It’s said that 1% of the world’s population controls more than half of the world’s wealth, but even among the elites, there are still the best of the best.
Let’s take a look at the 10 richest people in the world, according to Forbes — and it might not be who you think.
#10. Carlos Slim Helu
- Net Worth: $67.4 billion
- Industry: Telecom
- Age: 80
- Country: Mexico
Telecommunications is a hot market for profit if you know how to work it. Carlos Slim Helu knew that when he started working to purchase and privatize a government-owned telecommunications company in 1990.
Since then smart diversification decisions led him to gain the status of Richest Man in the World in 2010, and he is the first in history to ever gain that title from a developing nation.
Helu is of Lebanese descent but grew up in Mexico. You may not have heard of him because he prefers to fly under the radar and live frugally. However, he’s still a man of influence and has been practising what he preaches since his first business ventures at the age of 12.
Fun Fact: Helu is highly technophobic. While he enjoys discussing technology, he prefers pencil and paper to a computer.
#9. Amancio Ortega
- Net Worth: $65.1 billion
- Industry: Fashion (Zara)
- Age: 84
- Country: Spain
Amancio Ortega Gaona is the second international name on this list, and he came to prominence in Spain as the power behind Inditex fashion group. (Noticing a theme? Apparently fashion is a lucrative industry.) Even if he’s not the wealthiest man in the world, Ortega is rated as the wealthiest retailer in the world. However, that doesn’t stop him from being humble.
Not only does he share tables on the factory floor with his workers, but he donated €320 million for cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. He first started his business with a 2,000 peso bank loan and built it into an empire, but nonetheless prefers the simple life and stays out of the spotlight.
Fun Fact: His first business, Confecciones Goa, sold quilted bathrobes. The name is his initials in reverse.
#8. Sergey Brin
- Net Worth: $64.1 billion
- Industry: Software (Google)
- Age: 47
- Country: United States
Sergey Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who has a net worth of almost $65 billion dollars. Sergey earned his net worth as the co-founder of Google, which today is known by umbrella parent company Alphabet.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page co-founded Google back in 1998, in just a small simple garage. The duo has taken Google to the top, putting Sergey Brin a few places behind Page in this list of the richest people worldwide.
Fun Fact: Sergey Brin (°1973), Co-Founder Of Google, Moved With His Family From the Soviet Union To The US In 1979.
#7. Larry Page
- Net Worth: $58.4 billion
- Industry: Software (Google)
- Age: 47
- Country: United States
Larry Page is the co-founder of Google, which was founded back in a garage in 1998.
Google, no doubt, has become the most successful search engine in the world, and the company has gone on to make various acquisitions such as YouTube. Google’s success has made Larry Page one of the richest people in the world.
Fun Fact: Page proposed that they sell Google for $1 million soon as he and Brin had established a functional search engine. “Fortunately”, all the companies they approached including Alta Vista, Excite, and Yahoo! refused the offer.
#6. Larry Ellison
For a palate cleanser, let’s take a look at software industry giant Larry Ellison. The man behind Oracle wasn’t exposed to computers until college. However, that didn’t stop him from taking leaps forward in technology development and software advancement.
He then created some of the most essential tools on the market today. Like many of the entrepreneurs on this list, Ellison came from humble roots and built his business on a minimal investment. He had an idea, business smarts, and good timing in rapidly expanding markets.
Fun Fact: Ellison is a thrill-seeker who’s not afraid to risk injury for an adrenaline rush. He has been hospitalized more than once for injuries related to extreme sports.
#5. Warren Buffet
- Net Worth: $68.5 billion
- Industry: Financial services (Berkshire Hathaway)
- Age: 90
- Country: United States
If anyone knows money, it’s Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway. Imagine how much money $175 was worth in the 1940s. Now imagine making that kind of money as a young teenager who bought his first stock for $38 at age 11, and you’re putting yourself in the shoes of a young Warren Buffet.
The investment ace wasn’t just an early bloomer; he shot out of his traces from the very start with preteen lunches with stock exchange experts and a net worth that surpassed the average adult before he was even old enough to drive.
From talented tyke to billionaire, Buffet still keeps it humble with a frugal approach. He still lives in the same 5-bedroom house he purchased for $31,500 in 1956.
Fun Fact: Buffet used to be terrified of public speaking, until a Dale Carnegie course that not only helped him overcome his fear but helped him propose to his wife.
#4 Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg may be facing some harsh times lately. However, that doesn’t change the fact that his name is one everyone instantly recognizes as the power behind Facebook.
He rose to fame from obscurity that a film, The Social Network, was even made to catalogue and dramatize his journey. Zuckerberg also turned an idea into a global network that has facilitated a number of surprising tech ventures — from wi-fi balloons to artificial intelligence.
Zuckerberg has been studying how technology impacts our lives since he was very young, including creating Synapse as a teenager to analyze music habits before going on to launch Facebook.
Fun Fact: Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colourblind. He struggles with various colours, but blue is the colour that stands out to him most. That’s why it’s so key in Facebook’s brand colouring.
#3. Bernard Arnault
- Net Worth: $110.1 billion
- Industry: Fashion (LVMH)
- Age: 71
- Country: France
“LVMH” may not be something you think of when you think of luxury until you realize it stands for Louis Vitton Moet Hennessy — and the man who runs it is none other than the fourth richest in the world.
He actually began in real estate, taking over the family business to drive successful growth before leaving France for a life of condominium development in the U.S. during the early ’80s rise of French Socialism. It wasn’t until 1983 that he would return to France and begin the first ventures that would lead him into the world of fashion and luxury goods. He’s now the man behind the aggressive market dominance of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Christine Dior, Dom Perignon, Sephora, and Fendi.
Fun Fact: Arnault once controlled a company called Peaudouce, a leading manufacturer of…disposable diapers.
#2. Bill Gates
For the longest time Gates, as the founder of Microsoft, topped this list, before he was ousted by Bezos. From a childhood writing his first computer programs on a General Electric computer, Gates built himself into a pioneer in the technology industry with a focus on innovation, usability, and everyday practicality for productivity software and machines.
While he still uses his smarts — and his money — to investigate the next generation of technology and software intelligence, he’s also known as a major philanthropist behind many large-scale donations and foundations. While he may be the 3rd richest people in the world, he also strives to give back to those in need.
Gates would be richer than #1 top list if had he not given $35.8 billion, and counting, to charity over his lifetime. This three-part documentary by Netflix tells Bill Gates’ life story, in-depth and unfiltered, as he pursues unique solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems.
Fun Fact: Bill Gates was arrested in New Mexico as a young man for running a red light.
#1. Jeff Bezos
Amazon is everywhere, so it’s not surprising that Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, tops this list. Amazon has a major role as the world’s leading online retailer and self-publishing platform, but it doesn’t stop there; from custom home deliveries to groceries, logistics, and even healthcare, the company is expanding in so many directions it’s a miracle Bezos can keep up with how much money he’s making or spending.
Bezos himself came from humble roots; his first job was as a McDonald’s fry cook.
Bezos recently divorced his wife MacKenzie; after which she received 4% of Amazon, which is worth billions.
Fun Fact: Jeff Bezos appeared in a cameo role as an alien in the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond.
With the likes of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett, totalling a net worth of almost $400 billion, it is no surprise the US is home to so many high-net-worth individuals.