The Richest Man in the World – Jeff Bezos
When we talk about the richest people on the planet, we are talking about people who have money enough to run small nations. So who is the richest man in the world today? A lot of the richest people in the world, such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. are self-made multi-billionaires. Bill Gates, for example, founded the tech behemoth Microsoft. Jeff Bezos is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the world’s biggest retail giant, Amazon.com Inc. And Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder of the world’s biggest social media platform, Facebook that has more than 2 billion users. And then there are those, such as the Koch brothers of the conglomerate Koch Industries, who inherited their fortunes. But unlike other rich kids, they didn’t fritter away their fortunes. People like the Koch brothers controlled their companies to multiply their wealth to staggering heights.
The Billionaires List
According to Forbes magazine, there are about 2,208 billionaires across the world and that number is only growing. Forbes scanned through 72 different countries as well as territories to identify the world’s richest people who have a three-comma store of wealth. And this year, there is a billionaire from Zimbabwe and from Hungary for the first time ever. This list of billionaires together are worth a staggering $9.1 trillion. And that figure has grown by 18% since 2017! On average, the net worth of the billionaires is about $4.1 billion. Currently, the US has the largest number of billionaires in the world – 585 billionaires in the country, to be exact. And China is in second place with 373 billionaires.
A surprising number of billionaires donate a substantial part of their fortunes to charity. In fact more than 175 of the richest people in the world, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have taken The Giving Pledge, committing to give more than 50% of their enormous fortunes to charity either in their lifetimes or in their wills.
So who is the Richest Man in the World?
So enough with the overview. Let’s get to the point now – who is the richest man in the world? Well, it is Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com and the owner of the iconic newspaper The Washington Post. He also owns an aerospace company called Blue Origins. This man, at the age of 54, is not only the richest man in the world, he is also the richest person in the world. According to Forbes’ real time billionaires’ ranking, Jeff Bezos is now worth more than $126.5 billion dollars. He is the only person on that list to have a 12-figure net worth.
Time Magazine reported that Jeff Bezos officially became the richest man in the world last year in July, overtaking Bill Gates by more than $500 million after his company’s stocks soared even higher on the back of another stellar earnings report. However, since the beginning of 2018, Bezos’ net worth has skyrocketed compared to his peers in the billionaires’ club. Today, Bezos’ net worth is more than $30 billion more than this closest competitor, Bill Gates, who stands at a net worth of $91 billion. If we were to break down the numbers, in 2017, Jeff Bezos made $19.3 billion. Which comes to $52 million a day! Break it down even further and it equals $2 million an hour or $36,000 per minute – which is what the average millennial makes in an entire year!
How Did Jeff Bezos become the richest man in the world?
According to Biography.com, Jeff Bezos is the epitome of a self-made man. Born to a teenage mother in 1964, he was brought up by his step-father, Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos since he was four years old. It was when he was in high school that his entrepreneurial spirit first came through. He started his first ever business – The Dream Institute – which was an educational camp for fourth, fifth as well as sixth graders. Bezos continued to learn more about computers and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1986 with degrees in both electrical engineering as well as computer sciences. Then, he worked in several hedge fund firms such as Fitel, Bankers Trust as well as DE Shaw. He met his future wife Mackenzie at DE Shaw, where he became the firm’s youngest VP in 1990.
Finally, in 1994, he took the fateful step that would change his life forever. He decided to risk everything and invest in the very new industry of e-commerce. He quit his extremely lucrative career in finance and started an online book store. This company began in his garage, where, along with a couple of employees, Bezos began developing software for his new company. It took them about a year to develop a test site. Then on July 16, 1995, he invited 300 of his friends and acquaintances to beta test his new online bookstore, which he named Amazon.com.
The site was an instant success. Despite no PR activities, Amazon.com sold books to customers across the US and another 45 countries across the globe. The website was making about $20,000 per week – something that stunned Bezos and his team. The company went public in 1997 in the face of enormous scepticism about how successful this online retail company would be. The company grew in the face of all obstacles. While the dot.com bust put thousands out of business, Amazon.com just grew from strength to strength. The company now has a market value of $740.79 billion.
Jeff Bezos became a billionaire in 1998, just four years after he started his revolutionary company. Today, Bezos own about 17% of the business he created. And thanks to the strength of his company, he founder of Amazon.com’s wealth continues to grow. According to some analysts, Bezos, already the richest man in the world, could take his wealth to the next level and become the only man on earth to be worth a trillion dollars in the next 25 years – or maybe even less.