Thursday, March 11, 2010

The World's Richest, and it's not Bill

An interesting week if you had your eye on being the wealthiest person in the world. Only for the 2nd time since 1995, Bill Gates is not at the top of the annual Forbes' list of richest , released this morning.

Carlos Slim, Mexican telecoms tycoon came in at number one. He's net worth is a staggering $53.5 billion.

Bill is not that far behind at $53 billion. Only $500 million separates him and the first non-American to top the list since 1994.

All could change with a 3.4% increase in Microsoft's share price. But who keeps score?

Warren Buffet is in 3rd place with a net asset value of $47 billion. To put this in perspective: The South African Government collected $88.5 billion in the previous fiscal year.

Some interesting facts on this year's list:

  • There are 1 011 billionaires in the world. Up from 793 last year, but not as many as the record year of 2008 when there was 1 125
  • New york has more billionaires than any other city.
  • 40% of all the billionaires are Americans (403 out of 1011)
  • Only 8.8% are woman (89 out of 1011)
  • The youngest billionaire is Mark Zuckerberg, age 25, founder of Facebook. He's net worth is $4bn 
And Carlos Slim?

  • Carlo Slim was the youngest boy of six children, born in Mexico City
  • He studied engineering, and at the age of 26, had a net worth of $40 million.
  • He married in 1967, and also have six children. His wife passed away in 1999
  • In 1997, just before Apple launched it's iMac range, he bought 3% of the company. The stock rocketed in the years to come.
  • He is a avid fan of Formula 1 and Football
  • He led a group of investors to buy the state owned Mexican telecommunications company Telmex in 1990 through public tender. 
  • He's companies has more than 100 million subscribers. (MTN also has around 100 million subscribers)
  • He owns 7% of the New York Times
When asked to explain he's sudden increase in wealth at a press conference soon after the Forbes list have been issued he said: "the stock market goes up...and down" meaning that it is all relative.

Forbes magazine