The Top 5 Richest Billionaires In the World. In 2020, there were reportedly 2,095 billionaires on Earth, with an estimated total net worth of $8 trillion. Of this
amount, the top 5 wealthiest people in the World account for $1,153 billion, or roughly 14.41%, which is impressive
when you consider that they represent around 0.48% of billionaires. Below are the 5 individuals currently considered
the wealthiest at the time of updating this article—May 2021—according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires List.
- Jeff Bezos
- Age: 573
- Residence: Seattle
- Founder and CEO: Amazon (AMZN)
- Net Worth: $177 billion
- Amazon Ownership Stake: 11% ($174 billion)
- Other Assets: Blue Origin ($7.15 billion private assets), The Washington Post ($250 million private assets), and $9.75 billion in cash
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle, shortly after he resigned from the hedge fund giant
D.E. Shaw. In fact, he had originally pitched the idea of an online bookstore to his former boss David E. Shaw, who wasn’t interested.
Though Amazon.com originally started out selling books, it has since morphed into a one-stop shop for everything
under the sun, and is arguably the world’s largest retailer. At any rate, it is hard to dispute its self-description as the
“Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Its pattern of constant diversification is evident in some of its unexpected
expansions, which include acquiring Whole Foods in 2017 and launching its own branded over-the-counter drugs in
February. 2018. In 2020, Amazon’s share price skyrocketed on the heightened demand for online shopping as
lockdowns forced consumers to stay home.
Bezos originally took Amazon public in 1997 and went on to become the first man since Bill Gates in 1999 to achieve a
net worth of more than $100 billion. Bezos’s other projects include aerospace company Blue Origin; The Washington
Post, which he purchased in 2013; and the 10,000-year clock, also known as the Long Now.
2. Elon Musk
- Age: 49
- Residence: Austin, Texas
- Cofounder and CEO: Tesla (TSLA)
- Net Worth: $151 billion
- Tesla Ownership Stake: 20% ($114 billion)
- Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($29.8 billion private assets) and The Boring Company ($101 million private assets)
Elon Musk has had his hands in several different companies over the years. Originally enrolled at Stanford University,
However, Musk deferred his attendance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services. A portion of the
proceeds from this endeavor was then reinvested to create X.com, an online payment system that later became PayPal. While both of these systems were eventually sold to other companies, Musk has maintained his status as CEO and lead
designer of his third project, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), which aims to make space exploration more
affordable. In 2004, Musk became a major funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to him being retroactively declared a
cofounder and his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company. However, In addition to its line of electric
automobiles—which include sedans, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and the “Cybertruck” announced in 2019—Tesla also produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, merchandise, and, also through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems. In 2020, Tesla’s stock price experienced an astronomical surge, having risen 705% from the start of the year to mid-December. It joined the S&P 500 that same month, the largest company added thus far.
However, In 2016, Musk founded two more companies, Neuralink and The Boring Company, with him serving as the CEO of the former. Neuralink is also developing brain-machine interface devices to help individuals suffering from paralysis and potentially allow users to mentally interact with their computers and mobile devices. The Boring Company, meanwhile, develops boring machines for the purpose of drilling tunnels for underground public transportation systems, which would mitigate traffic congestion in major cities. It also (briefly) sold a handheld flamethrower
3. Bernard Arnault
- Age: 72
- Residence: Paris
- CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
- Net Worth: $150 billion
- Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($109 billion)
- Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($21.4 billion public assets), Hermès equity ($2.23 billion public assets), Carrefour equity ($1.26 billion public assets), and $4.50 billion in cash
French national Bernard Arnault is the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. This business owns some of the biggest brands on Earth, including Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, and many
more. The majority of his wealth, however, actually comes from his massive stake in Christian Dior SE, the
holding company that controls 41.2% of LVMH. His shares in Christian Dior SE, plus an additional 6.2% in LVMH, are
however held through his family-owned holding company, Group Arnault SE.
An engineer by training, Arnault’s business chops became apparent while working for his father’s construction firm,
Ferret-Savinel, which he would take control of in 1971. He later converted Ferret-Savinel to a real estate company
named Férinel Inc. in 1979.
Arnault remained Férinel’s chair for another six years, until he acquired and reorganized luxury goods maker Financière
Agache in 1984, eventually selling all of its holdings other than Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché.
In addition, He was invited to invest in LVMH in 1987 and became the majority shareholder, chair of the board, and
CEO of the company two years later.
4. Bill Gates
- Age: 65
- Residence: Medina, Wash.
- Cofounder: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
- Net Worth: $124 billion
- Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.3% ($25.8 billion)
- Other Assets: Canadian National Railway equity ($11.8 billion public asset), John Deere equity ($11.8 billion public asset), Republic Services equity ($11.1 billion public asset), Ecolab equity ($6.59 billion public asset), Givaudan equity ($4.39 billion public asset), FEMSA equity ($2.22 billion public asset), Waste Management equity ($1.93 billion public asset), Berkshire Hathaway equity ($1.72 billion public asset), AutoNation equity ($1.67 billion public asset), Diageo equity ($1.56 billion public asset), Arch Capital Group equity ($1.39 billion public asset), Sika AG equity ($1.26 billion public asset), Signet Jewelers equity ($760 million public asset), Televisa equity ($300 million public asset), Vroom equity ($260 million public asset), Western Asset/Claymore Inflation-Linked Opportunities & Income Fund equity ($229.4 million public total assets), Liberty Global equity ($225 million public asset), Fomento de Construcciones y Contratasequity ($187 million public asset),Otter Tail Corporation equity ($160 million public asset), Coca-Cola FEMSA equity ($121 million public asset), Owens Corning equity ($38.4 million public asset), and $57.2 billion in cash.
While attending Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates went to work alongside his childhood friend Paul Allen to
develop new software for the original microcomputers. Following this project’s success, Gates dropped out of Harvard
in his junior year and also went on to found Microsoft with Allen.
In addition to being the largest software company in the world, Microsoft also produces its own line of personal
computers, publishes books through Microsoft Press, provides email services through its Exchange server, and sells
video game systems and also associated peripheral devices. Originally Microsoft’s chief software architect, Gates later
transitioned to the role of chair in 2008. He had also joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2004. He stepped down
both boards on March 13, 2020.
However, In 2000, Gates’s two philanthropic organizations—the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation
—were merged to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, of which he and his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Melinda Gates,
are co-chairs. In addition, Through the foundation, he has spent billions to fight polio and malaria. Additionally,
he pledged $50 million in 2014 to help fight Ebola. In 2020, the foundation promised to spend $300 million to combat
the COVID-19 pandemic. However, In 2010, alongside Warren Buffett, Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge, a
campaign encouraging rich individuals to also commit to donating the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
- Age: 36
- Residence: Palo Alto, Calif.
- Cofounder, CEO, and Chair: Facebook (FB)
- Net Worth: $97 billion
- Facebook Ownership Stake: 13% ($115 billion)
- Other Assets: $2.93 billion in cash and $225 million in real estate
Mark Zuckerberg first developed Facebook alongside fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris
Hughes while attending Harvard University in 2004. As Facebook began to be used at other universities, Zuckerberg however,
dropped out of Harvard to focus entirely on his growing business. Today, Zuckerberg is the CEO and chair of
Facebook, which had more than 2.8 billion monthly active users as of Q3 2020.
Facebook is the world’s largest social networking service, enabling its users to create a personal profile, connect with
friends and family, join or create groups, and much more. As the website is free to use,
most of the company’s revenue is generated through advertising. Facebook (the company) is also host to several other
brands, including photo-
sharing app Instagram, which it acquired in 2012; cross-platform mobile messaging service WhatsApp and also virtual-
reality–headset producer Oculus, both acquired in 2014; Workplace, its enterprise-connectivity platform; Portal, its line
of video-calling devices; and also Novi, its digital wallet for the Diem payment system.
In conclusion, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2015, with each of them serving as
co-CEO. Their charity seeks to leverage technology to fix societal ills, such as improving the access and quality of
education, reforming both the criminal justice system and the U.S. immigration system, improving housing
affordability, and eventually eradicating all diseases.
By Cynthia Nwankwo(Top5er)