“I wanna be a billionaire, so freaking bad. I’d buy all of the things I never had.”
These words appear as lyrics in a Bruno Mars song, “Billionaire”. Who doesn’t want to be a billionaire?
Of course, there are two kinds of billionaires, those who are born rich and those who worked hard for their fortune.
Though it does beg the question, who are the world’s richest people?
1. Jeff Bezos, $110.1bn
The former hedge fund manager turned online book seller started Amazon in his garage in 1994. Bezos has invested heavily in space technology and also owns The Washington Post newspaper.
2. Bill Gates, $106.2bn
A permanent fixture at the top of Forbes’ list for the past 20 years, the Microsoft founder has sold or given away much of his stake in the company – he owns just 1% of Microsoft – and now focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.
3. Bernard Arnault, $101.2bn
Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees an empire of more than 60 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
4. Warren Buffett, $84bn
Now in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, known as the “Oracle of Omagh” is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Gates he has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.
5. Mark Zuckerberg, $70.3bn
Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19 and now is among the top five richest men in the world.
6. Amancio Ortega, $70bn
Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex, known for its Zara brand, in 2011 but he still owns nearly 60% of its shares.
7. Larry Ellison, $67.3bn
Cofounder of software firm Oracle, Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.
8. Carlos Slim Helu, $61.8bn
Mexico’s richest man, Slim Helu, and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecommunications firm. He also owns a stake in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate, as well as 17% of The New York Times.
9. Larry Page, $57.9bn
In 1998, Page co-founded Google with business partner Sergey Brin, and still helms Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
10. Mukesh Ambani, $57bn
Ambani’s late father, Dhirubhai, founded Reliance Industries as a small textile manufacturer in 1966. Now the oil and gas giant is among India’s most valuable companies.