The men who hit the jackpot in the lottery of life…
Bill Gates — net worth of US$86 billion
The brains behind Microsoft would be even further out in front at the top of this rich list if his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hadn’t given away more than $30b to fight poverty and disease, which has been Gates’ chief focus since he stepped down as Microsoft chairman in 2014. The Seattle native co-founded Microsoft in 1975 but now owns just 2.3% of the company, owing 86% of his current wealth to a diverse portfolio of investments.
Warren Buffett — $76b
The Oracle of Omaha bought his first stock aged just 11, so he’s had seven decades to accumulate his vast fortune. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns more than 60 companies but having 70-odd billion in the sky rocket isn’t an excuse to be wasteful, though — the 87-year-old has been carrying the same wallet for the last two decades and has lived in the same house since 1958.
Jeff Bezos — $73b
Here’s a story that’ll warm the heart of everyone who’s dreamed of walking into their boss’ office and telling them to shove the job because they’re going to make it on their own. Bezos ditched his Wall St finance job in 1994 to set up a little online book store called Amazon . . . the online retail giant that’s now worth almost half a trillion dollars. Yes, that’s trillion with a T.
Amancio Ortega — $71b
The one member of this rich list you’ve never heard of. In fact, no picture of him had ever been published publicly until 1999. But you’ve definitely heard of Zara, the chain of fashion stores Ortega set up in 1975, which now boasts 7000 stores around the world, making the 80-year-old Spaniard the richest retailer on the planet as well as the wealthiest European on earth.
Mark Zuckerberg — $56b
Zuckerberg might be half the age of his rivals on this list, but the social media mogul’s personal wealth has shot through the roof as Facebook’s share price has continued to surge. And if you’re feeling sorry for those Winklevoss twins, don’t shed a tear just yet — they’re currently sitting on a goldmine of Bitcoin that ensures they’re hardly in the poorhouse.