When it comes to being wealthy there are different types of rich. There’s the rich you get from playing online pokies and winning a progressive jackpot, then there’s the type of rich where the numbers don’t even really register any more. That’s billionaire status we’re talking about, since simply being a millionaire these days is becoming more the norm than ever. If you’re wondering just how many billionaires there are in the world then Forbes has you covered. There are 2,208 according to the Forbes listing, which means that the overall number is growing.
The top 20 richest people in the world are worth a combined $1.2 trillion. Or to put it another way, their wealth is equal to what Mexico will make in an entire year. A crazy amount of money indeed. So who are the richest people in the world, and how did they go about making their crazy amounts of cash? Let’s find out!
Jeff Bezos is a name that some people may be familiar with. But a look at him wouldn’t immediately make you think that he is worth so much money that he could probably buy a few cities, and not think twice about it. Most interesting of all though is that the push that took him to the top was via Amazon. The value of Amazon stock rose 59% in recent months, giving Jeff Bezos the top spot as the world’s richest man.
This increase in stock and in wealth is the most any person has ever gained in a single year, based on records dating back to 1987. If anyone is wondering, Bezos toppled Bill Gates rather easily in this case, although Bill Gates can often be seen floating around the top of the billionaires list too.
Over in France, Bernard Arnault has been raking in big time cash with his luxury goods empire, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE). The empire saw outstanding results recently, pushing Arnault into new billionaire territory. Plus it helps that Arnault pushed hard in buying out virtually all of the shares in globally renowned brand Christian Dior.
This helped add a little over $30 billion to Arnault’s fortune, allowing him to once again claim his throne as the richest man in Europe. Arnault has not had the pleasure since 2012, and is probably happy to once again have the title on his mantle.
A newcomer from China entered onto the top 20 list for the first time, Ma Huateng is now proud to call himself the wealthiest person in Asia, and the 17th wealthiest person on the planet. He owes this success to a few popular tech applications, which should be making it clear where the biggest wealth to be found in the world is.
Pony Ma, as he is also known, owns WeChat, which now boasts over a billion users around the world. But that alone would not put him into the top 20. Huateng also has a stake in Elon Musk owned Tesla, which is a good sign for the future of the company. Other apps Huateng has a stake in include Snapchat and Spotify.
Another new entry to the top 20, and another newcomer from China, sitting in 20th place is Jack Ma. Alibaba is his claim to the big leagues, an e-commerce company found in China that deals with everything from online retail to artificial intelligence technology. Ma can thank an astonishing 76% increase of his shares in the company for his new spot on the list, making him among the biggest tech moguls in the world.
If anything can be learned from this list, it’s that the digital trade world is where new billionaires are made and that the virtual sector is worth its weight in gold.