Capitalism takes a deserved punishment, and not just in the headlines. It was only in the second year of a decade that both the number of billionaires and their entire fortune declined. So this shows that even the richest people in the world do not stand in the way of economic power and weak stock markets. According to recent censuses, there are around 2,153 billionaires in 2019, 55 fewer than a year ago. Of these, 994 or 46% of the record holders have lower wealth or are “poorer” than last year. Overall, for example, the ultra-rich are worth $ 8.7 trillion, down $ 400 billion from 2018. So a total of 11% of last year’s members, or 247 people, fell out of line. Most of them have been included since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
Which richest people in the world lead the ranking
The Asia-Pacific region was hardest hit with 60 less ten-digit fortunes. This slump was led by China, which has 49 billion fewer billionaires than a year ago. Europe, the Middle East and Africa also lost ground. America, driven by a resurgent Brazil, and the United States are the only regions with more richest people in the world than they did a year ago. There is now a record of 607 in the US, which includes 14 of the 20 richest in the world. Jeff Bezos is again number 1 in the world, followed by Bill Gates in second place.
Despite strong headwinds, relentless entrepreneurs found new ways to get rich: 195 newcomers joined the ranks. The richest newcomer is Colin Huang, the founder of the Chinese discount online retailer Pinduoduo, who went public in the US in July. Other notable additions include Spotify’s Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon; James Monsees and Adam Bowen from Juul Labs, Daniel Lubetzky from Kind Bar and the cosmetics prodigy Kylie Jenner, who at 21 is the youngest billionaire in the world.
The Forbes list
Most of all, the Forbes World Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth based on share prices and exchange rates as of February 8, 2019. Some people also get richer or poorer within days of being posted. Tsuyoshi Matsushita of Japan ($ 1.3 billion on this list) had lost nearly $ 600 million through February 18, when shares of his fitness and beauty products company, MTG, fell.
A little over a week later, Forrest Li from Singapore jumped into the ten-figure club when the inventory of his online game company Sea rose by 45% within a few days. Forbes list individuals, rather than multi-generation families, who share a fortune, although they also include fortune of a billionaire’s spouse and children if that person is the founder of the fortune. In some cases the English magazine lists siblings or couples together when the division of property between them is not clear.
However, what it takes is an estimated net worth of $ 1 billion per person to make the cut. Forbes value a wide variety of assets including private businesses, real estate, art, and more. They don’t pretend to know every billionaire’s private balance sheets, although some provide those numbers as well. Accordingly, if information is not provided or available, the assets will not be taken into account. So here is the list of where the world’s richest people from 1 to 10 are.
Number 1 – Jeff Bezos & family
Jeff Bezos founded the e-commerce giant Amazon in his Seattle garage in 1994. He still remains CEO and holds a 16% stake. In January, however, he and his wife MacKenzie announced that they would get a divorce after 25 years of marriage. The terms of the split were not disclosed. MacKenzie was also Amazon’s first female accountant. According to Washington state law, she could make half of Jeff’s net worth, making her the richest woman in the world.
In 2018, Amazon had sales of $ 230 billion and net income of $ 10 billion, compared to $ 3 billion the previous year. In February, the online giant announced it was canceling plans for a second headquarters in Long Island City, New York, after local lawmakers objected to the plan. Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aviation company developing a rocket for commercial use.
Number 2 – Bill Gates
Bill Gates runs the Bill with his wife Melinda & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private not-for-profit foundation. Above all, it works to save lives and improve global health. The foundation also works with Rotary International to fight polio (polio). Gates has sold or given away a large part of his stake in Microsoft. So he owns just over 1% of the shares and invests in a mix of stocks and other assets. He also remains on the board of directors of Microsoft, the software company he founded in 1975 with Paul Allen. In late 2016, Gates announced the creation of a $ 1 billion mutual fund with around 20 other people. To date, Gates has donated $ 35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.
Number 3 – Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, is one of the most successful investors of all time. Buffett operates Berkshire Hathaway, which owns over 60 companies including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen. The son of a US Congressman, he first bought stocks at the age of 11 and refunded taxes at the age of 13. Buffett has also promised to give away over 99% of his fortune. In 2018 he donated $ 3.4 billion, much of it to founding his friends Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation. In 2010, he and Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking the billionaires to pledge to donate half of their wealth to charitable causes.
Number 4 – Bernard Arnault & family
Bernard Arnault is one of the most stylish people in the world and has 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. His luxury goods company LVMH also achieved record sales and profits in 2018, thanks in part to increased spending by Chinese customers. The patron of the arts is the visionary behind the Frank Gehry-designed and $ 135 million Louis Vuitton Museum, which opened in 2014. His daughter Delphine is Vice President of Louis Vuitton and a member of the LVMH Executive Committee. His father also made a “small” fortune from the construction. Arnault contributed $ 15 million from that deal to purchase Christian Dior in 1985.
Number 5 – Carlos Slim Helu & family
Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu, and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s largest wireless company. With foreign telecommunications partners, Slim also bought a stake in Telmex, Mexico’s only telephone company, in 1990. Telmex is now part of America Movil. He also owns interests in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate companies and 17% in the New York Times. His son-in-law Fernando Romero designed the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, home to Slim’s extensive, eclectic art collection.
Number 6 – Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega is one of the richest men in Europe and the richest retailer in the world. As a pioneer in the field of fast fashion, he founded Inditex, known for his fashion chain Zara, in 1975 with his former wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013). For example, he owns around 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, which also includes eight brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, as well as 7,500 stores worldwide. Typically, Ortega makes more than $ 400 million in dividends a year. He has invested his dividends primarily in real estate in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York.
Number 7 – Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison co-founded the software company Oracle in 1977 to meet the growing need for databases for customer relationship management. He retired from the Oracle CEO role in 2014, but continues to serve as chairman of the board and chief technology officer. As part of Oracle’s foray into cloud computing, he also acquired the cloud software company Netsuite for $ 9.3 billion in 2016. Ellison pledged $ 200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment center in May 2016. In March 2018, Ellison also founded a wellness startup called Sensei, whose first project is hydroponics farming on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Ellison also joined Tesla’s board in December 2018 after purchasing 3 million Tesla shares earlier this year.
Number 8 – Mark Zuckerberg
After another year of criticism for fake news and abuse on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his 2019 priority will be addressing social issues. He also testified before Congress in April 2018 when it became known that Facebook had shared user data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg started social networking at Harvard in 2004 at the age of 19 to match students by names and faces in class. He made Facebook public in May 2012 and still owns about 15% of the shares. In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook share over the course of their lives.
Number 9 – Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg co-founded the financial information and media company Bloomberg LP in 1981. He also provided seed funding for the company and now owns 88% of the company, which has revenues north of $ 9 billion. Bloomberg started on Wall Street in 1966 with an entry-level job at investment bank Salomon Brothers. However, he was released 15 years later. As an active philanthropist, he has also donated more than $ 5 billion to gun control, climate change, and other causes. He plans to continue to spend at least $ 500 million to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
Number 10 – Larry Page
Larry Page is the head of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. He’s also the chairman of the Calico Health Department, the Smart Home Appliance Division Nest, and more. He also co-founded Google in 1998 with his Stanford colleague – PhD student Sergey Brin. With Brin, Page developed the Google PageRank algorithm that powers the search engine. Page was Google’s first CEO until 2001. After serving as President of Products, he returned to the position of CEO in 2011.