The wealthiest men in the world play vital roles in shaping the economy and the world at large. Well, right now, there are about 2,668 billionaires in the world as of 2022, according to Forbes. The biggest rich man among them belongs to an even more exquisite club and holds much power. Most of these billionaires are founders of great technological inventions, with more wealth invested in the companies they started.
They still take many strategic steps to defer taxes on unrealized capital gains. They do this by borrowing against their wealth to avoid selling their stock. Many tax deductions are available to multi-billionaires to offset reported income, resulting in some of those on this list not paying any income tax in recent years.
We could find so much of their wealth in publicly traded stocks. Whereby the net worth of the biggest rich man can fluctuate with market valuations. For instance, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and the biggest richest man in the world, saw a significant increase in his net worth in 2021 as a result of the rise in the share price of Tesla, where he currently holds a 16 percent stake. Tesla’s shares increased by nearly 50% in 2021.
As opposed to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, and CEO of Meta Platforms Inc. (META), dropped out of the top 10 in February 2022 due to a sharp decline in the stock price of Meta following a week’s earnings report. In 2022, Zuckerberg’s net worth decreased by $54 billion.
Below are the top 10 biggest rich men in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
1. Elon Musk
- Age: 50
- Residence: Texas
- Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
- Net worth: $224 billion
- Tesla’s Ownership Stake: 16% ($107 billion).
- Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($40.3 billion in private assets), The Boring Company ($3.4 billion in personal assets), Twitter ($2.9 billion in public support), and $11.3 billion in cash.
Elon Musk was raised in South Africa, went to college in Canada, then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and physics. Musk was born in South Africa. Musk postponed attending Stanford University’s graduate physics program two days after enrolling so he could establish Zip2, one of the first internet navigation services. He used some of the money from this firm as an investment to build X.com, an online payment platform that was later sold to eBay Inc. (EBAY) and transformed into PayPal Holdings Inc.
Musk’s present position as CEO of the electric car firm was made possible by his role as a key investor in Tesla Motors (now Tesla) in 2004. Tesla manufactures energy storage systems, automotive accessories, and solar power systems thanks to its 2016 acquisition of SolarCity and its range of electric cars. Musk is also the founder and CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), which makes rockets for space launches.
Musk’s Tesla stock increased by 740 percent in 2020, which helped Musk rise in the wealth rankings. Tesla entered the S&P 500 in December 2020, making it the most significant addition. Musk attained the title of the world’s richest man in January 2021, which he has retained ever since.
In a tweet from November 6, 2021, Musk posed the question of whether or not he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares in response to criticism of the use of unrealized capital gains as a tax-evasion strategy. The rest of 2021 saw him sell shares for $16.4 billion.
Massachusetts Democrat and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren used a media claim that Musk did not pay any income taxes in 2018 to support the introduction of a wealth tax. Musk replied on Twitter, “And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would understand I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.”
The 2021 spike in Tesla share prices and unpublicized transactions increased the reported worth of SpaceX. In November 2021, his net worth increased to $340 billion.
Musk launched a campaign to take Twitter private in April 2022, which resulted in a $44 billion purchase. Musk intends to invest $21 billion of his own money in the transaction. Before the takeover announcement, Musk sold 9.6 million Tesla shares for about $8.5 billion.
2. Jeff Bezos
- Age: 58
- Residence: Washington
- Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon (AMZN)
- Net worth: $144 billion
- Amazon Ownership Stake: 10% ($120 billion)
- Other assets include Blue Origin ($9.15 billion in private assets), The Washington Post ($250 million in personal assets), and $14.9 billion in cash.
Amazon.com was established by Jeff Bezos in a Seattle garage in 1994, not long after he left the famous hedge company, D.E. Shaw. When he first suggested opening an online bookshop, his former employer, David E. Shaw, was uninterested.
Despite having its roots in the book industry, Amazon.com has evolved into a global store for just about anything and is perhaps the biggest retailer in the world. Some of Amazon’s unanticipated expansions, like the company’s purchase of Whole Foods in 2017 and entry into the pharmaceutical industry the same year, indicate the company’s ongoing diversification trend.
Before giving 4 percent to his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott as part of the divorce proceedings, Bezos controlled up to 16 percent of Amazon in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic’s increased desire for online shopping increased Amazon’s share price by 76% in 2020. On July 5, 2021, Bezos became the company’s executive chair after leaving his position as the e-commerce behemoth’s CEO.
In 1997, Bezos first made Amazon publicly available, and in 1999, he overtook Bill Gates as the first person to have a net worth of $100 billion. The aerospace firm Blue Origin, The Washington Post (which he acquired in 2013), and the 10,000-year clock, commonly referred to as the Long Now, are among Bezos’ other endeavors.
Blue Origin’s first successful crewed flight was carried out on July 20, 2021, by Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch student Oliver Daemen. They reached an altitude of more than 66 miles before making a safe landing. In the same month, Bezos’ fortune peaked at $211 billion.
3. Bernard Arnault
- Age: 73
- Residence: Paris, France
- CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
- Net worth: $136 billion
- Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($110 billion total)
- Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($20.2 billion in public assets), Hermès equity (undisclosed stake), and $11.1 billion in cash30
The head and CEO of LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods manufacturer, is French native Bernard Arnault. Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora are just a few of the companies owned by LVMH.
The holding firm that owns 41.3 percent of LVMH, Christian Dior SE, is where Arnault derives most of his money. Through his family-owned holding business, Groupe Familial Arnault, he has shares in Christian Dior SE and an extra 6.2 percent in LVMH.
Arnault is an engineer by profession, but before becoming leader of Ferret-Savinel in 1971, he first showed his financial savvy while working there. In 1979, he changed Ferret-Savinel into Férinel Inc., a real estate business.
For another six years, Arnault served as the chairman of Férinel. In 1984, he bought and rebuilt the Financière Agache company, selling all of its properties except Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché. In 1987, he received an invitation to invest in LVMH; two years later, he was named the company’s largest shareholder, board chair, and CEO.
4. Bill Gates
- Age: 66
- Residence: Washington
- Co-founder: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
- Net worth: $123 billion
- Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.3% ($28 billion)
- Other Assets: Cascade Investment LLC ($53.4 billion in public assets), $56.6 billion in cash36
In 1975, while still a student at Harvard, Bill Gates joined his childhood buddy Paul Allen in creating new software for the first microcomputers. After the success of this effort, Gates left Harvard in his junior year and later co-founded Microsoft with Allen.
Microsoft, the largest software corporation in the world, also manufactures its line of personal computers, releases books through Microsoft Press, offers email services via its Exchange server, and sells video gaming consoles and related accessories. In 2008, Gates transitioned from his previous position as Microsoft’s chief software architect to that of board chair. In 2004, he became a member of Berkshire Hathaway’s board. 42 His resignation from both boards was effective March 13, 2020.
A large portion of Bill Gates’s wealth is held via Cascade Investment LLC. Canadian National Railway (CNR), Deere (D.E.), and Republic Services (RSG) are just a few of the companies that Cascade holds. It also has private assets in real estate and energy.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is currently co-chaired by Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates, was formed in 2000. Gates’ two charitable organizations amalgamated into the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation. They have invested billions through the foundation to combat polio and malaria. In 2014, the foundation committed $50 million toward the battle against Ebola. The organization had already spent more than $1.9 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as of 2021.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created the Giving Pledge in 2010 as a movement to get the rich to pledge to give the majority of their fortunes to charitable causes. 50 On August 2, 2021, Bill and Melinda French Gates were divorced.
The divorce transferred five billion dollars worth of stock to French Gates. With over 268,000 acres, Bill Gates is the largest private landowner in the United States.
5. Warren Buffett
- Age: 91
- Residence: Nebraska
- CEO: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)
- Net worth: $114 billion
- Berkshire Hathaway Ownership Stake: 16% ($113 billion)
- Other Assets: $1.1 billion in cash
Warren Buffett, the most well-known living value investor, filed his first tax return in 1944 when he was 14 years old, disclosing revenues from his childhood paper route. In 1962, he made his first investment in Berkshire Hathaway, a textile business; by 1965, he had acquired most of the company’s shares. In 1967, he extended the business to include investments and insurance. As of May 5, 2022, a single share of stock (Class A shares) in Berkshire Hathaway, a firm with a market worth of $705 billion, was trading for more than $481,000.
Buffett made his fortune by acquiring undervalued businesses, the “Oracle of Omaha,” and being a buy-and-hold investor. Berkshire Hathaway has made investments in significant, well-known corporations more lately. In addition to consumer goods, its portfolio of fully-owned companies includes investments in the railways, energy distribution, and insurance industries—the well-known Bitcoin skeptic Buffett.
A large portion of Buffett’s fortune has been devoted to philanthropy. He donated $41 billion between 2006 and 2020, most of which went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his children’s causes. Together with Bill Gates, Buffett introduced the Giving Pledge in 2010.
Despite being 91 years old and still serving as CEO, Buffett stated in 2021 that Gregory Abel would succeed him. Abel is in charge of all non-insurance activities at Berkshire.
6. Larry Page
- Age: 49
- Residence: California
- Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
- Net worth: $103 billion
- Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($88.8 billion total)
- Other Assets: $14.6 billion in cash
In a college dorm room, Larry Page began his journey to fame and money, similar to other tech millionaires on this list. In 1995, Page and his buddy Sergey Brin developed the concept of better internet data extraction when they were both students at Stanford University. To evaluate “backing connections,” the team created a new search engine technology called “Backrub.” From there, Page and Brin founded Google in 1998. Page led the firm as CEO from 1998 to 2001 and 2011 to 2019.
With more than 92 percent of all searches performed globally, Google is the most popular internet search engine. The business bought YouTube, the most popular website for user-submitted videos, in 2006. Google introduced the Android mobile phone operating system in 2008 after purchasing Android, Inc. in 2005.
In 2015, Google underwent a reorganization and became a division of its parent company, Alphabet.
Planetary Resources, a firm exploring space, and mining asteroids, had Page among its early investors. The startup, founded in 2009, was bought by blockchain company ConsenSys in 2018 due to financial issues.
Additionally, he invested in Kitty Hawk and Opener, demonstrating his interest in “flying vehicle” businesses. In 2021, Google stock increased by about 50%, propelling Page and Brin to the top of the list of the wealthiest people. In March 2020, Page’s net worth was a little under $52 billion; now, it is $105 billion.
7. Sergey Brin
- Age: 48
- Residence: California
- Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
- Net worth: $99.1 billion
- Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($84.4 billion total)
- Other Assets: $14.8 billion in cash
Sergey Brin was born in Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to the United States in 1979 when he was six years old. Larry Page and Brin co-founded Google in 1998, and when Eric Schmidt became the company’s CEO in 2001, Brin was named president of technology. He retained the same position after the Alphabet holding company was founded in 2015, and he resigned in 2019 to make room for Sundar Pichai to become CEO.
Google provides several online tools and services, collectively called Google Workspace, in addition to its dominating internet search engine. These include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, among others. Additionally, Google sells various technological products, such as the Stadia gaming platform, Nest’s innovative home products, and Pixel smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Brin devoted a significant portion of 2019 to X, Alphabet’s research division that created ground-breaking products like the self-driving Waymo vehicles and the brilliant spectacles of Google Glass. He has also partnered with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to contribute millions of dollars to Parkinson’s disease research.
8. Gautam Adani
- Age: 59
- Residence: Gurgaon, India
- Founder and Chair: Adani Group
- Net worth: $98.1 billion
- Adani Enterprises, Power. and Transmissions Ownership Stakes: 75% each ($51.1 billion)
- Other Assets: 65% of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone ($11.3 billion public assets), 61% of Adani Green Energy ($23.1 billion public assets), 37% of Adani Total Gas ($12.7 billion public assets)
In March 2022, Adani Group founder Gautam Adani passed Mukesh Ambani to become Asia’s richest person. Adani holds significant stakes in six important Indian companies through his ownership of the Adani Group, including a 75% stake in Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Transmissions, a 65% stake in Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone; a 6% stake in Adani Green Energy, and a 37% stake in Adani Total Gas.
The Adani Group’s portfolio companies have a combined market value of $174 billion (June 1, 2022). Adani Power’s entry into the power generation industry began in 2009. In 1988, Adani established Adani Enterprises to import and export goods. His business received authorization in 1994 to build a harbor facility at Mundra Port, India’s biggest private port.
Adani left college early and previously worked in the diamond industry. Adani is now India’s largest port operator, producer of privately held thermal coal, and trader of coal. He acquired 74 percent ownership in Mumbai International Airport, India’s second busiest airport, in 2020. In 1997, the millionaire was abducted and held for ransom. While the Taj hotel in Mumbai came under attack in 2008, Adani was also there.
9. Mukesh Ambani
- Age: 65
- Residence: Mumbai, India
- Chair and Managing Director: Reliance Industries
- Net Worth: $96.0 billion
- Reliance Industries Ownership Stake: 42% ($96.5 billion)
- Other Assets: Mumbai residential property ($410 million in private assets)
The son of a clerk for a commercial enterprise, Mukesh Ambani was born in Yemen under British rule. The following year, his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, returned to India and established a spice trading company while residing with his family in a two-room flat in Mumbai. Dhirubhai Ambani started his first textile factory in 1966. Reliance Industries, his firm, was launched on the Mumbai stock exchange in 1977, and since then, it has amassed a sizable and devoted shareholder base.
The University of Mumbai awarded Mukesh Ambani a chemical engineering degree. He has been on the board of directors of Reliance since 1977.
In 1979, Mukesh Ambani enrolled at Stanford University to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. However, he left the school without receiving his degree in 1981 and returned to India to manage Reliance’s expansion into the petrochemical, oil refining, and oil and gas drilling industries.
After Dhirubhai Ambani had a stroke and passed away in 2002, Mukesh and his brother Anil took over as co-presidents of Reliance. As the brothers fought for dominance, their mother mediated a settlement in 2005 that divided the business, giving Mukesh control over the refining, petrochemicals, oil and gas, and textile operations, while Anil’s group was assigned control over the telecom, power, entertainment, and financial services assets.
The brothers’ conflict persisted until 2010, when they reached a legal compromise on natural gas and ended the non-compete clauses that were part of the 2005 settlement. With the first agreement between the subsidiaries of their different companies, a $220 million contract to share a standard network, Mukesh and Anil Ambani appeared to put the past behind them in 2013.
Ambani built a 27-story residence in Mumbai, where he resides with his wife, three children, and mother. Three helipads and three stories of gardens are present in the structure. After a video of Ambani ringing a bell from the balcony of his house to express gratitude to healthcare workers sparked criticism on social media, claiming that he hadn’t contributed enough to the epidemic, Ambani made a $66.7 million commitment to the government’s COVID-19 fund in 2020.
10. Steve Ballmer
- Age: 66
- Residence: Washington
- Owner: Los Angeles Clippers
- Net worth: $95.9 billion
- Microsoft Ownership Stake: 4% ($86.8 billion total)
- Other Assets: Los Angeles Clippers ($3.16 billion private assets), $6.0 billion in cash
After being persuaded by Bill Gates to withdraw from Stanford University’s MBA program, Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980. He was the 30th employee of Microsoft. In 2000, Ballmer succeeded Gates as the CEO of Microsoft. He served in that capacity until resigning in 2014. Ballmer led Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype in 2011.
Ballmer is the largest individual stakeholder in the software giant, with an estimated 4% ownership stake. Ballmer paid $2 billion to buy the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise in 2014, just before stepping down as CEO of Microsoft.
While at Harvard, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer shared a room and a dorm. When Ballmer began pushing the tech corporation into hardware during his time as CEO, such as the Surface tablet and the Windows mobile phone, the “brotherly” relationship between the two soured.
You might need to develop your technology or luxury shopping expertise to get close to ranking among the wealthiest billionaires. Or you may keep things straightforward and concentrate on value investing. Being born rich would also be beneficial. The most prominent wealthiest men on this list, however, began as good ideas that individuals with imagination, motivation, and connections utilized to create some of the biggest businesses in the world.