Friday, April 3, 2015

Top Ten Richest People

According to Forbes -- as of March, 2015, these are the ten richest people in the world.

1) Bill Gates (age 59, USA) -- $79.2 billion

He has been the richest person on the planet for 16 of the last 21 years. He co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and has been steadily selling his shares of the software company and has donated a $29.5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the largest private foundation in the world) which is dedicated globally to advancing healthcare and reducing extreme poverty.

2) Carlos Slim Helu (age 75, Mexico) -- $77.1 billion

He is an investor and philanthropist with interests in the fields of communication, real estate, media, technology, airlines, finance and retail. He was born in Mexico City. His parents and his wife's parents are of Lebanese descent who immigrated to Mexico. He founded three non-profit foundations (the arts, education and healthcare) concentrating on Mexico City. His wife, who died in 1999, was also active in many philanthropic projects, including the creation of a legal framework for organ donation.

3) Warren Buffett (age 84, USA) -- $72.7 billion

He is an investor and philanthropist. Noted for his personal frugality despite his wealth, he has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a child in Omaha, he sold weekly magazines door-to-door and worked in his grandfather's grocery store. In high school, he had a newspaper route, sold golf balls & stamps, and detailed cars. In his high school sophomore year, he purchased a pinball machine for $25 and placed it in a local barber shop, which led to more pinball machines placed elsewhere.

4) Amancio Ortega (age 79, Spain) -- $64.5 billion

He is a fashion executive with clothing and accessories retail shops. His father was a railroad worker. Barely in his teens, he got a job as a shop hand for a local shirt maker. At age 36, he produced quilted bathrobes, utilizing thousands of local women organized into sewing cooperatives. At age 39, he opened his first clothing store. Today, he owns over 6,000 stores and is still active in the design and production of his products.  He keeps a very low profile, going to the same coffee shop every day and eats lunch with his employees in the company cafeteria.

5) Larry Ellison (age 70, USA) -- $54.3 billion

He is a computer programmer, internet entrepreneur and philanthropist. While in his 30s, he became interested in relational database design, which led to the formation of the database vendor called Oracle. He has also donated up to one percent of his wealth to charity. He enjoys yacht racing and is a licensed aircraft pilot who owns two military jets.

6-A) Charles Koch (age 79, USA) -- $42.9 billion
6-B) David Koch (age 74, USA) -- $42.9 billion

The Koch brothers inherited their company from their father. Charles is the chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer, while David serves as senior vice president. Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company (by revenue) in the USA. Originally involved in oil refining, Koch Industries now includes pollution control technologies, minerals, polymers, fibers, fertilizers, forest products, ranching, commodity trading services and consumer products. They support Libertarian oriented groups (limited government and individual freedom) and co-founded the Cato Institute. Also, through the Koch Cultural Trust, the Koch family has supported and funded various creative artists and artistic projects.

8) Christy Walton (age 60, USA) -- $41.7 billion

She is the widow of John T. Walton, one of the sons of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. Her husband died in 2005 and she inherited his wealth. She is ranked as the highest female philanthropist according to the amount she gives as a percentage of her wealth.

9) Jim Walton (age 67, USA) -- $40.6 billion

He is the youngest son of Sam Walton, founder of the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart. In 2005, he replaced his deceased brother, John, on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors and is currently on the Strategic Planning and Finance committees. He is also Chief Executive Officer of his family-owned bank and chairman of a newspaper firm. He has pledged about $2 billion to the Walton Family Foundation.

10) Liliane Bettencourt (age 92, France) -- $40.1 billion

She is a businesswoman and philanthropist. At age 15, she joined her father's company, L'Oreal, as an apprentice, mixing cosmetics and labeling bottles of shampoo. At age 35, she inherited her father's fortune when he died in 1957. Thirty years later, she and her husband founded the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, which supports and develops medical, cultural and humanitarian projects.

* * *

A rich person is just a poor person with lots of money.

Apparently, not all rich people are evil -- many of them are philanthropists who donate oodles of money for good causes.

Quote for the Day -- “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.” Immanuel Kant

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and where his riches are his memories.

1 comment:

Axebite said...

I have no idea what I would do with billions of dollars, but I doubt if giving it away would be as hard as Bill and Warren make it out to be.