In this buzzing age of technology, there’s always a chance that a new money guru could pop up in what seems like overnight. With tycoons, heirs and heiresses and self-made billionaires, there has never been a better time to be amongst the wealthiest people in the world. Often viewed as celebrities in their own rights, people just can’t seem to get enough of where they live, what they wear and even what breed of dog they own.
And with many of these filthy rich men and women stepping out from behind the curtain and into the limelight, it’s even easier now to find out all that you want to know about their lives, as well as their vast fortunes. Let’s take a look at just the top 21 richest people in the world, and see if your favorite makes the cut.
Karl Albrecht, Jr. is one of the richest people in the entire world, with a net worth of $25.9 billion, also making him the wealthiest person in Germany, along with Beate Heister. He is one of the sons of Karl Albrecht, Sr., who created the Aldi supermarket chain in Essen, Germany, with his brother, Theo Albrecht. Karl worked in many different roles in the supermarket chain but stepped down several years ago due to health conditions.
With just over $27,000,000,000, Li Ka-shing has made most of his money making wise investments. However, when Husky Energy’s shares went down to 50% of their former value, Ka-shing’s wealth dipped down further than it has in the past four years. Ka-shing’s story is famous throughout Asia, as well as the rest of the world. He worked in a plastic factory when he was just 14 years old, quitting to start his own company making all sorts of plastic items, including toys. He is the richest man in Hong Kong.
Jorge Paul Lemman has a net worth of $27.8 billion, also making him the single richest person in the entire country of Brazil, due to Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is the largest beer brewer in the entire world. He also has stock in Restaurant Brands International, which is the parent company to well-known names like Burger King and Tim Hortons. He also owns H.J. Heinz & Company. After there was a kidnapping attempt of his children, Lemman moved to Switzerland in 1999.
With $28.7 billion stacked away, Wang Jianlin is China’s richest man, making most of his fortune in real estate. However, Jianlin may now have his eye on a different niche altogether. In January of this year, he announced that he would purchase Legendary Entertainment, which is based in the United States and is involved in television and movie production. His company, Dalian Wanda Group, also bought AMC Theaters. He even owns a percentage of a Spanish soccer team.
S. Robson Walton, commonly known as “Rob”, has accumulated a wealth of $31.9 billion as a son of Sam Walton, who founded the meg-store, Wal-Mart. Like his brother, Jim, Rob spent years working within the company, only stepping down as chairman in 2015, a position that he had proudly held since 1992. However, he still remains on the board as an active member, and his son-in-law assumed his role as chairman.
As the second richest woman in the world, Alice Walton has a tidy $32.3 to show for it. Her father is Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, which needs no description. Although her brothers have always taken very active roles in the company, Alice has declined, and instead likes to spend her time working with art. She is said to even have a personal collection that can be valued at several hundred million dollars. She is also very active in political support.
With $33.6 billion, Jim Walton has built his wealth through Wal-Mart, which was founded by his father, Sam Walton. He is the youngest of his four children. Jim Walton stepped down from Wal-mart’s board back in 2005, and his son, Steuart, filled his place. He is also the CEO of Arvest Bank, which is also worth about $16 billion.
With a hard-earned $34,000,000,000, Bernard Arnault reigns over at least 70 brand names, including Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Tag Heuer. He also has around 3,700 retails stores in shopping centers across the globe. He has been CEO of his parent company, LVMH, since 1989. His considerable wealth is also invested in stock, including a large portion in Christian Dior.
Sergey Brin’s net worth is $34.4 billion, mostly in part to co-founding Google in 1998 with Larry Page. He is now the president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which was founded in August of 2015. Brin has also spent some time running a lab called Google X, which is also under the Alphabet umbrella, and is currently working on self-driving automobiles.
Larry Page is sitting at right about $35.2 billion. He is the CEO of Alphabet, a company that includes Google (which he cofounded in 1998 with Sergey Brin), Calico and Nest and Fiber. In the early part of this year, Alphabet passed Apple as the entire world’s most profitable company. Page is also a strong advocate of clean energy, and he has been involved in countless humanitarian efforts.
With $36.1 billion, Liliane Bettencourt is THE richest woman on the planet, as well as the wealthiest person in all of France. Liliane’s father, Eugene Schueller, founded L’Oreal, the well-known cosmetics company. She and her children own 33% of the company, after her father left it to her upon his death. Bettencourt is now under the guardianship of her daughter as she battles dementia.
With $39.6 billion, David Koch is tied with his older brother, Charles Koch on this list of billionaires. Most of his wealth is also generated from Koch Industries, who has interests in building materials, oil pipelines, paper towels and plastic cups. David has also given large donations to the Republican party, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an entire wing in his name.
Tied with David Koch, Charles has also racked up $39.6 billion, amassed mostly through Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas. Koch Industries has involvement in investments of all kind, trading and even manufacturing. Koch is also very influential in politics, even though he has never expressed running for office himself.
Michael Bloomberg is yet another of the world’s richest people, with a stunning net worth of $40 billion, mainly from his media company, Bloomberg LP. Once the mayor of New York, Bloomberg also considered running for president in 2016, but he decided to take a more active role in his company, specifically in the area of financial and business news.
The 15th richest person in the world at $43.6 billion, Larry Ellison founded Oracle and was the CEO. He recently stepped down from his CEO position, but he is still a very active member of the board. Before he founded Oracle in 1977, Larry Ellison actually built databases for the CIA.
With a success story like Facebook under his belt, Mark Zuckerberg boasts a net worth of $44.6 billion. He started the company in 2004, soon after he dropped out of Harvard University. Today, Facebook had an estimate 1.65 billion users as of April of 2016, meaning that the company is already up 15% from last year.
With a bit over 45 billion, Jeff Bezos owns Blue Origin, a successful aerospace company that launched a rocket. Of course, his other company, Amazon, took in about $100 billion last year, where he is the founder and CEO. However, Bezos still finds time to do some really cool things, like flying back Jason Rezaian, who had been in an Iranian prison, in his own private jet.
With 50 billion dollars to throw around, Carlos Slim Helu is by far the richest person in all of Mexico. However, last year Helu was the world’s second richest person. His shares in American Movil did not reap any benefits, in part due to new Mexican regulations, along with the downward spiral of the Mexican peso. In fact, Helu lost more money last year than any other billionaire.
Warren Buffett has accumulated almost $61,000,000,000 with his real estate investments and his company in the same niche, Berkshire Hathaway. He has also worked with 3G Capital, investing with Heinz, Burger King, Kraft Foods and Tim Hortons coffee shops. Berkshire Hathaway is the fifth largest corporation in all of the United States, owning successful companies like Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom.
Weighing in at number two with 67 billion, Armancio Ortego is the richest man in Spain, and the second richest man in the entirety of the world. As the founder of Zara, he began working with textiles back in 1963. His empire has now grown to also include Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear. His real estate investments are also now over $8 billion alone.
With a net worth of 75 billion, Bill Gates is still the richest man on the globe. He cofounded Microsoft with Paul Allen, making him a billionaire before he was even 31 years old. However, today Gates only owns 2.5% of Microsoft, making up only 15% of his vast fortune. He has also invested in Republic Services, Ecolab, Deere & Co. and the Canadian National Railway. He has also donated much of his time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.