The rivalry never ends among the billionaires to take the top spot for the richest person in the world- with the five richest people in the world having a combined net worth of $852 billion.
You can expect to see entrepreneurs who show vision, leadership and have led innovation, including the masterminds behind big tech firms such as Microsoft and social media giant X, formerly known as Twitter.
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Here’s a countdown of the five richest people in the world, based on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is behind the world’s most popular social media channels- Facebook (now Meta), Instagram, Threads and WhatsApp.
According to the Bloomberg Index, Zuckerberg’s net worth is a whopping $142 billion. Most of his wealth comes from his acquisitions of Instagram (bought for $1billion) and WhatsApp which he bought for $19 billion for WhatsApp.
Threads is the latest addition to Instagram, which now competes with Musk’s ‘X’.
Zuckerberg’s wealth is linked to Meta stocks. In the final two months of 2023, he sold shares amounting to nearly half a billion dollars.
The Meta CEO also has ambitious plans for a breakthrough in artificial general intelligence. Read more on how Facebook became Meta and Zuckerberg’s rivalry with Elon Musk.
4. Bill Gates
Bill Gates takes the fourth spot, with a net worth of $144 billion. His fortune mainly comes from co-founding one of the biggest tech firms out there, Microsoft Corporation in 1975, with Paul Allen.
Gates held the title of the richest person in the world back in the 1990s and early 2000s when Microsoft was at its peak. During that time, the tech company released a series of products including Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office and the Xbox console, which continue to play a big role in the modern world.
Find out how Gates became the name behind one of the biggest tech tycoons and why he is known for his selfless nature.
3. Bernard Arnault
Moving on to Bernard Arnault’s luxurious empire, the businessman is one of the largest shareholders of LVMH- a company that owns luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior.
He has a net worth of $183 billion, according to the Bloomberg Index. Arnault started as a young entrepreneur who inherited his father's construction company in 1971. He sold this company and used the money to fund the acquisition of Christian Dior in 1985.
The businessman realised the power of economies of scale and decided to merge several luxury goods brands under one roof. These big names now sit under the conglomerate, LVMH.
Read more on how China’s economy played a big role in the transformation of luxury products, and the rise of Arnault’s LVMH.
2. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos takes second place as the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $184 billion, surpassing Zuckerberg, Gates and Arnault.
The billionaire is most famous for founding Amazon (AMZN) in 1994. It all started when Bezos saw a gap in the market for e-commerce, and he started to sell books online, working out of his garage.
Due to his commitment to good customer service and savvy marketing, Amazon was publicly listed in 1997 which acted as the catalyst for Bezos’ billionaire title. Now, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer with greater offerings, from movies and music.
Find out more about factors that contributed to Jeff Bezos’ net worth.
1. Elon Musk
Although the name Elon Musk comes with controversy, it can’t be disregarded that he is the richest person in the world. According to the Bloomberg Index, Musk has a net worth of $199 billion- down from $219 billion at the end of 2023.
The entrepreneur is the face behind some of the most genius ideas and ground-breaking businesses, including Tesla, SpaceX and ‘X,’ formerly known as Twitter.
Musk co-founded Tesla in 2003, famously known for its electrical cars. But the company also produces solar panels and energy storage systems. With Tesla’s revenue leaping from $12bn in 2017 to $54bn in 2021, the growth can be applauded. His sustainable innovation is one of the reasons Musk’s wealth also took off.
More recently, Musk acquired Twitter with a 9% stake in the business- making him the largest shareholder in the company. Due to the billionaire’s fearless personality, he made some controversial decisions on the social media site, such as unblocking Donald Trump and Andrew Tate. He has now rebranded Twitter to ‘X’.
Find out how Musk created Tesla and a more in-depth look into how he built his fortune.
Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University and she has experience working with the likes of Leicester Mercury, Inews and The Week. She also comes from a marketing background, where she has done copywriting and content creation for businesses.
Currently writing about all things personal finance, Vaishali is passionate about finding the best deals around, whether it's the best credit cards or the cheapest personal loans, as well as sharing top money hacks to help people save and better manage their money.
- Oojal DhanjalGraduate writer
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