Here’s how the 7 richest people in the world built their wealth

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranks the richest people in the world by net worth, updated daily at close of trade. Here are the seven richest people in the world and their claim to wealth.

The richest man in the world has always been one to draw attention, more for his eccentricities than his net worth. Musk’s unique entrepreneurial journey began with Zip2. Founded in 1995 by Musk and his brother for $15,000, the software company was sold to Compaq for $341 million. He then founded, a fintech company that later merged with Confinity to form PayPal. The $180 million payout Musk received for an 11.7% stake in the payments platform allowed him to invest in his current flagship brands — SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. After a 740 percent increase in Tesla stock value in 2020, Musk became the world’s richest person in 2021 – a position he has held ever since.

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk
Photo credit: Bloomberg

Recently, Musk was embroiled in a controversial takeover bid for Twitter Inc., in which he proposed buying the micro-messaging platform for $43 billion. In June, Musk announced he was going out of business, citing that Twitter allegedly refused to share spambot account details. Twitter sued Musk in an attempt to force Musk to go through with the deal. The case will go to court in October.

Gautam Adani – $144 billion (Dh528.5 billion)

Gautam Adani is the only businessman with a year-to-date (YTD) green change of $71.6 billion in net worth among the ten richest people on earth. Within months, Adani’s fortunes skyrocketed as energy demand surged and investors flocked to his companies. In February he became the richest person in Asia. Adani, who started the year No. 14 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has more than doubled his net worth. On September 22, he overtook Bezos for second place by a margin of two billion.

Stock - Adani

Photo credit: Bloomberg

Adani’s empire initially grew out of a plastics import business in the 1980s and expanded into port operations and global trade. His corporate umbrella continued to diversify, with business units managing airports, mining coal and distributing city gas networks. The combined market capitalization of Adani Group is over USD 262 billion as of September.

Jeff Bezos – $142 billion (Dh521.1 billion)

Bezos, whose reign as the world’s richest man ended after Musk was enriched by Tesla’s stunning share price in 2020, is best known for Amazon, the tech giant whose operations span e-commerce, cloud computing, streaming and more . He also owns the aerospace company Blue Origin and The Washington Post.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos
Photo credit: AFP

After his first venture – a news-by-fax service – failed, he began working on Wall Street. However, encouraged by the Internet boom, he began working at in 1994. The site, which was created from a garage, only sold books at the time. Bezos invested $10,000 to get it working with the help of his wife, kids, and two programmers. Now Amazon Inc. has a market cap of $1.27 trillion.

In 2020, Bezos took a major hit to his net worth after a high-profile divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie Scott. Scott reportedly received 25 percent of Bezos’ Amazon stock as part of the divorce settlement, making her one of the richest women in the world.

Bernard Arnault – $137 billion (Dh502.8 billion)

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault net worth plummeted by $40.2 billion YTD to $138 billion in September 2022. LVMH owns top luxury brands such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Moët et Chandon, Hennessy, Sephora and TAG Heuer. The Arnault family owns a 48 percent stake in LVMH, according to a regulatory filing.

Bernard Arnault

Photo credit: Bloomberg

Arnault started his career in the family construction company, but his eye was always set on haute couture and luxury. In 1984, Arnault famously took over Boussac, a bankrupt French conglomerate that then owned The House of Dior. His next steps made him bold but notorious. Arnault invested in LVMH, a merger between Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, in 1987. Using an internal feud to his advantage, he took a majority stake in LVMH and ousted the CEOs, becoming the majority shareholder, chairman and CEO of the company.

Bill Gates – $110 billion (Dh403.7 billion)

Once the richest man in the world, Bill Gates recently vowed again to give away his fortune, adding that he would eventually be “stripped” from the list of the world’s richest. After dropping out of Harvard, Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen, his childhood friend. The company went public in 1986, remains one of the largest software companies in the world today and is now worth over $2 trillion in market capitalization. Gates owns just over 1 percent of Microsoft’s stock, which is valued at over $26 billion.

    Bill Gates, former CEO and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation

Bill Gates, former CEO and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation
Photo credit: AP

Gates and ex-wife Melinda are co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is in some ways the largest private foundation in the world. It is best known for its work on global health, including vaccines. It began in its current form in 2000 after Gates left his position as CEO at Microsoft.

Warren Buffet – $94.6 billion (Dh347.1 billion)

Warren Buffett famously filed his first tax return at the age of 14. Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” he is considered the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) when it comes to wealth creation investing. Buffett built his portfolio with a buy-and-hold strategy and focused on investing in undervalued companies.

His flagship company, Berkshire Hathaway, was a textile company that Buffett first bought shares in in 1962. By 1965 he was the controlling shareholder, and in 1967 Buffet diversified the company’s interests into insurance and other sectors. Now, as of September 20, a share of Berkshire Hathaway is trading at just over $421,000 and the company is valued at over $705 billion. Buffet serves as the company’s CEO.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Image credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Buffett, like Gates, has pledged to donate a large portion of his fortune to charity. Buffett co-founded the Giving Pledge with Bill Gates in 2010, donating over $40 billion to the couple’s foundation.

Larry Page – $91.8 billion (Dh337B)

Another tech entrepreneur on the rich list, Larry Page’s story began in a college dorm. Page and his friend Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998. The duo developed the unique algorithm that powers Google’s search technology. The platform accounts for over 97 percent of all search traffic worldwide. Page served as the company’s CEO until 2001 and then from 2011 to 2019, after which Sundar Pichai took over. Page owns a 6 percent controlling interest in Alphabet, valued at $84.4 billion.

FTC Larry Page-1615628375915

Google bought Android in 2005 and video streaming platform YouTube in 2006. In 2015, the company was reorganized under parent company Alphabet. Google’s other investment interests are in robotics, life sciences, healthcare, and anti-aging.

*All data as of September 22*

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