Forbes’s latest list of billionaires is an impressive selection of the 1, 226 richest men in the world. The Forbes billionaires are mostly Americans (425 people), but the rest of the slots are distributed in a total of 58 countries. The current list includes the first female billionaire from Africa. Isabel dos Santos is the eldest daughter of the President of Angola has her fortune in bank, telecommunications, and media company shares. The average worth of one person is US$3.7 billion. Taken together, the total net worth of everyone on the list is close to US$4.6 trillion.
So, who is the richest person in the world today? It’s not William “Bill” Gates. He was at the very top, but not anymore. Actually, it hasn’t been Gates for a number of years now, and they say it’s because he is too generous.
Gates is Number Two
A Reuters report claims that the reason why Microsoft Corp. founder, Bill Gates is not the richest man in the world is because he just keeps giving away loads of money. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the recipient of a huge bulk of the Gates fortune. The Reuters report says that if not for philanthropy, Bill Gates would be worth about US$40 billion dollars more than he does at the moment. But if Bill Gates minds being usurped by businessman Carlos Slim from the number one spot, he probably won’t be giving away too much. He probably meant it when he said he felt rather uncomfortable perched on top of the list of billionaires in the world.
Slim Holds the Crown
The Mexican business mogul, America Movil’s Carlos Slim Helú has been the richest man in the world for three years now. And even if his net worth decreased from US$74 billion to US$69 billion, the $5 billion loss did not make a difference. Bill Gates is still at number two since his charity endowments cannot be added to his assets anymore. Gates would have easily upended Slim if his worth is the projected US$88 billion. And unlike Slim, Gates even gained five billion more because Microsoft shares hit the jackpot. Still, there seems to be no slowing Slim down, and there’s no reason why he won’t remain on top of the perch for the foreseeable future.
Buffett is in Third Place
Self-made American billionaire Warren Buffett is the 82-year old CEO of Berkshire Hathway. Buffett is the “Oracle of Omaha,” and lives up to the title as a respectable, world recognized business guru. In a press release he revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer for which treatment was started in July 2012. Buffett will not yet surrender his responsibilities at Berkshire Hathaway. He donates generously to the Gates Foundation and is similarly devoted to supporting the foundations set by his three grown children.
The Forbes list of billionaires is always the subject of interest and speculation. More than 400 on the list got richer the year before the list was released and roughly the same number had to endure significant financial losses. Still, these fortunate men and women are holding on to a stable fortune amassed after years of hard work and determination to succeed.