A recently study conducted by Oxfam discovered that it is just 8 men who hold the equivalent wealth of the 3.6 billion poorest people in the world.
“The rich get richer while the poor get poorer” is a saying that has never been truer in 2017.
Economists are worried about the destabilization and breakdown of society that occurs when so many billions of people are living in poverty, and so few live in the lap of luxury at their expense. It is believed to be simply globally unsustainable.
We live in a world where profit is the new religion, and these 8 billionaires are seen as the “gods” that most of humanity live at the mercy of
Just who are these men, and how did they come to accumulate so much money?
Or alternatively, are they an inspiration to us all, implying that no matter where you are in life now, you can work hard to accumulate similar wealth? Let’s countdown the top 8 wealthiest men in the world.
8. Michael Bloomberg – $43.3 billion
Michael Bloomberg is the CEO, owner and founder of Bloomberg L.P., and he also became the 108th mayor of New York in 2002. A generous philanthropist, he is a businessman, politician and also an author.
A graduate of Harvard Business school, he obtained a Master of Business Administration. After being laid off from Salomon Brothers with a severance package of $10 million, he set up “Innovative Market Systems” which sold high standard business information utilizing the latest technology to provide a speedy delivery.
After gaining Merrill Lynch as a client, Bloomberg L.P. came into being and rose as a technological giant creating financial the computer software called Bloomberg Terminal, and its derivative products Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Tradebook and Bloomberg Message.
7. Larry Ellison – Net Worth $48.5 billion
Larry Ellison is the CTO and executive chairman of the Oracle Corporation, which specializes in database design and is a leading competitor to Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase. He is also a pilot and owns two military jets.
He also has a passion for yachts, and won the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010. He also owns several luxury cars. He is known for his exceptionally lavish lifestyle, including owning 98% of Hawaii’s sixth-largest island, Lanai. He is considered a rags-to-riches story, as he was born to an unwed mother and adopted out to his aunt. He is also a very generous philanthropist.
6. Mark Zuckerberg – Net Worth $53.3 billion
The famous internet entrepreneur and co-creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg now is both CEO and chairman of the corporation. He started out as a college computer programmer when he was at Harvard University studying computer science and psychology.
He developed an online version of the college “The Face Book”, that almost had him expelled, as to create it he had hacked into the Harvard computer network. Facebook was eventually rolled out to other universities and gradually evolved into the current mega social network company that now has 1.79 billion users globally.
Zuckerberg is also extensively involved in philanthropy.
5. Jeff Bezos – Net Worth $69.5 billion
Jeff Bezos is the founder, CEO and chairman of Amazon.com. Beginning as a simple internet shop for bookselling, it expanded into the largest online shopping retailer in the world.
Bezos is a retail and technology investor and entrepreneur who also has business interests in newspapers and aerospace. He is a rags-to-riches story, and was born to a teenage mother. He showed a proficiency for technology and science at school and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science and Engineering, receiving the highest honors from Princeton University.
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He worked a few jobs in the computer science field on Wall Street, but ultimately came up with the idea of Amazon.com in his garage where he took a leap of faith and set up his company, leaving his other jobs behind.
His wealth is also derived from being one of the first investors in Google, his initial investment of $750,000 now worth $4,308,900,000.
4. Carlos Slim Helú – $48.2 billion
Carlos Slim Helú is the CEO and Chairman of Samsung Mexico, América Móvil, Telmex, and the conglomerate Grupo Carso. A large philanthropist, he is also a business magnate and investor and his fortune was obtained through his extensive holdings of numerous companies throughout Mexico.
He desired to be a businessman from a young age, and even at the age of 11 he had his first taste of an investment paying dividends when he bought a government savings bond. Once finishing a civil engineering degree, he took an economics course and showed immense mathematical aptitude.
It is this aptitude that is said to have given him his edge in the business world. Starting as a stock trader, he was able to lay the groundwork for his future conglomerate, Grupo Carso.
As well as business ventures, Slim believes in not only being philanthropic, but to also being an active participant in solving community problems.
3. Warren Buffett – $71.9 billion
Touted by many to be the most successful investor in the world, Warren Buffet is the CEO, chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet is a huge philanthropist, on top of being a business magnate and investor.
He has promised to give 99% of his wealth to charity just before his death. Showing an aptitude for math at school, his fellow students could see that his future lay in business and investment.
As a child he took every opportunity to be involved in simple selling ventures. Ultimately he graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science and Economics and also attended the New York Institute of Finance.
Buffett still lives in the small 5-bedroom suburban home he bought in 1957, in Omaha, and is renowned for his frugality, despite his immense wealth.
2. Amancio Ortega – Net Worth $72.7 billion
Amancio Ortega is a Spanish business magnate and currently the richest man in all of Europe, which sees him stand as the 2nd richest man in the world. Ortega is the former chairman and founder of the Inditex Fashion Group which includes many top high-street European brand names such as Massimo Duti, Pull and Bear, Bershka and most famous, Zara.
It was Zara that was the original store he opened with his wife in 1975, and it was this clothing chain that went global. He is also a major investor in real estate, and a portion of his fortune comes from properties he owns in New York, London and Madrid.
1. Bill Gates – Net Worth $84.2 billion
Bill Gates is officially the richest man in the world, and has been for the past 23 years. Initially co-founding Microsoft in 1975, in 2014 he eventually stood down as chairman and began devoting his time to philanthropy, working on his charity the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with his wife.
Gates was always obsessed with computers and coding, which began when the mother’s club at his school raised money for a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal, which he was permitted to skip math class to work with.
He went on to study at Harvard, and it was here that he met Steve Ballmer who would succeed him as the Microsoft CEO in 2014. He has authored many books and has a keen interest in literature.
He is also the owner of a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci, called the Codex Leicester, that he bought at auction for $30.8 million.