Who are the richest people in the world in 2018? How did they make their fortune? People become wealthy in some ways and through a variety of venues. It’s interesting to look at the specific ways they made their good fortune in an attempt to emulate some of it, perhaps.
In this list of the “Top Richest People of 2018,” you’ll hear lots of familiar names, and perhaps some you have not heard of yet. But they all have one thing in common: they are wealthy beyond imagination. We start with the entrepreneur with the “least” wealth and work up to #1.
37. Masayoshi Son – Net Worth: $22.6 billion
Masayoshi Son is the CEO of Softbank, a mobile telecommunications company and investment firm from Japan. You may have seen this successful entrepreneur in recent months when he made a $50 billion deal with newly-elected President Donald Trump to bring in 50,000 new jobs to the U.S. by locating one of his main distribution centers in the U.S.
36. Giovanni Ferrero – Net Worth: $23.1 billion
Giovanni Ferrero is the CEO of Nutella; the chocolate-hazelnut peanut butter spread that set the peanut butter world on its feet. His net worth is around $23.1 billion due to his Nutella company, as well as the Tic Tac mint company and Kinder chocolates, both of which he owns stock in.
35. Joseph Safra – Net Worth: $23.6 billion
Joseph Safra has a net worth of $23.6 billion. His family is known for their work in the Syrian banking industry. Safra is considered one of the world’s richest bankers. He is keeping the family legend going as his oldest son is in charge of the Safra National Bank of New York and has several real estate holdings across the U.S.
34. Michael Dell – Net Worth: $24.7 billion
Michael Dell, CEO, and founder of Dell Computers, has a current net worth of $24.7 billion. He is the acting chairman of the Dell Technologies company, a newly-formed company based on the original Dell brand in a merger with EMC, a computer storage firm. The merger involved a $60 billion merger, one of the largest mergers to date between technology companies.
33. John Mars – Net Worth: $25.1 billion
John Mars has a current net worth of $25.1 billion. He and his sister and brother both inherited the family candy company, Mars, Inc. when their father passed away in 1999.
32. Jacqueline Mars – Net Worth: $25.1 billion
Jacqueline Mars has a net worth of $25.1 billion and is the 33.3% owner of Mars Candy Bars, the world’s largest candy makers. She is also a well-known philanthropist and has served on the board for the Smithsonian and National Archives.
31. Li Ka-Shing – Net Worth: $25.1 billion
Li Ka-Shing is one of the richest people in Asia and the chairman of CK Asset Holding and CK Hutchison Holdings. His companies stretch over 50 nations and hire over 300,000 people. His current net worth is estimated around $25.1 billion.
30. Susanne Klatten – Net Worth: $25.2 billion
Susanne Klatten is the richest woman in Germany, and she is the current owner of 19.2% of the BMW Corporation. Her brother, Stefan Quandt owns 23.7% of the same company. Their father was the one who first introduced the BMW to the luxury car market.
29. David Thomson & Family – Net Worth: $25.5 billion
David Thomson and his family have a net worth of $25.5 billion. Much of this is due to the Thomson Reuters media and publishing company which was originally founded by his grandfather, Roy Thomson.
28. Georg Schaeffler – Net Worth: $25.5 billion
Georg Schaeffler has a net worth of $25.5 billion due to being the owner and CEO of one of the world’s largest producers of ball bearings and machine parts and components. He runs the family business and is also involved in a few other ventures that have helped increase his net worth. But his main income comes from the family business.
27. Dietrich Mateschitz – Net Worth: $26 billion
Dietrich Mateschitz has a net worth of $26 billion. He founded the Red Bull drink company in 1987 with Thai businessman, Chaleo Yoovidhya. He has previous experience in marketing. His other interests include the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
26. Francois Pinault & Family – Net Worth: $28.4 billion
Francois Pinault and his family have a net worth of $28.4 billion. He founded the French luxury brand known as Kering in 1963. Apparently, there is quite a bit of money in luxury wood and leather. The business began as a wood materials store until Francois decided to take it in a more creative direction.
25. Jorge Paulo Lemann – Net Worth: $29.3 billion
Jorge Paulo Lemann is an investment banker and famous philanthropist who has been involved in some ventures. He is a shareholder of the Anheuser-Busch company, the world’s largest beer brewery.
24. Phil Knight & Family – Net Worth: $30.1 billion
Phil Knight has a net worth of $30.1 billion. He is the founder of Nike, one of the world’s largest athletic shoe factories. He spent 52 years with the Nike company and served as chairman of the board for several years.
23. Wang Jianlin – Net Worth: $30.1 billion
Wang Jianlin is the current chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, one of the world’s largest real estate developers in China. Wang helped direct the company into developing more real estate rather than focusing the company’s activity on tourism. The company now owns over 200 plazas. His net worth of $30.1 billion indicates that he knows how to master the game of real estate in a big way.
22. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. – Net Worth: $30.4 billion
Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht, Jr. have a current net worth of $30.4 billion. They are both heirs to the Aldi retail chain fortune. Their father founded the original Aldi’s stores and passed away in 2014 at the age of 94.
21. Lee Shau Kee – Net Worth: $31.3 billion
Lee Shau Kee has a current net worth of $31.3 billion. This is largely because he co-founded a successful property development company in China known as Henderson Land Development. The company has interests in several areas of property management including hotels, restaurants, and internet services.
20. Hui Ka Yan – Net Worth: $34.5 billion
Hui Ka Yan has a current net worth of $34.5 billion. He is the current chairman of the Hong Kong-listed China Evergrande Group located in Shenzhen. They have involvements in both residential and commercial property.
19. Sheldon Adelson – Net Worth: $40.6 billion
Sheldon Adelson is the son of legal immigrants from Wales and Lithuania. He is an American business investor and the founder and chief of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. His capitalist ventures have helped him create a great deal of wealth, and his current net worth is estimated at $40.6 billion.
18. Steve Ballmer – Net Worth: $41.3 billion
Steve Ballmer is the current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers team and the former CEO of Microsoft after the founder, Bill Gates left. He knew Gates from Harvard days and led the company from 2000-2014. He stepped down in late 2014 and purchased the Clippers shortly after that. His net worth is estimated at around $41.3 billion.
17. Jack Ma – Net Worth: $41.4 billion
Jack Ma is the founder of the Chinese wholesale company, Alibaba. After being rejected for numerous positions in big companies, he decided to strike out on his own to create a central wholesale portal for online sellers. His current net worth is estimated around $41.4 billion. Not bad for a guy who couldn’t find a job. The moral to this is if you can’t find a job, create one.
16. Alice Walton – Net Worth: $41.9 billion
Alice Walton is the daughter of a self-made billionaire, Sam Walton, who owned and developed the chair of Walmart stores based in Arkansas. She also founded the Llama Company in 1988 which has since closed down. Her net worth if around $41.9 billion.
15. Rob Walton – Net Worth: $42.1 billion
Rob Walton is the oldest son of Walmart founder, Sam Walton who, along with his two siblings, inherited the retail giant’s fortune upon the passing of Sam. Rob served as chairman of Walmart for a few years after his father’s death. His current net worth hovers around $42.1 billion.
14. Jim Walton – Net Worth: $42.2 Billion
Jim Walton is another son of Sam Walton, Walmart founder. He is on the board of directors for the retail giant and also the CEO of his own company, Arvest Bank. He does very well with both ventures with an estimated net worth of $42.2 billion.
13. Ma Huateng – Net Worth: $49.3 billion
Ma Huateng is a Chinese business mogul, engineer, and internet and technology business owner. He founded the company, Tencent, which is considered one of the most valuable companies in Asia. His net worth if $49.3 billion as of 2018.
12. Sergey Brin – Net Worth: $52 Billion
Sergey Brin and Larry Page are the co-founders of Google which started in 1998 from a simple garage. They were developing the best search engine as a graduate experiment for college at the time. They never knew back then just how big or successful the company would be. But Brin and Page are now among the richest people in the world, with a net worth of $52 billion.
11. Michael Bloomberg – Net Worth: $52.1 billion
Michael Bloomberg has a current net worth of $52.1 billion. He is an American publisher, media mogul, and CEO of Bloomberg L.P. He is now 74 years of age and is considered one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of $52.1 billion.
10. Larry Page – Net Worth: $53.5 billion
Larry Page is the co-founder of Google with a net worth of $53.5 billion. His net worth is slightly more than his business partner, Sergey Brin who co-founded the company in 1998 from a garage. Google has the most trusted search engine in the world and also owns YouTube. Google has come under some scrutiny lately, though because some searches seem to be censored and certain information is hard to find.
9. David Koch – Net Worth: $61.8 billion
David Koch is the Executive Vice President of Koch Industries. He and his brother, Charles, own a 42% stake in the Koch Industries company. They are involved in pollution control equipment and other materials. The company focuses on conserving natural resources.
8. Larry Ellison – Net Worth: $64.1 billion
Larry Ellison is the co-founder of Oracle Corporation where he served as the company’s CEO until 2014. Oracle is a technology company that has employed over 136,000 people over the years and has created ground-breaking technologies for companies. The success of the Oracle company has helped Larry Ellison reach his net worth of $64.1 billion.
7. Amancio Ortega-Net Worth: $70.5 billion
Amancio Ortega has a net worth of $70.5 billion. He is the entrepreneur and founder of the Inditex fashion company that is considered one of the most popular clothing chains worldwide. Some known the fashion chain as “Zara.” Ortega recently dropped to the 7th richest man in the world after losing over $11 billion.
6. Carlos Slim – Net Worth: $70.5 billion
Carlos Slim is a Mexican businessman and investor. He owned the New York Times and was involved in promoting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election cycle. He is involved in some other ventures including different industries such as healthcare, media, real estate, and more. His current net worth now stands at $70.5 billion.
5. Mark Zuckerberg – Net Worth: $74.6 billion
Mark Zuckerberg has a net worth of $74.6 billion. He is the founder of Facebook, the most popular social media platform today that hosts billions of personal and business pages. He started the company in his Harvard dorm room, inviting five friends to take part in his vision. Only one showed up to help.
4. Bernard Arnault – Net Worth: $75.7 Billion
Bernard Arnault is the current CEO of LVMH, a company that was formed from two other businesses. Louis Vitton is the luxury brand that the company centers their clothing around. They also manufacture a brand of cognac which is very popular.
3. Warren Buffet – Net Worth: $91.3 billion
Warren Buffet has made his name as one of the smartest investors and economic predictors in the U.S. and the world. He has invested in some trade opportunities that have proven to build his net worth up to mind-staggering numbers. People look to him for guidance on the future of the stock market, and various other trading opportunities and many news outlets herald him as the most trusted source of what the economy may do. In addition to this, he is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a famous investing firm that many of the world’s richest billionaires use as a broker. He is the 3rd richest man in the world with a net worth of $91.3 billion. Despite his mind-blowing wealth, he still likes living in the same humble home he had when he was less fortunate. He has appeared in talk shows and interviews with Bill Gates and others in the past to advise people on which way they should go with their investing portfolios.
2. Bill Gates – Net Worth: $92.2 billion
Bill Gates was considered the richest man in the world until our #1 surpassed him recently. Gates, like many ultra-rich entrepreneurs, started from humble beginnings, in the garage of his parents. He founded the Microsoft company in 1975 with fellow Harvard non-graduate, Paul Allen. They based their software on an operating system that allowed anyone to have a user-friendly interface to operate their computers. Tech giants at that time like IBM and Hewlett-Packard all missed the boat because they did not see the potential that it had. Gates was the winner and stands as the second richest man in the world. At one time, he vowed to give away all of his money, but his investments pay off faster than he can spend them helping others in remote places like Africa. He has some unique views on the future of the world regarding population control which has sometimes created controversy for the tech guru. Gates’ father founded Planned Parenthood years ago which has also recently come under scrutiny.
1. Jeff Bezos – Net Worth: $130.5 billion
Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, like many others on this list, started in a garage! He got the idea to create something unique, an online bookstore. He changed the name to Amazon to symbolize something massive and that would “flow-through” every city and town in the world like the Amazon River. And that’s exactly what he has done. Over the past few years, Bezos has grown his company to monstrous size, forcing him to constantly increase his sales and shipping force to mind-blowing levels just to keep up with the demand. He recently acquired Wholefoods, a retail food giant, and has also started launching drone shopping. He likes being in the middle of new technologies that seem to want to take over the entire shopping process. Bezos enjoys acquiring every type of business he can, and some may not know he also has owned the Washington Post since before the 2016 election. Bezos has perhaps created the perfect online retail store, and it is also an opportunity for other business owners and authors to make money online in a very big way.
This list of the richest people in the world is interesting because it includes people from all walks of life who accumulated their wealth in so many different ways. But, more than that, it includes some who have inherited their fortune while others started from a garage or a small one-room apartment or dorm room to create their fortune over time. One thing they have in common is a desire to be great and to make an impact on the world.
No matter where you begin, it’s possible to end up with this kind of wealth. But the most important thing is that you love your work. Steve Jobs said that, another of the richest men in the world. He died in 2011. But he left behind more than money. He left a legacy of inventions that changed the world forever.
What will your legacy be?