The list of richest people globally can vary from one year to the next depending on various factors such as their current financial performance and net worth. Becoming rich is one thing, but becoming the wealthiest man in the world is something most people can’t imagine or at least comprehend. The number of billionaires has continued to rise over the years and surprisingly in 2021 when the world is battling a global pandemic.
As of May 2021, the number of world billionaires has ‘skyrocketed’ to 2,755 according to Forbes magazine’s annual ranking. The number has increased with an additional 660 billionaires from last year’s 2,095. There is a record of 493 new billionaires added to the list, 98 from the U.S and 280 from China. Some of the notable newcomers include Miriam Adelson who inherited a casino empire from her husband in Nevada, movie producer Tyler Perry, Whitney Wolf Herd the world’s youngest billionaire, and Guillaume Pousaz the founder of Checkout.com.
Despite all the turmoil brought by the pandemic, there have been huge public offerings, a surge in crypto, and a rapid increase in stock prices. The total amount of wealth accumulated by world billionaires amounted to $13.6 Trillion.
The increase in the number of billionaires has not affected the crème-de-la-crème of the list because the obvious names still top the ranks. Jeff Bezos is still on top despite his retirement from the CEO position and divorce with his ex-wife which amounted to billions. Elon Musk has been on fire this past year with various moves on his name. Bernard Arnault comes at no. 3, followed by Bill Gates at no. 4. And Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at no. 5. Let’s look at the top five of the 2,755 billionaires and the richest people in the world.
1. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos has become the face of the richest man on earth for a couple of years now. The internet mogul founded the e-commerce giant in 1994 at his home garage in Seattle and has since then ascended to be the richest man for four years in a row. Despite stepping down as Amazon CEO in the last financial year, divorcing with his wife of 25 years, and the global pandemic, he was able to immerse himself in a total of $177,000,000,000 to just make it clear.
The Amazon CEO turned chairman’s wealth surged due to an increase in Amazon’s shares in the last year. Besides Amazon, he also owns The Washington Post and the aerospace company Blue Origin that is developing rockets for commercial prospects.
2. Elon Musk
Elon mask is the second richest person in the world with a whopping net worth of $154 billion according to Forbes list. He is the biggest gainer in terms of dollars, gaining over $126.5 billion in the last year where he was at position 31 in the Forbes list. The business magnet, industrial designer, and engineer is the founder of Space X, product architect, and CEO of Tesla.Inc, co-founder of neuro link, founder of The Boring Company, and Co-founder of OpenAI, making him one of the richest people in the world.
Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa to Canadian and South African parents, Jeff Bezos immigrated to Canada at the age of 17 and transferred to the U.S as a student at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in economics and physics. He is currently a citizen of South Africa, Canada, and the United States.
In 2004 he became invested in the Tesla motor company and eventually became CEO. He retired as chairman in 2018 after the alleged ‘false claimed’ of privatizing Tesla. He owns 26% of Tesla but has taken more than half his stake as collateral for loans.
3. Bernard Arnault
The third richest man in the world is the French tycoon Bernard Arnault who owns luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, Mark Jacobs, luxury cosmetic retailer Sephora, and over 70 other luxury brands. His story goes back to 1985 where he invested 15 million from his father’s construction company in Christian Dior.
He comes in third with a net worth of $150 billion due to an increase in LVMH shares. He is the chairman and CEO of LVMH which is the largest luxury goods company in the world. The majority of his wealth comes from his 6% stake in Christian Dior which in hand holds a 46% stake of the LVMH Company. In 2021 LVMH completed its biggest ever luxury brand acquisition of Tiffany & Company amounting to $15 billion.
4. Bill Gates
Everyone knows Bill Gates and it is not surprising to find him on this list. The business magnet, software developer, author, investor, and philanthropist is the co-founder of Microsoft Cooperation alongside Paul Allen. The Microsoft long-term billionaire dropped out of Harvard business school to pursue his software legacy. He is considered the best-known entrepreneur of the Microsoft revolution in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bill Gates comes in fourth with a net worth of $124 billion as a result of his strong shares in Microsoft, Canadian National Railway, and tractor manufacturer Deere & Company. Other notable assets include equity in the following companies; Republic Services, Berkshire Hathaway, Otter Tail Corporation, Liberty Global, and over 40 other companies. Bill Gates is also known for his philanthropic works at the Bill $ Melinda Gates to help fight polio and malaria, Ebola, and covid19 globally and especially in developing countries.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
The fifth billionaire position in the top 5 goes to the Silicon Valley media magnet, internet entrepreneur, and also philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg. He comes to the fifth with a net worth of $97 billion owning the largest social media network in the world.
He has also increased his net worth from $53 billion due to a massive increase in Facebook’s by 80%. He is also a Harvard University dropout and co-founded Facebook with his classmates Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz in 2004. He became the youngest self-made billionaire in 2012 at age 23and and ranked in 2016 as the 10th most powerful person in the world.