UNITED STATES—We all have those days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed and need to give ourselves a lift as we prepare for what lies ahead. Some might use a favorite song to gear themselves up, while others might turn to a picture or favorite quote for a bit of inspiration. But what about if you are the richest man on the planet?
A remarkable rise
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos recently took to Twitter to reveal that a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote about success has been pinned onto his fridge for a number of years, adding that he has seen it every time he has opened the door. To be fair, the inspiration he has gained from it has served him pretty well, if truth be told, with Forbes just two months ago naming him the world’s richest person for the first time after his fortune rose by more than $39 billion in a single year. It has been a remarkable rise for Bezos and a testament to the array of work which has gone into developing the Amazon brand into a dominant force, not just in online shopping but the retail industry in general. From its Prime membership service to drones, the company has always shown ambition to be forward-thinking and move with the times.
According to Forbes, there are more than 2,200 billionaires in the world in 2018, so for Bezos – who last year bought a $12.9 million home in Beverly Hills – to sit at the top of the pile is some achievement. However, what else do we know about the other individuals who sit behind him and make up the rest of the top five?
Progress through technology
In a recent analysis of the Forbe’s rich list, Betway Casino online deduced that the technology sector is the industry where the jump from millionaire to billionaire can be most easily made. So, with this in mind, and Bezos in the top spot, it is no surprise to see Microsoft founder Bill Gates sat in second place. With a net worth believed to be in the region of $91 billion, the 62-year-old is now arguably best known for his philanthropy and is thought to have now donated in the region of $50 billion to charity in his lifetime.
Another big name in technology, it is also no huge shock to see that Mark Zuckerberg sits at number five on the rich list. It is now thought that the Facebook founder, who needed just a single year to take the step from millionaire to billionaire, boasts a fortune in the region of $71 billion. With the social media platform looking to extend into other areas by investigating the potential of blockchain and even considering a dating app, it is likely that figure will only rise in the near future.
Worth the wait
It might have only taken Mark Zuckerberg 365 days to turn a million into a billion but Warren Buffett had to hang on a little bit longer than that. A giant in the investment world, often given the nickname of the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, it took Berkshire Hathaway CEO Buffett 26 years to make the switch from millionaire to billionaire but he now stands third on the world’s rich list with a fortune in excess of $80 billion. Like Bill Gates, he is also a major philanthropist and has given away a huge amount of his wealth to good causes. But does he have any words of wisdom for the younger generation when it comes investment? Apparently, one piece of advice is very straightforward – don’t get into debt.
One of the most obvious things about the people mentioned so far is how they are all from the US but a Frenchman did manage to sneak into this year’s list of the top five richest people in the world. Bernard Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, which is regarded as the leading luxury products group in the world. The 69-year-old’s net worth of an estimated $72 billion means he sits in fourth position on the Forbes list and is both the richest person in the fashion industry and Europe. A guest at President Trump’s first state dinner at the White House with French president Emmanuel Macron, Arnault recently told CNBC that he regretted selling shares he once had in Apple.
Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world undoubtedly makes for fascinating reading. While technology dominates the top five, it is interesting to see how names from luxury products and investment have still managed to stake a claim and maintain a position at the top table. The incredible sums of money involved are a huge reminder of how – at least in Bezos’s case – a little inspiration can go a long long way.