Richest People in the World

Who are the richest people in the world? There’s no exact science to figuring it out, and most people aren’t telling. But there are ways to make educated guesses, whether it’s finding the major shareholders of successful public companies or seeing who has inherited great wealth. Regardless of how it’s calculated, these 10 men top the lists:

Bill Gates – Estimated Net Worth: $88 billion. Despite giving away plenty of his wealth through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the billions keep piling up. Gates still owns about $12 billion in Microsoft stock, but he has spread his investments around since leaving the company and his investments have done quite well.

Jeff Bezos – Amazon.com CEO and the company’s largest shareholder has an estimated net worth of about $78 billion. Based on Amazon’s track record, his stock holding are likely to make him #1 on this list someday.


Amancio Ortega – The richest person in Europe and (sometimes) the world, Ortega is the founder and current chairman of Inditex Fashion Group, parent company of the wildly-successful Zara clothing store. Ortega’s net worth goes up and down with Inditex stock, but he and Buffett are neck-and-neck, as Ortega’s riches are estimated to be somewhere near $77 billion.

Warren Buffett – Sage of Omaha has built Berkshire Hathaway into a behemoth collection of companies and stock investments that has given him a net worth of somewhere in the neighborhood of $76 billion. Like Gates, Buffett has committed to giving away much of his wealth, but for now he still has enough to be #3 on this list.

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook founder is easily the richest person under 40, and is Top Five overall, with a net worth estimated at $64 billion. Like others in this group, he is promising to give away a significant chunk of those riches during his lifetime.

Carlos Slim Helu – The richest man in Mexico made the bulk of his estimated $60 billion in the telecom industry, as the head of America Movil, the biggest mobile phone operator in Latin America. He also holds significant stakes in other public companies, including a stake of over 15% in The New York Times.

Larry Ellison – Ellison founded the software company Oracle, which is best known as a creator of customer relationship management database software. He still owns about a quarter of the company and retains the title of Executive Chairman of the Board as well as Chief Technology Officer. Ellison also has many other business interests. Perhaps the most interesting holding of Ellison’s? His 97% ownership stake in the Hawaiian island of Lanai! Overall net worth: estimated $51 billion.

Charles Koch & David Koch – These brothers clock in at about $48 billion each. Their riches come from Koch Industries, a massive holding company which includes businesses engaged in oil refining & pipelines, paper products, chemicals, and much more. They are also known for giving millions of dollars to conservative political candidates.

Michael Bloomberg – The co-founder of financial/media company Bloomberg still owns over 85 of his ultra-successful namesake company. Even after spending 10 years with his attention on his duties as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg still came out of it as one the 10 richest men in the world. Bloomberg is another billionaire who has pledged to give away the vast majority of his wealth to charitable causes.