Money

This Is Where the World's Billionaires Got Their Fortunes

Everything is relative, but we think we can comfortably, objectively state that one billion dollars is a LOT of money. Think about it — you can get 10,000 Maseratis for a billion dollars. With that thought in mind, it's a little mind-numbing to know that there are honest-to-goodness billionaires walking among us. Where did all this massive wealth come from?!

The Biggest Bucks

The Forbes 2018 World's Billionaires list counts a record 2,208 total billionaires on Earth right now. That's ... a lot of Maseratis. Whether that inspires, confuses, or infuriates you, it probably at least makes you little curious. Where did these people come from? Who are they? How did they become so dang wealthy?! Of the 2018 billionaires, 33 percent of them inherited their enormous fortunes. The rest of those on the list built their billions from a lower starting point. The top-slot billionaire probably won't surprise you: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. What may be more surprising, however, is that he also became the world's first-ever centi-billionaire in 2018. That means Bezos has more than one hundred billion dollars — or as we like to put it, a million Maseratis!

If you're trying to creep into the three-comma club and your dad isn't Mr. Bezos, your best shot is probably handling other people's money. In 2018, the largest portion of the world's self-made billionaires (310 to be exact, or 14 percent) come from the finance and investments industry. This includes private equity owners, hedge fund managers, and discount brokers — likely not a shocking fact. To see the entire list of 2018's billionaires and find out how exactly they got their immense wealth, check out the rankings at Forbes. You may not have even heard of a lot of the names of this exclusive list.

Cha Ching

Here's the rundown of which industries are earning the biggest of the bucks right now, according to Forbes:

  1. Finance and investments: 310 billionaires, 14 percent of the total. Example: Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway.
  2. Fashion and retail: 235, 11 percent. Example: Amancio Ortega of Zara.
  3. Real estate: 220, 10 percent. Example: Hui Ka Yan of China Evergrande Group of Shenzhen.
  4. Manufacturing: 207, 9 percent. Example: Anthony Pratt of Visy Industries.
  5. Technology: 205, 9 percent. Example: Bill Gates of Microsoft.
  6. Diversified: 194, 4 percent. Example: Li Ka-shing of CK Hutchison Holdings.
  7. Food and beverage: 165, 7 percent. Example: Don Vultaggio of AriZona Beverages.
  8. Healthcare: 134, 6 percent. Example: Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals.
  9. Energy: 94, 4 percent. Example: Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries.
  10. Media and entertainment: 73, 3 percent. Example: David Geffen of DreamWorks.

Eager to get your name on this list? Felix Dennis' "How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets" could be a good first step. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

The Richest People on Earth

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Written by Joanie Faletto April 18, 2018