Billionaires around the world are worth $8.7 trillion this year. While, according to Forbes, they’re down $400 billion from 2018, we can all agree that the global financial crisis hasn’t hit them like it hit the working class. Nonetheless, while 247 people dropped from the ranks, 195 other entrepreneurs joined the ranks.
Some of the richest people in the world are socialites – such as Jay-Z at #16 or Kylie Jenner at #13, unlike Google co-founder Larry Page at #17 who likes to keep to himself. Let’s check out some fascinating facts about billionaires and rich people.
20. Self-Made Billionaires
While many billionaires are actually heirs of their fortunes, 67% of the billionaires in the world are self-made. They started from the bottom, and we have, for instance, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Nonetheless, only 21% of the top 400 billionaires in the USA are self-made.
19. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Net Worth in 2019
Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos net worth in 2019 is $155.6 billion – making him the “wealthiest person in modern history.” Even after transferring 4% of Amazon to his wife divorced him after 25 years of marriage, he still is number 1 in the world’s billionaires top.
18. “Dear Daddy…”
Gigi Chao’s net worth of $2 billion makes her one of the richest Hongkong business personalities. However, that is very interesting about her was the time when her dad didn’t want to acknowledge her marriage with another woman. Her father, billionaire Cecil Chao Sze-Tsung offered $65 million to any man only to marry his daughter. Two years later, she wrote an open letter with the title:
“Dear Daddy, you must accept I’m a lesbian.”
17. Driving a Prius
While many billionaires like to buy rather expensive cars and other things we could only dream of, there are a few that like to stick to comfortable and safe wheels. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a Ford, Zuckerberg drives an Acura TSX, explaining that it’s “safe, comfortable and not ostentatious.” Google co-founder Larry Page drives his Toyota Prius.
16. Close Enough
Jay-Z is a billionaire as of this year! In 2018 he had a $900 million net worth, and now he’s hit $1 billion!
Meanwhile, P Diddy’s a little behind with $855 Million, currently being signed to Epic Records. As for Jay-Z the purchase of the Bel Air mansion could be why he is now a billionaire, the first rapper to reach this milestone.
15. The Sad Story of a Cheapskate
The story is not sad for the actual billionaire, who was the richest man in the world in 1957. John Paul Getty was in the oil business, and he was such a cheapskate, he even installed a payphone in the house so that the guests wouldn’t use his line.
The sad story involves John Paul Getty III kidnapping. When the kidnappers asked for the teenager $17 million as ransom, the man refused. Later, the boy lost an ear which was mailed as a threat to a newspaper. Finally, he gave $3 million (the maximum amount that was tax deductible) and loaned his son the rest, with 4% interest! Unfortunately, the kidnapping scarred the young John Paul Getty III for his entire life…
14. The Richest Family in Modern History
The wealthiest family in the modern history is The Rothschilds, having a combined net worth of $350 billion. It all started in 1744 when Mayer Rothschild set up a financial center, dividing the control between his five sons. Now the wealth is divided among hundreds of descendants that are working in different fields, like mining or farming.
13. The “Self-made” Billionaire
According to Forbes, Kylie Jenner was said to be a “self-made” billionaire. However, her net worth is $900 million, based on the value of Kylie Cosmetics. Nonetheless, Jenner’s wealth is also heavily impacted by her family’s media empire.
12. The Richest American That Ever Lived
The richest man America has ever had is John D. Rockefeller, having a net worth of $24 billion in the modern American currency. While you’d say it wasn’t that much, the wealth in regards to US GDP was 2% of the GDP – which would mean $350 billion.
11. The Biggest Milestone For LeBron James
LeBron James said that it would be the “biggest milestone” to achieve when he hits his first billion. Right now, his net worth is $440 million.
10. JK Rowling Setting a Record
The first author to become a billionaire just by selling her books and other media is JK Rowling. She was in the billionaires’ list in 2004 and then dropped in 2012 because of her philanthropic donations and the tax rates in Britain. New York Times estimated her net worth at roughly $1 billion.
9. The Richest Person in History
We bet you never knew that the richest person to have ever lived on Earth was actually the African King Mansa Musa whose net worth was $400 billion back in 1331 when he died. His empire spread over today’s Ghana, Timbuktu, and Mali. He was rich because the empire would make over half the world’s salt and gold!
8. Ibrahimov’s Khazar Islands
The president of Avesta, Ibrahim Ibrahimov, has built the largest building in the world after he concluded his “Khazar Islands” project. The 56 islands are a man-made artificial archipelago containing apartments, hotels, a yacht club, an airport and more. Ibrahimov came up with the idea of building such a huge project after visiting Dubai. He sketched out the project on a shirt!
7. James Bond of Philanthropy
Dubbed as the James Bond of philanthropy, Ireland’s Chuck Feeney made billions after he pioneered the duty-free shopping. He gave away almost all of his wealth and now lives in Ireland, in a rented apartment! He gave away most of his wealth through the Atlantic Philanthropies for causes such as civil rights, health, and education.
6. The Richest Women In The World
The richest woman in the world and 15th billionaire in Forbes 2019 billionaire top is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of L’Oreal’s founder. However, she and her family own this record – with a net worth of $49.3 billion. The second richest woman in the world is Walmart heiress Alice Walton (and the only heir) with a net worth of $46 billion.
5. When To Loan Money
According to the owner of Landry’s, Tim Fertitta, we should get a loan when we don’t need it. He said that we would have more cash in difficult times. For instance, that’s how he built his business – with a $6,000 loan – and he didn’t even need it!
4. The Home of Billionaires
Believe it or not, but although not all Americans or from New York, most of the billionaires (103) live in New York City. The second city with a large number of billionaires is Hong Kong.
3. Really Lucky
At only 24 years old, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel began the youngest billionaire in the world (2015). He said about that that he just got lucky.
“I am a young, white educated male…I got really, really lucky. And life isn’t fair.” His net worth is $2.1 billion.
2. Wealth Increases By a Lot When You’re a Billionaire
In the past ten years, people’s wages grew by 2% every year. However, the billionaires’ wealth increased by nearly 13% per year, and that’s insane!
1. Not All of Them Were College Dropouts
Stay educated! While some billionaires were college dropouts, as of 2016, over 50% of billionaires have a bachelor’s degrees, nearly 30% have a master’s degree, and 7% have a Ph.D.!