he wealthiest men in the world have some common characteristics: breakthrough ideas, excellent work ethics, and legendary entrepreneurship skills. They also have an unrepentant commitment, and, most importantly, they are rule players.
Including those who inherit their wealth, most make timely, wise investments and continue to nurture their wealth. The main intention of this article is to motivate young people to go for their dreams and discover real wealth.
Overview of the Richest Men in the World in 2020
To begin with, the African emperor, Musa Keita, is the popularly acclaimed richest man in the world. The first King of Timbuktu, Mansu Musa 1 of Mali, derived his wealth from Mali’s massive salt and gold deposits. Mali’s salt and gold deposits were about half the world’s supply then. However, some posts put figures on Musa’s wealth. In the real sense, there is no accurate number for his wealth. His fortune was unfathomable!
As of 2020, Bezos tops the list of the richest men alive with a whopping $206.2 billion net worth. Apart from Jeff, we need to unveil other billionaires ranked alongside him. According to Forbes, here is the most recent list of the top ten richest men currently existing in the world.
|TABLE SHOWING THE TOP 10 WORLD RICHEST MEN
|Country of Origin
1. Jeff Bezos, $206.2B
Far beyond doubt, Jeff Bezos is one of the wealthiest men alive in the world. He started the e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994, right in his garage in Seattle. He is the CEO of the company, with an 11.1% stake. While the pandemic was still hitting hard, a report showed that Amazon hired 175,000 workers between March and April 2020.
Bezos is also a philanthropist. In April 2020, he declared he would support the non-profit organization Feed America with $100 million. During the coronavirus pandemic, several US senators and the public criticized Amazon for how it treated its warehouse workers. That would not stop one of the wealthiest men in the world.
In 2019, Bezos faced one of his most significant life trials when his 25-year-old marriage crashed. After the divorce case with his wife, Mackenzie, was finalized, he handed her a quarter of his Amazon stake. Although this event almost pulled him down from the top spot, he survived the financial and emotional trauma. Presently, he sits at the top of the list of the wealthiest men in the world.
That same year, Amazon clinched a revenue of $280.5 billion and recorded a net profit of $11.5 billion. Jeff Bezos’ net worth in 2020 was $206.2B, and he currently lives in his house in Medina, Washington, DC. Jeff is only 56 years old, with four children, and has much more to offer his generation.
Aside from Amazon, Bezos owns several other businesses, including the Washington Post and Blue Origin. Blue Origin is an aerospace firm that develops rockets for commercial use.
2. Bill Gates, $118.1B
Bill Gates has been a registered name in the list of the top 10 world richest men for several decades. For 20 years, he has been a permanent fixture at the top of the world’s wealthiest men. The former number 1 is one of the richest men ever who doubles as a committed philanthropist.
Bill and his wife, Melinda, own the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s most prominent private charitable organization. The foundation majors in improving global health and creating opportunities for people around the globe. Gates donated over $ 35.8 billion of Microsoft stake to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In mid-March 2020, he stepped down as a Microsoft board member to focus mainly on his philanthropic deeds. This same Microsoft was the software he founded with his former partner and friend, Paul Allen, in 1975. Little did they know that this business would make Bill one of the wealthiest men in the world.
In May, while the pandemic was intense, the Gates Foundation promised to help fight the pandemic with $300 million. The promised donation was to fund the entire manufacturing process of the vaccines and treatment for the infected. While some believe that Gates holds the largest share in Microsoft, a report unveiled that he owns only a 1% stake. He had sold or given out much of his Microsoft stake to invest in various stocks and assets.
3. Bernard Arnault, $117.6B
Bernard Arnault is one of the world’s heavyweight tastemakers. He is another gem in the list of the wealthiest men in the world as of 2020. Arnault serves as the Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton.
Born to a business-oriented family in Roubaix, Arnault superintends an empire of 70 brands, including Sephora and Louis Vuitton. Arnault controls one of the most respected luxury product groups in the world.
Arnault began his career as an engineer with the Ferret-Savinel construction company, where he later became the Chairman in 1978. He tapped from his father’s little fortune in construction. He started his way to personal fortune by putting up $15 million to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
By 1989, Arnault had become the largest shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s superior luxury products group. Since that date, Arnault has been the company’s Chairman and CEO. He also functions as the president of the Board of Directors of Groupe Arnault S.E. – his family holding company.
In November 2019, LVMH made the acclaimed biggest luxury brand acquisition in history by striking a deal to buy American jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion. LVMH spent $3.2 billion for Belmond, a luxury hospitality group that manages 46 hotels, river cruises, and trains. Four of Arnault’s children work in the LVMH empire. He holds the honorary titles of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur.
4. Mark Zuckerberg, $111B
Mark Zuckerberg currently has a listing among fellow tech giants such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as centi-billionaire. He made it to the list of the wealthiest men in the world before clocking 30. Zuckerberg is popularly known to have derived his fortune from his 13% Facebook stake.
Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 at Harvard when he was just 19. The initial intention of creating Facebook was to help Harvard students match their classmates’ names with their photos. In May 2012, he took Facebook to the public and became one of the leading social media throughout the globe. Zuckerberg presently owns up to 15% of the Facebook stake.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook became a go-to communications tool as the lockdown drew many people online. The traffic on social media during the pandemic helped the company enjoy overwhelming wealth accumulation. Despite the United States economy trauma during the lockdown, Zuckerberg still gained over $22 billion.
Zuckerberg runs a philanthropic and advocacy arm named The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Notably, the initiative’s name combines his and his wife’s surnames. The initiative unveiled that it would assist quadruple the Bay Area’s coronavirus testing capacity.
In December 2015, Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (his wife) made a public promise to the world. That is to give out 99% of their Facebook stake as they age.
5. Warren Buffet, $83.8B
Warren Buffet is a silent wealthy investor. He dramatically made it to the top 5 richest men in the world. Popularly called the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffet is among the most successful investors ever.
Buffet has been practically in the business since when he was young. At age 6, he made a five-cent profit from six packs of Coca-Cola he bought from his grandfather’s grocery store. Five years later, he took his first investment step into higher finance.
Buffet’s father, a US congressional representative, was instrumental in his exposure to wealth at a tender age. He purchased his first stock at 11, and at age 13, he had filed taxes. Buffet owns Berkshire Hathaway as a leading investor, an umbrella name that houses over 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen.
Buffet, also one of the wealthiest men in the world, is very committed to philanthropic deeds. He promised to give away more than 99% of his wealth before death. And so far, he has donated over $41billion. In 2010, he collaborated with Gates to launch the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit half their wealth to philanthropy.
6. Larry Ellison, $78.2B
Born in the Bronx, Lawrence Joseph Ellison is the son of a single mother, Florence Spellman. He rose to fortune from a humble background to become a world-renowned business magnate. Why will he not be among the wealthiest men in the world?
Larry Ellison is a name continuously reoccurring in the list of the wealthiest men on earth. He tapped into the growing need for customer relationship management databases by cofounding the leading software firm, ‘Oracle”.
In 2014, he stepped down from being the CEO of Oracle. However, he continues to serve as Chairman of the board as well as Chief Technology Officer. Oracle’s growth is due to the steady acquisitions of software companies. The software company recorded the biggest acquisition when it acquired NetSuite for $9.3 billion in 2016.
In 2012 Ellison acquired nearly all Hawaiian island Lanai for $300 million. So far, he has built a hydroponic farm and a luxury spa on the island. In May 2016, Ellison promised to give away $200 million to the University of Southern California to aid cancer treatment.
In December 2018, Ellison joined Tesla’s board after purchasing $3 million in Tesla shares at the beginning of the year.
7. Amancio Ortega, $67B
Amancio Ortega stands out as one of the richest men in the world and the wealthiest clothing retailer. Born to a railroad worker, Ortega worked in a clothing store to help his family escape poverty. But he later fell in love with clothing and began making women’s bathrobes with his siblings and wife-to-be, Rosalia Mera.
Ortega is a pioneer in fast fashion. He cofounded Inditex, the former Zara store, with his ex-wife, Rosalia Mera (d. 2013), in 1975. However, in 1988, he expanded to Portugal, France, and the US. A decade later, Ortega established the Pull&Bear and Bershka brands and acquired Stradivarius and Massimo Dutti.
Furthermore, as of 2010, Inditex had accumulated over 5000 stores across 77 countries. Ortega owns many retail properties and offices in major cities like the US, Spain, and many other countries.
In 2011, he stepped down as the Chairman of Inditex to focus on other investments more efficiently. Ortega owns 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, a mother of 8 premium brands and 7,500 stores globally.
Ortega earns over $400 million in dividends a year. He invested his dividends into real estate in Barcelona, Madrid, London, Miami, Chicago, and New York.
8. Alice Walton, $68.8B
Alice Walton is the only female that made it to the list of the top ten wealthiest men in the world. Womenomen hardly feature in this chart, but she broke that record. Alice broke this exceptional record through the wealth she amassed from her father’s business, Walmart.
For the records, Alice Walton is the only daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Unlike her siblings, Rob and Jim, Alice is looking off Walmart to focus on curating art rather than Walmart.
In 2011, she contributed to hometown development by opening the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Besides, Crystal Bridges features impressive works of moguls like Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Norman Rockwell.
Alice and Jim are currently fronting a program to donate $300 million to help charter schools invest in facilities.
9. Jim Walton $68.6B
Jim Walton, the youngest son of Sam Walton, is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. He made his fortune working with his father’s company, By the way, Walmart. In June 2019, Jim donated $1.2 billion in Walmart stock.
Yet, with his siblings, he ranks in the top ten list of the wealthiest men in the world. Aside from Walmart, Jim controls an estimated 44% stake in Arvest Bank.
In June 2019, Jim stepped down from Walmart’s board for his son, Steuart. This retirement was after sitting on the chair for over a decade. Jim and other Sam Walton, Alice, and Rob co-heirs collectively own more than half of Walmart’s stock.
Jim and Alice are jointly fronting a program that will donate $300 million to help charter schools invest in facilities. So, Jim has to be among the wealthiest men, not only in America but also in the world.
10. Rob Walton $68.2B
Rob is another member of the Walton’s that made it to the list of the world’s wealthiest men in 2020. He is the eldest son of the business mogul and Walmart founder Sam Walton. After the demise of his father in 1992, Rob took over Walmart as the company’s chairman.
In June 2015, Rob stepped down as chairman for Greg Penner, his son-in-law, who still chairs Walmart’s board. Rob, collectively with other heirs of Sam Walton, owns more than half of Walmart’s stock.
In September 2019, Walmart announced that it would reduce ammunition sales and prohibit the ‘open carry’ of guns. Furthermore, Walmart made the statement following a deadly mass shooting at one of its stores.
Lessons to learn from the wealthiest men in the world
- They are all pioneers. That is, they had something they believed in and pursued it with all their might
- None of them is short of being called a ‘Crazy’ investor. They saw opportunities in uncommon places
- Another quality is that they kept growing bigger by acquiring other businesses with great potential
- All of them are philanthropists because they found a more significant cause to live for than to be rich
- Fueled by their ambition but never greedy. As passionate as they were, when the time came, they relaxed their hold
Bezos is currently not only the wealthiest person alive – but the richest man of all time. Although the worth of the past wealthiest men in the world was immeasurable, Bezos holds the highest digit record. His estimated wealth technically remains the largest ever accumulated by a single individual. As of 2020, Bezos is the wealthiest man alive!
However, how does that help us? Consider the values in the introduction about certain habits of these wealthy men. In addition, we discussed what qualities are familiar to them all. We can take cues from these points.