet, known as the Oracle of Omaha, is the CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified multinational holding company with significant shares in popular everyday brands, including Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Diary Queen, and Apple. Buffet's investing philosophy is based on value investing.
He buys undervalued stocks and holds them into the future, so they appreciate. This way, Warren Buffet has built widespread investment interests and ownership that easily put him on the Bloomberg Billionaire list.
The frugal bigwig maintains a simple lifestyle and is known for his frugality. The report has it he still lives in his 1958 home and can hardly be seen flaunting luxury in the habits of the super-rich.
What's most astonishing about Buffet is his commitment to philanthropy, having pledged more than 99% of his wealth to charity during his lifetime or at death.
Larry Elisson- $103B
The Oracle of Silicon Valley.
While some billionaires like Buffet live to embrace simplicity to the extent that it's hard to know their real worth without prying, other billionaires glory in quiet luxury; at the same time, some are as loud as thunder claps, gowned in lavish lifestyles that are clear for all to see. Larry Elisson is one such billionaire.
Unlike Musk, whose only obsession is technology and business, the Oracle founder, although a foremost software pioneer, seems to understand the brevity of life and lives to enjoy it to the fullest.
Ellison co-founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1979 and is one of the brainchildren behind the software giant Oracle, of which he owns about 35% stake.
Elisson is reputable for building the company that changed how businesses access and use data.
His image as a flamboyant personality may have set him up for criticism.
He has also been repeatedly called out for his management style, with the accusation of unfulfilled product promises well known in the tech circle.
His style may not have been popular, but his successes are testaments that he could only have got his business footing right.
Steve Balmer – $97.5B
The Billionaire Employee.
You look up there, and you see Bill Gate at 4th? Steve Balmer was his employee—the only employee on the list of the richest person in the world.
Having joined Microsoft corporation in 1980 as the company's 30th employee, Steve served as the CEO of Microsoft at the turn of the millennium in 2000 till he resigned in 2014.
He is notable for launching products like Windows XP, the Xbox Gaming Console, and Skype, a telecommunications application for voice and video calls and instant messaging.
His energetic and passionate leadership style remains at the core of his legacy.
Balmer, till today, has substantial shares in Microsoft and is also the owner of the Loss Angeles Clippers basketball team.
Larry Page –$93.4B
Google has been the first stop in search of virtually anything since the age of the smartphone, and it's partly due to the technological vision of Larry Page, Co-founding Google with Sergey Brin in 1998.
Essentially part of our daily life, the Google search engine serves billions of people daily and has hardly had any disruptive competitor in search volume. In 2019, Larry Page stepped down from Google's parent company, Alphabet. Despite that, he remains the 8th richest person in the world.
Reputable for his innovative approach to technology, specifically regarding search algorithms and the development of Artificial intelligence, Page has been a vocal advocate of clean energy and environmental sustainability. He remains a highly respected force in the technological space.
Sergey Brin- 89.3B
The Other Google Co-founder.
Sergey Brin is no lesser tech force than his Google co-founder, Larry Page. He is the 9th richest person in the world.
He is known for his work in developing Google's most popular products, including Google Maps and Google Earth, which have become integral to nearly all commercial navigation systems in urban areas and even in the remotest locations on the planet.
One of the richest persons on earth, Brin is also popular for his philanthropy through the Brin Wojcicki Foundation he founded with his wife in 2008 to support causes in science and environmental sustainability.
Like Warren Buffet, Larry Page has been relatively known to live a modest life compared to most celebrity billionaires.
Carlos Slim –$85.5B
Telecommunications to Philanthropy.
The only North American who isn't from the United States on the list, Slim is the 10th richest person in the world. He has diverse investment interests, including telecommunications, banking, and Retail.
Most notable for America Movil, Slim has remained a crucial figure in the discourse around entrepreneurship and social impacts for decades.
As you would expect, the billionaire tycoon has some blemishes. One is the criticism of his monopolistic business approach that gives him control of America Movil, the largest mobile-phone operator in America.
Like most business magnates, Slim has contributed undeniably to philanthropy, caving a legacy for himself that is likely to endure for generations to come.
Richest Person In The World
In conclusion, the journey to becoming the richest person in the world is not easy and requires immense dedication, hard work, and often a stroke of luck. Despite the challenges, the individuals on this list have built empires and amassed fortunes beyond most people's wildest dreams.
Whether through innovative technology, savvy investing, or sheer grit and determination, these individuals have proven that the sky is truly the limit when it comes to achieving financial success.