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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    Megan Ellison

    With a net worth of $51.3 billion, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison is the fifth wealthiest person in the world. 

    Even as Ellison scoops up mansions and entire Hawaiian islands, he has transferred much of his wealth to his children, David and Megan, who have inherited some 3 million shares of Netsuite stock and 900,000 shares of Oracle stock each. According to Forbes, they could each be worth some $306 million from Netsuite assets alone.

    And Megan, especially, seems to be doing well for herself. With Annapurna Pictures, the film production company she founded in 2011, she's produced some of the most critically acclaimed films of the last few years, including "Zero Dark Thirty" and "American Hustle." She gets to travel the world with celebrities and leads a life of insane luxury.

    She's also become a real estate mogul in her own right, buying up mansions in a way that's reminiscent of her father's land grabs.

    Megan Ellison was born on Jan. 31, 1986, in Santa Clara County, California. Her mother is Barbara Boothe, Larry Ellison's third wife. The couple was married in 1983 and split in 1986, when Megan was only 4 months old. Like her father, Megan was rebellious and tough from a young age. She posted this photo of herself to her Twitter account with the caption, "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

    Source: Vanity Fair, Twitter

    Though Larry lives the flashy life you'd expect of a multibillionaire, his ex-wife Barbara leads a quieter existence as the owner of Wild Turkey Farm in Wilsonville, Oregon. She started raising horses in Woodside, California, while her children were still young and now takes care of more than 100 of them on the 215-acre farm.

    Source: Vanity Fair, Wild Turkey Farm


    When Megan was young, she began to develop an interest in horses during visits to her mother's Woodside spread. She started competing in some of the top riding competitions in the country, including the Young Rider Championships. She's seen here on a stallion named LioCalyon, competing in a High Juniors competition in Los Angeles.

    Source: Vanity Fair, Wild Turkey Farm

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    House of cards raymond tusk

    Politics and business have always had a sticky relationship.

    The Brookings Institute released a ranking of U.S. billionaires according to their political influence. 

    The billionaires' influences are measured by the "use of great wealth for campaign expenditures, activism through non-profit organizations and foundation, holding public office, media ownership, policy thought leadership, and behind the scenes influence."

    20. Alice Walton

    Alice Walton, one of the Wal-Mart fortune heirs, is an early backer of Hillary Clinton's "Ready for Hillary" super PAC.

    Source: Brookings Institute

    19. Donald Trump

    Multimedia master Donald Trump routinely comments on numerous political issues and has succeeded in amassing a large following of conservatives.

    Source: Brookings Institute

    18. Marc Andreessen

    Marc Andreessen backed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. He's interested in the future of journalism — and in particular, the swift transition from traditional media to digital.

    Source: Brookings Institute

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    graduate, graduationFor most students, early September means back-to-school time.

    But that’s not the case for everyone, especially in the tech industry.

    Billionaire investor Peter Thiel, for example, is paying $100,000 for kids to drop out of school and start their own companies.

    Thiel has a point: Some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs have racked up billions of dollars without ever finishing college.

    Whether to skip college or not is totally up to you. But if you’re one of those thinking about it, this will serve as inspiration.

    Bill Gates

    Company: Microsoft

    School: Harvard

    Net worth: $81 billion

    Bill Gates started college at Harvard in 1973, but dropped out two years later to found Microsoft. His co-founder, Paul Allen, went to the same high school as Gates.

    Gates remained Microsoft’s CEO until 2000, when he stepped down to take on the Chairman role. Now, he serves as a technology advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, while focusing on his charity work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    In 2007, Gates received an honorary degree from Harvard, when he also delivered the commencement speech.

    Michael Dell

    Company: Dell Computer

    School: University of Texas at Austin

    Net worth: $18.8 billion

    Michael Dell was a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin when he decided drop out. He was a biology major, but computers were what really got him excited at school.

    In 1984, Dell founded Dell Computer Corp. and turned it into a multi-billion dollar computer empire over the next 30 years.

    Dell became the youngest CEO of a company ever to make the Fortune 500 list in 1992.

    He took Dell private in a deal worth $24.9 billion in 2013, and currently serves as the company’s Chairman and CEO.

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Company: Facebook

    School: Harvard

    Net worth: $34 billion

    Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year to focus on running Facebook. The 30-year old has remained the company’s CEO/Chairman since its founding in 2004.

    Facebook went public in 2012 and is now worth over $200 billion.

    It had 1.32 billion monthly active users as of June 2014, and had over $7.8 billion in revenue last year.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rich man sports car jaguar“It is possible to admire individual billionaires but also fear their overall influence on elections, governance, and public policy,” writes Darrell West in his forthcoming book, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). The book, available on September 18, is full of fascinating analysis and facts about the men and women worldwide who control a massive share of global assets, and their extraordinary influence over elections, public policy, and governance. Here is just a sample of them:

    1. The 1,645 billionaires in the world control about $6.4 trillion in assets
    2. There are 492 billionaires in the United States
    3. China, Russia, Germany, and Brazil have the next highest number of billionaires
    4. 90 percent of billionaires are male; 65 percent are white; 60 percent are 60 years old or older
    5. In 2012, Sheldon Adelson spent $93 million in political activities opposing President Obama; in the same year, Oprah Winfrey donated $76,000 to Obama’s Victory Fund
    6. Mark Zuckerberg has given $990 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundations
    7. There are seven openly gay or transgender billionaires; Jennifer Pritzker, (formerly known as James) is the first transgender billionaire. In 2013, she donated $1.35 million to support the Transgender Military Service Initiative
    8. If Bill Gates, the richest person in the world, were a country, he would be 65th richest in the world
    9. The richest woman in the world is Christy Walton, part of the Wal-Mart family
    10. 42 percent of billionaires who earned their fortune before the age of 40 did it in technology fields

    West—the vice president and director of Governance Studies at Brookings, the founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and the Douglas Dillon Chair—examines the "wealthification" of politics and society and offers ideas for improving opportunities and fairness.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    virgin oceanic

    From spaceships to hot air balloons, billionaire entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is always playing with some new toy. 

    He's set world records with kite boards, planes, and even rockets through endeavors with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Oceanic, and Virgin Galactic. He even has two islands in the Caribbean dedicated to parties and adventures.

    We've rounded up some of his most outrageous toys here. 

    Perhaps Branson's most famous toy, Necker Island is a 74-acre Caribbean resort that's played host to plenty of celebrity-packed parties since the 1970s. Though it took him five years and $10 million to construct the island resort, he estimated that the island is worth at least $60 million, as of 2006.

    Source: Virgin blog

    Guests staying at Branson's resort can use this zip line to get down from the main house to the beach.

    Source: Virgin blog

    When his guests get tired of lounging by the pool or beach, they can hang out on his 105-yacht, the Necker Belle. He put the yacht up for sale in March, though he has yet to find a buyer.

    Source: Yacht Charter Fleet


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark cuban champMark Cuban always seems to come out on top.

    His first job was tending bar in Dallas. Then he took a gig as a computer salesman. He was fired — and he realized he "was never going to be a very good employee." 

    So he started his first company, MicroSolutions, which he sold for $6 million.

    He did even better with his next company — about 1,000 times better. He founded and sold it to Yahoo for almost $6 billion.

    Almost immediately, Cuban sold all of his Yahoo stock netting $2 billion in cash for himself. Weeks later, the market crashed.

    Since then, Cuban has continued to work and invest. He owns the Dallas Mavericks and a cable channel, plus he's all over the media — taking bites out of would-be entrepreneurs on ABC's pitch show "Shark Tank" and lighting up the conference circuit.

    Cuban is known for saying what other people only think. Here are some of our favorite quotes.

    On making a billion dollars

    "The billion was, 'I can't f---ing believe it.' Literally, I was sitting in front of a computer, naked, hitting the refresh because we were close — waiting until my net worth hit that billion when the stock price got to a certain point, and then I kinda screamed and jumped around and then got dressed."

    [Business Insider, August 2014]

    On his approach to each day

    "My dad says it over and over, 'Today's the youngest you’re ever going to be. You've got to live like it. You've got to live young every day.' And that's what I try to do."

    [Business Insider, March 2014]

    On his management style

    "I micromanage you until I trust you. It's a back and forth continually… If I send you 30 emails I expect quick responses and direct action. Then we'll go to weekly reports. And I want the bad news first. I want to read, 'God dammit, we lost this sale.' I want to know the setbacks so that I can help you."

    [Inc., May 2014]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    University Pennsylvania UPenn Campus Students

    More billionaires went to the University of Pennsylvania for their undergraduate degrees than any other college in the world, according to a new report from Wealth-X.

    25 current billionaires received their bachelor's degrees at Penn, the most of any school on Wealth-X's list. The only other colleges to produce similar numbers were Harvard University — with 22 undergrad alum billionaires — and Yale University — with 20.

    American universities dominated the undergraduate alumni billionaires list, representing all but four spots in the top 20, including the first eight positions.

    Here are the 20 universities with the most billionaire undergraduate alumni and how many alumni they have, via Wealth-X:

    1. University of Pennsylvania — 25

    2. Harvard University — 22

    3. Yale University — 20

    4. University of Southern California — 16

    5. Cornell University — 14

    5. Princeton University — 14

    5. Stanford University — 14

    8. University of California, Berkeley — 12

    8. University of Mumbai (India) — 12

    10. London School of Economics (United Kingdom) — 11

    10. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) — 11

    12. Dartmouth College — 10

    12. University of Michigan — 10

    12. University of Texas — 10

    15. Duke University — 9

    15. New York University — 9

    17. Brown University — 8

    17. Columbia University — 8

    19. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — 7

    20. Eth Zurich (Switzerland) — 6

    Last year's Wealth-X billionaire census looked at universities with the most billionaire alumni of both undergraduate and graduate programs. Harvard topped that list, with 52 billionaire alumni. Penn came in second, with 28.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 Best Colleges In America

    FOLLOW US! Check Out BI Colleges On Facebook

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    billionaire census report 2014 wealth map

    Wealth-X and UBS are out with their latest Billionaire Census, and this year’s results provide eye-opening insights into the lives of the world’s elite.

    There are now 2,325 billionaires in the world, who control a total wealth of $7.291 trillion, or 4% of global GDP. Roughly 19% of that wealth is held in cash, 5% in assets like art collections, yachts or property, and the rest is in banking and investments.

    Europe beats North America for sheer number of billionaires, with 775 in Europe versus 609 in North America. But the two regions were neck and neck for total wealth: Europe's billionaires had $2.375 trillion, whereas North America's held $2.371 trillion.

    Asia had the third biggest population of billionaires with a total of $1.41 trillion in wealth, followed by the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and lastly the Pacific.

    billionaire countries wealth x billionaire reportWhen it came to individual countries, the United States continued to have the largest population of billionaires, followed by China, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Russia. 

    In fact, the US population of billionaires exceeded the populations in China, the UK, Germany, and Russia combined. But it’s worth noting that with current projections, China will overtake the US for most billionaires by 2027.

    You can see more billionaire insights by downloading the Wealth-X report here.

    SEE ALSO: Meet The World's Hottest Billionaire Offspring

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life on Facebook!

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  • 09/17/14--12:44: Meet The Typical Billionaire
  • Donald Trump

    What does the typical billionaire look like?

    In their latest billionaire census, Wealth-X and UBS attempt to answer that question. According to the report, the average billionaire is 63 years old and has a net worth of $3.1 billion. Ninety-three percent of the world’s billionaires are over 45 years old.

    age distribution wealth-x billionaire census reportThe average billionaire keeps his wealth in a combination of private and public holdings, typically concentrated in their ownership of privately held businesses. On average, 19% of their net worth is in cash, and 5% can be found in real estate and luxury assets such as yachts and cars.

    Male billionaires vastly outnumber female billionaires, by a ratio of seven to one. On average, they are married and predominantly self-made. 

    male billionaires wealth-x billionaire census reportFemale billionaires are less likely to be married, and roughly 2/3 inherited their wealth. The remainder are either partly or wholly self-made.

    Wealth-X expects female billionaires to experience major growth in their mean net worth in the coming years.

    female billionaires wealth-x billionaire census reportOn average, billionaires are more likely to be found in Europe, but the United States has the largest population of billionaires when it comes to individual countries. New York is the biggest billionaire city, followed by Moscow, Hong Kong, London, and Beijing.

    billionaire cities billionaire cities wealth-x census reportYou can see more billionaire insights by downloading the Wealth-X report here.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 Universities That Have Produced The Most Billionaires

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life on Facebook!

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    King and Warren Buffett

    We tend to think of the world's super rich as super successful, disciplined people who work harder and have greater opportunities than the average person.

    Though money isn't always a measure of success, you can't deny that those who have amassed billions have experienced great successes in their lives and careers.

    They must do certain things to achieve this success, right? They're better at achieving their goals. They live healthier lifestyles and can manage stress better than other people. They're classy and influential and exist in a whole other universe.

    Billionaires are just people, and some of their habits may surprise you. It's not all caviar lunches, regimented scheduling, and the lap of luxury.

    Here are some of the surprising habits of the wealthiest people on the planet:

    1. They swim against the tide.

    Becoming super successful means you need to outperform everyone else at whatever you're doing, right?

    Nope. It often means you shouldn't even be playing their game. Billionaires aren't better than others; they're doing something different than the others.

    Warren Buffett amassed his fortune by buying investments and businesses when everyone else wanted out. Bill Gates didn't want to build the types of programs everyone else was focused on; he wanted to build something people hadn't even thought of yet but would realize they needed as soon as they experienced it.

    If it seems as if you're stuck in a rat race and constantly trying to outdo the next person, break away from the pack. Your ideas might have little to no support, but big rewards require big risk. If others don't understand your vision, it doesn't mean it's your vision that is wrong.

    2. They are frugal.

    Mark Zuckerberg drives a Volkswagen GTI. That's right, the founder and CEO of Facebook, who's worth an estimated $33 billion, drives a $30,000 car.

    We often think of the super wealthy as indulgent, with opulent and even wasteful lifestyles. In truth, many billionaires are shrewd businesspeople who are incredibly frugal and personally accountable for their expenditures. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, for example, still shops at Costco.

    Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, is worth an estimated $12.2 billion but still drives an inexpensive car. He's said to travel by rickshaw to and from the Bangalore airport for business trips.

    It flies in the face of the stereotype to have many billionaires actually be very frugal. In American culture, we tend to crave the flashy cars, the big houses, and all the toys. Billionaires are adept at making money but at keeping it as well, and part of that means living below their means for many.


    3. They do for themselves.

    The Hollywood stereotype of the über-rich might have left you thinking billionaires don't do anything for themselves. They have dog walkers, maids, assistants, butlers, and drivers to take care of the monotonous chores of everyday life.

    Contrary to this image, billionaires often do just fine fending for themselves. Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen, worth an estimated $16.3 billion, still packs his own lunch every day! He told the Financial Times he prefers a sandwich and a Gatorade.

    It's true that the super successful often surround themselves with supportive people — they understand they can't do everything on their own. But this doesn't mean they're helpless or lazy when it comes to doing the same things each day that regular people do.

    4. They fail on a regular basis.

    Show me a billionaire who has succeeded at every single thing he or she has ever tried — go on, name one.

    Everyone has failures and successes. Billionaires often fail at epic scale, thanks to the sheer size of the deals and investments they're involved in. The trick is, they understand that failure is just a bump in the road on the path to greater success.

    Hotel magnate Kirk Kerkorian, at 97 years old, is worth an estimated $4.4 billion. Over the course of his lengthy career, he's made and lost millions many times over. Best known for helping to shape Las Vegas, Kerkorian also had a tumultuous relationship with the auto industry, including massive losses in his Ford stock during the 2008 economic crisis. Still, he kept taking risks and continues to this day.

    Billionaires know that you have to fail sometimes. They just become more adept at it.

    yoga class

    5. They take better care of themselves.

    If you had an unlimited income, you could eat whatever you wanted! Again, there's a stereotype that the super wealthy can be gluttonous or partake in lavish, rich meals that the rest of us can only dream of and then lay around all day.

    Sure, they can afford whatever they want, yet best-selling author Tom Corley points out that 70% of the wealthy consume less than 300 junk food calories per day, compared with 3% of less-affluent people. They get more exercise, too — Corley puts the percentage of the wealthy who do aerobic exercise at least four days a week at 76%, compared with just 23% of the poor.

    David Murdock, chairman of Dole Foods, recently told Forbes he expects to live to 125 (he's 90 now), thanks to his diet and healthy lifestyle. A vegetarian since his 60s, Murdock is more active than many people half his age. He's an advocate of daily physical exercise and still rides horses, practices yoga, and does weight training.

    Billionaires aren't some alien life form or even anomalies as people. Their habits may be much the same as yours and contradict everything you've come to expect about how the 1% live!

    SEE ALSO: 15 Billionaires Who Were Once Dirt Poor

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Larry Ellison hardwareLarry Ellison is stepping down as CEO of Oracle. 

    In honor of his long career, let's take a look back at his life. 

    Ellison is a true rags-to-riches story. After growing up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago, he decided to drop out of college and drive across the country to California, where he would found Oracle. 

    He now has a net worth of $51.3 billion and the fabulous lifestyle to go along with it.

    He's been called"the nation's most avid trophy-home buyer" and has all but taken over entire neighborhoods in Malibu and the Lake Tahoe area. He even purchased the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai for an estimated $300 million in 2012. He also has an amazing collection of supercars, planes, and yachts.

    Ellison was born on August 17, 1944, on the Lower East Side of New York City. After he contracted pneumonia as a baby, his mother was unable to care for him, and instead sent him to live with her aunt and uncle on the South Side of Chicago. He has never met his birth father, and didn't even know he was adopted until much later in life.

    Source: CNN

    He went on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but dropped out after his second year. After spending a summer in northern California, he decided to transfer to the University of Chicago, where he first studied computer design. He left there after one semester and moved to California in 1966, at the age of 22.

    Even from a young age, Ellison had a taste for flashy cars. Before moving out to California, he went out and bought himself a turquoise Thunderbird that he thought would make a good impression on new acquaintances. He used it to drive the thousand-mile journey to his new home in Berkeley.

    Source: Bloomberg News, YouTube

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    peter thiel elon musk early paypal

    Back in the dreamy pre-cash days of 1999, PayPal was still mainly a product that let you send money from one PalmPilot to another — an idea so heinous that it earned a "top ten worst business idea of the year" designation. 

    Accepting the fact that not enough people had PalmPilots, then-CEO Peter Thiel and his pirate crew thought to use an increasingly commonplace communications technology: email. 

    In his new book "Zero to One," Thiel says that while the pay-via-email product was working well, the year-old startup faced slow user growth and increasing expenses. 

    If PayPal was going to work, he says, it would need a "critical mass" of 1 million users. 

    "Advertising was too ineffective to justify the cost," he says. "Prospective deals with big banks kept falling through. So we decided to pay people to sign up." 

    Thiel recalls the program going like this: 

    We gave new customers $10 for joining, and we gave them $10 more every time they referred a friend. This got us hundreds of thousands of new customers and an exponential growth rate. Of course, this customer acquisition strategy was unsustainable on its own — when you pay people to be your customers, exponential growth means an exponentially growing cost structure. 

    Inviting those kinds of costs might sound crazy, but Thiel (and history) show that the strategy was sane. 

    "Given a large user base," he says, "PayPal had a clear path to profitability by taking a small fee on customers' transactions." 

    The pay-the-customer scheme gave PayPal the userbase it needed. Then, a well-timed round of financing in March 2000 — just before the dot-com bubble popped — gave the company the cushion it needed to absorb the financial hit that all those costs invited. 

    Hurdle cleared, PayPal continued its upward trajectory, going public in February 2002 and getting acquired by eBay in August 2002 for about $1.5 billion


    SEE ALSO: Why Peter Thiel Doesn't Hire MBAs, Hates Suits, And Thinks Silicon Valley Can Be Awful For You

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    larry ellison

    Larry Ellison is without a doubt one of the people who has influenced the tech industry the most. 

    Today's news that he is stepping down as CEO comes a shock.

    Ellison, who is co-founder and now CTO of Oracle, has influenced the tech industry, business world, and your daily lives in numerous ways, whether you realize it or not.

    College degree not required

    Larry Ellison certainly isn't the only billionaire college dropout to find success in Silicon Valley but he was one of the first: Before Bill Gates, before his best friend Steve Jobs, before Michael Dell.

    Ellison dropped out of college not just once, but twice, before moving to Northern California at age 22, in 1966.

    He stayed in school long enough to learn about computer design and, a few years later,  invented a database by reading a paper about it written by an IBM scientist.

    Today that database is run by all of the world's biggest companies. Just about every time you use a credit card, book an airline ticket, or get a prescription drug, Oracle has helped you do it.

    Never retire

    In just a couple of months, Larry Ellison will turn 70. He was the longest-running founder CEO the tech industry has ever seen. He held the CEO role at Oracle since 1977.

    Back then, a 70-year-old CEO would have been unheard of. Even today, IBM has a tradition where CEOs are asked to retire at age 60.

    With Ellison as a role model, other CEOs have decided to staying on longer, too, including Cisco's John Chambers and EMC's Joe Tucci.

    Ellison has never even publicly discussed retirement and even though he will no longer be CEO, he still isn't really retiring. He will stay on as both executive chairman of Oracle and as its CTO.

    A competitive spirit is the greatest motivator

    Ask Ellison why he still comes to work every day — what drives him after all he's achieved — and he'll tell you the same answer: he loves to compete.

    "I'm addicted to winning. The more you win, the more you want to win," he says.

    More recently he described his motivation like this:

    "What drives me is this constant testing of limits. Constant learning. ... How can you move the world just a bit, make a difference, change lives ... and how much can I help [while] discovering my own limits?"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bill gates

    In July, Bill Gates may or may not have lost his title as the world's richest man. It depends on who you ask.

    According to Forbes, Gates has a net worth of almost $82 billion, which puts him in the No. 2 spot behind Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim, who's worth $85.4 billion.

    According to Bloomberg, Gates is still the world's richest man, worth about $86.5 billion, with Slim at No. 2.

    In truth, we don't really know exactly how much Bill Gates is worth, thanks to his uber secretive money manager, Michael Larson, who runs Gates' investment firm Cascade Investment LLC.

    Cascade is a private company and doesn't report its earnings. (It doesn't have to.) On top of that, Larson uses all sorts of tricks to hide Gates' involvement in some of Cascade's investments, particularly his real estate holdings, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    What we do know is that, from the investments we can track, Gates is at least $6 billion richer right now than he was about six months ago. In March 2014, Forbes said he was worth $76 billion. And that $76 billion was up about $9 billion over his net worth in March, 2013. If we use Bloomberg's number, Gates is up over $10 billion.

    A billion here. A billion there. The point is, everyone agrees that Gates is unbelievably wealthy and getting richer all the time.

    Interestingly, his wealth is not coming from Microsoft. Back in the day when Microsoft went public in 1986, Gates owned a 45% stake of Microsoft, or 1 billion shares. Since 1994, he's steadily sold much of that stake, $40 billion worth.

    Today, his wealth comes from Cascade. While we'll never know the full extent of its investments, from the public documents Cascade has filed, we do know they include stock in the Canadian National Railway, AutoNation Inc., Berkshire Hathaway, and Republic Services Inc. He also at one time owned significant stakes in Deere & Co, Liberty Global, and Waste Management.

    In terms of real estate, he owns stakes in several upscale hotels including the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, the Four Seasons Holding Inc. luxury-hotel chain, and has a 490-acre ranch in Wyoming once owned by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, reports the WSJ.

    Surprisingly, his tech investments are relatively sparse. He tends to handle those himself, not through Cascade.

    For instance, he founded photo sharing website Corbis in 1989. He also has a stake in nuclear-reactor developer TerraPower LLC,  the meat-substitute maker Beyond Meat (which has also attracted Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams as investors), and ResearchGate, a social network for scientists.

    And he still owns Microsoft, just under 300 million shares.

    Interestingly, had he kept all of his Microsoft stock, he'd actually be worth more today and be the unquestionable richest man alive. Microsoft's stock has been on the rise since it promoted Satya Nadella to CEO. It's trading above $47.59, with a market cap of nearly $385 billion. So his 45% stake would be worth about $173 billion.

    By that way of looking at it, Bill Gates is down by over $80 billion.

    He's in the throes of spending $40 billion on charity through his philanthropic foundation, and his net worth is still growing – and growing fast.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The company founded by Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and Max Levchin has spawned three billionaires, many, many millionaires, and generation-defining companies. Here, we break down the key players from the most notorious group in Silicon Valley.

    paypal mafia

    The picture above features some of the most poorly dressed men of the 2000s. Behold the outsized sportswear, the leather blazers, the silky shirts. But these men can afford to both laugh off our criticism and buy several new wardrobes. For they are the "PayPal Mafia" and between them, these 13 men are worth billions and billions of dollars. And to be fair to them, they were styled as faux gangsters for the 2007 Fortune magazine shoot that birthed their infamous moniker. 

    Mick Brown recently met PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel for an extraordinary Telegraph Magazine feature. The success enjoyed by Thiel and his former colleagues got us thinking: how did one company breed such a remarkable crop of entrepreneurs and capitalists? Here's what we know:

    1. Jawed Karim

    Role in PayPal: Designed and implemented PayPal’s incendiary real-time anti-fraud system, among other key components of the business.

    After PayPal: Karim, Chad Hurley (designer of PayPal’s first logo), and Steve Chen (another PayPal colleague and early Facebook employee) founded a video sharing site in 2005. They named it YouTube. Soon after developing the fledgling site, Karim enrolled at Stanford University where, despite having already displayed a certain acumen in this area, he chose to study computer science.

    He continued to act as an advisor to YouTube before cashing in 137,443 shares of stock (worth a cool $64 million) when Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in November 2006. Now 35, Karim launched a business called Youniversity Ventures in 2008 aimed at helping students and graduates develop business ideas with early PayPal investors Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabols.

    Estimated net worth: $140 million

    2. Jeremy Stoppelman (below)

    Role in PayPal: Joined PayPal as an engineer while it was known as, eventually becoming the vice president of engineering.

    Post-PayPal: Resigned soon after PayPal was picked up by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2003, taking a year to attend Harvard Business School. Inspired while he had the flu and found it tricky to find decent doctor recommendations, he and a former colleague Russel Simmons dreamed up the idea for online reviews site Yelp in 2004 and convinced former PayPal Chief Technology Officer Max Levchin to put up $1 million in initial funding.

    Steve Jobs convinced him to reject Google’s acquisition offer in 2010 and in 2012, Yelp became a public limited company. But it’s not been a smooth recent few years: Yelp reviewers leaving negative reviews have faced legal action from affronted businesses and the site’s faced accusations of handing positive reviews to advertisers.

    Estimated net worth: $111 million-$222 million

    3. Andrew McCormack

    Role in PayPal: Joined in 2001, working closely as an assistant to Peter Thiel as the company prepared for its initial public offering (IPO).

    After PayPal: Helped set up another Thiel venture, hedge fund company Clarium Capital before founding a restaurant group in San Francisco. Currently a partner at venture capital firm Valar Ventures, he found his way back to Thiel in 2008 to join Thiel Capital via corporate development roles at eCount (now part of US banking conglomerate Citigroup) and Yahoo.

    Estimated net worth: Unknown

    4. Premal Shah

    Role in PayPal: Spent six years at the company as a product manager.

    After PayPal: Became president of nonprofit organisation Kiva, which allows people to lend money to struggling entrepreneurs and students in over 70 countries via the internet. Founded by former programmer Matt Flannery and his businesswoman ex-wife Jessica Jackeley, the site was raising around $1 million every three days by November 2013.

    Estimated net worth: Unknown

    Peter Thiel: the billionaire tech entrepreneur on a mission to cheat death

    5. Luke Nosek

    Role in PayPal: One of the co-founders, alongside Thiel, Elon Musk, and Ken Howery and his friend from the University of Illinois, Max Levchin and vice president of marketing and strategy.

    After PayPal: Departed after the eBay takeover and traveled the world, before founding San Francisco venture capital firm Founders Firm (slogan: "We wanted flying cars, we got 140 characters") with Thiel and Howery in 2005. Has spoken extensively about the benefits of brain training through meditation.

    Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion

    6. Ken Howery

    Role in PayPal: A co-founder and chief financial officer between 1998-2002.

    After PayPal: Hung around as eBay’s Director of Corporate Development for just under a year after the takeover, before rejoining Thiel as vice president of private equity at Clarium Capital in 2004. Started Founders Fund less than 12 months later with Thiel and Nosek. In 2012, he co-founded Popexpert, an online learning platform that allows users to connect face-to-face with experts across a broad range of fields. Howery’s available for consulting sessions if you have a spare few $100,000.

    Estimated net worth: $1.5 billion

    7. David Sacks (above)

    Role in PayPal: Joining from management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, Sacks became PayPal’s chief operating officer.

    After PayPal: Sacks boasts one of the Mafia’s more diverse post-PayPal CVs. After eBay assumed control, he left for Hollywood and produced and financed the Golden Globe nominated 2005 movie Thank You for Smoking. The next year, he founded genealogy website Frustrations with inter-office communication led him to develop a productivity tool to help employees share information.

    This was to become the social network Yammer. Microsoft acquired the company for $1.2 billion in July 2012. Sacks was named corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Office Division. He hit the headlines in 2012 after throwing himself history’s most gauche 40th birthday party. The theme? "Let them eat cake" French revolution. The entertainment? Snoop Dogg. The cost? A reported $1.4 million.

    Estimated net worth: Unknown

    8. Peter Thiel

    Role in Paypal: Co-founder and CEO.

    After PayPal: After earning $55 million from his 3.7 per cent stake in the eBay deal, Thiel immediately founded hedge fund Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund and made the ludicrously savvy decision to angel invest $500,000 in fledgling social network Facebook. Thiel was the first outside investor in the company and sold almost has made over $1 billion selling his shares. You can read Mick Brown’s in-depth profile on Thiel right here .

    Estimated net worth: $2.2 billion

    The Thiel Fellowship: meet the college dropouts ready to change the world

    9. Keith Rabois

    Role in PayPal: Held the nicely extravagant title of executive vice president, business development, public affairs and policy between November 2000 and November 2002.

    After PayPal: Regarded as a very useful person to have around at a start-up, Rabois went onto hold senior positions at LinkedIn (more on that in a minute), Max Levchin’s Slide (a company responsible for slideshows and animations in social networks) and electronic payment firm Square (founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey). Controversy accompanied his exit from Square, with a threat of a lawsuit over sexual harassment claims by a male employee who allegedly obtained a job at the company after beginning a relationship with Rabois.

    Which makes Gawker’s accusations of Rabois’ undergraduate homophobia all the more disturbing. Rabois is now a partner at venture capital outfit Khosla Ventures and serves on the board of directors at Yelp and Xoom.

    Estimated net worth: $1 billion

    10. Reid Hoffman

    Role in PayPal: Joined from the world’s first (failed) social network SocialNet to become a member of the board of directors, then went full-time to become PayPal’s COO. By the time of the 2002 eBay takeover, he was executive vice president.

    After PayPal: "The most connected man in Silicon Valley" co-founded inbox bothering business social network LinkedIn in December 2002, owning a stake now worth an estimated $2.39 billion with its IPO in May 2011. The eldest of the Mafia is also lauded for his clever/lucky angel investing. He’s made upwards of 80 angel investments (including Facebook, Zynga, Flickr, Digg, and and in 2010 joined Greylock Partners, running their $20 million Discovery Fund; designed to seed fundings of worthy start-ups.

    Estimated net worth: $3.9 billion

    11. Max Levchin

    Role in PayPal: A co-founder and the firm’s chief technology officer, well regarded for his contributions to PayPal’s anti-fraud efforts.

    After PayPal: Took his $34 million from the PayPal sale and founded Slide. Google picked it up for $182 million in August 2010, with Levchin becoming Google’s Vice President of Engineering on Aug. 25. A year and a day later, Google closed Slide, and Levchin departed. Between Slide’s rise and fall, he helped start Yelp in 2004 (and is the company’s largest shareholder), was appointed to the board of directors of Evernote and and co-founded financial services company Affirm. In recent years, he has started a company called HVF (standing for, enjoyably, "Hard, Valuable, and Fun"), a firm designed to fund projects looking to leverage data and joined Yahoo’s Board of Directors. He’s keeping himself busy.

    Estimated net worth: $300 million

    12. Roelof Botha

    Role in PayPal: A qualified actuary, South African Botha negotiated PayPal’s sale as its Chief Financial Officer. He had joined the company prior to his graduation from the Stanford School of Business, becoming director of corporate development.

    After PayPal: A regular on the Forbes Midas List of top tech investors, Both joined venture capital giant Sequoia Capital in January 2003 as a partner, where’s he’s stayed ever since. His extracurricular business pursuits include sitting on the boards of 13 companies, including Jawbone, Evernote, Tumblr, and Xoom. He was also on YouTube’s board before the company was acquired by Google.

    Estimated net worth: Unknown.

    13 Russel Simmons

    Role at PayPal: The firm’s Lead Software Architect.

    After PayPal: Co-founded Yelp with Jeremy Stoppelman and served as its CTO until he "transitioned" into an advisory role in June 2010 to take some "much needed time off to travel." Fresh from his high end gap year, Simmons launched Learnirvana in 2012, a web tutor program that helps users learn languages.

    Estimated net worth: Very difficult to discover. It’s very easy to tell you that near-namesake and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is worth around $340, however.

    Not in the picture, but absolutely worth profiling:

    Elon Musk (above)

    Role at PayPal: PayPal had merged with Musk’s financial services and email payment firm in 1999 and Musk became the new company’s largest shareholder by the time of its sale to eBay. He earned $165 million from the deal.

    After PayPal: Strap yourselves in. Musk launched Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in June 2002, where he serves as the CEO and CTO. In May 2012, their Dragon spacecraft ensured SpaceX became the first commercial vehicle to launch and dock a vehicle to the International Space Station. He assumed leadership of electric car firm Tesla Motors in 2008 and in 2013 unveiled a proposal for a new form of transportation between the Greater Los Angeles area and the Bay Area in San Francisco. His "Hyperloop" is a subsonic air travel machine completely reliant on solar energy.

    Estimated net worth: $9.7 billion

    SEE ALSO: Entrepreneur Who Just Became A Billionaire Writes Extraordinary Letter About Leaving His Company To Save His Sanity

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    roman abramovich yacht eclipse

    Even among billionaire megayacht owners, there's competition to be the biggest and best.

    In celebration of the Monaco Yacht Show, which kicks off Wednesday, our friends at Wealth-X shared the estimated values of the 10 most expensive yachts on the planet.

    From a movie mogul's secondhand yacht to a futuristic design by Philippe Starck, these boats are like small cities on water. 

    10. Al Mirqab is worth $250 million.

    Al Mirqab is owned by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar. The 133-meter boat was completed in 2008. It can accomodate 24 guests in 12 suites, each with its own bathroom and bedroom.

    Amenities include a movie theater, swimming pool, helicopter pad, and room for a crew of 55.

    9. Pelorus is worth $300 million (tie).

    Initially built for a Saudi businessman, the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the megayacht Pelorus in 2004. His ex-wife received the ship in their divorce settlement, and Hollywood movie mogul David Geffen bought Pelorus for $300 million in 2011.

    The 115-meter yacht has two helipads and a garage full of toys, including jet skis.

    9. Al Said is worth $300 million (tie).

    Al Said was built for Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the billionaire Sultan of Oman. The massive, 155-meter yacht has space for 70 guests and 154 crew.

    It has a helicopter landing pad, elevator, and concert space that can accomodate a 50-piece orchestra.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    How does a billionaire, such as John Paul Dejoria, delegate effectively? He says it's about "fewer moving parts". 

    Produced by Justin Gmoser. Additional camera by Graham Flanagan

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    520 PARK AVE penthouse $130 millionNew York City has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, and there are no signs this will change.

    On Tuesday, it was revealed that the city's latest most expensive condo will be a $130 million triplex penthouse in the yet-to-be-completed 520 Park Avenue building 

    This mansion in the sky will have over 12,000 square feet, a 1,257-square-foot terrace, and gorgeous views of Central Park. It will go on sale with other units beginning early next year, according to Bloomberg, and will be completed with the rest of the building in 2017.

    The 54-story tower is being designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) and developed by Zeckendorf Development Co., the same firms behind the celebrity-haven 15 Central Park West as well as 18 Gramercy Park.

    It will be nearby other luxury high-rises on the so-called Billionaires' Row, sitting between 60th and 61st Street.

    There will be a total of seven duplexes in 520 Park Avenue with over 9,000 square feet each and starting at $67 million. Twenty-three single-floor units will make up the rest of the building's condos and will be priced at a more modest $16.2 million with 4,600 square feet, according to the company press release.

    The building itself will also have plenty of amenities, including a swimming pool, bi-level health and fitness center, sauna, children’s playroom, and screening room.

    The $130 million triplex will join the Woolworth Building’s $110 million penthouse and the $118 million trio of penthouse apartments at Battery Park City’s Riz-Carlton residences as some of the most expensive homes ever listed in New York City.

    Aside from the exterior, the only other rendering available shows what the building’s pool will look like.

    520 PARK AVE pool

    See a few pictures of the exterior and interior of RAMSA's 15 Central Park West below to get an idea of the luxuries that may await at 520 Park.

    15 Central Park West is famous for attracting numerous celebrities and power players. The building, left, has numerous setbacks on its upper floors, much like 520 Park will.

    15 central park west

    Here's the entrance of 15 Central Park West. The limestone is a signature Zeckendorf style.

    15 central park west

    The pool of 15 Central Park West also has tall ceilings.

    15 central park west

    The lobby for 15 Central Park West is huge. 520 Park Avenue's lobby will probably be just as gorgeous.

    15 central park west

    NOW WATCH: America's Most Expensive Hotel Room Costs $45,000 A Night — And It's Non-Negotiable


    SEE ALSO: THE NEW BILLIONAIRES' ROW: See The Incredible Transformation Of New York's 57th Street

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    steve jobs book copyIn the late 1990s, the internet created thousands of millionaires — and a handful of billionaires — in Silicon Valley.

    The entrepreneurs who rode the wave early and bailed out before it crashed in the early aughts suddenly found themselves in an unfamiliar position: having worked 80-hour weeks at internet startups for the past few years, they now no longer needed to work at all. Ever.

    For the millionaires, smart financial planning meant a comfortable life and the freedom to pursue new things.

    For the billionaires, champagne baths every morning and new Lamborghinis every afternoon couldn't deplete the fathomless amount of cash on hand. "Your entire philosophy of money changes," writes author Richard Frank in his book, "Richistan." "You realize that you can't possibly spend all of your fortune, or even part of it, in your lifetime, and that your money will probably grow over the years even if you spend lavishly." 

    mark cuban 2There are dotcom entrepreneurs who could live top 1% American lifestyles and not run out of cash for 4,000 years. People who Bill Simmons would call "pajama rich," so rich they can go to a five-star restaurant or sit courtside at the NBA playoffs in their pajamas. They have so much money that they have nothing to prove to anyone.

    And the strange thing is that a striking number of them get totally depressed. 

    Have you ever swung on the Olympic rings at a playground jungle gym? Kids — especially short ones, like I was — have to jump to grab the first ring and then swing like a pendulum in order to reach the next. To get to the third ring, they have to use the momentum from the previous swing to keep going. If you hold on to the previous ring too long, you'll stop and wouldn't be able to get enough speed to reach the next ring. 

    This is Isaac Newton's first law of motion at work: objects in motion tend to stay in motion, unless acted on by external forces. Once you start swinging, it's easier to keep swinging than to slow down. 

    The problem with sudden success, it turns out, is that it can be like having someone lift you up to grab onto one of the Olympic rings. Even though you get dropped off somewhere far along the chain, you're stuck in one spot.

    Financial planners say that this is why a surprisingly high percentage of the rapidly wealthy get depressed. As therapist Manfred Kets de Vries once put it in an interview with The Telegraph, "When money is available in near-limitless quantities, the victim sinks into a kind of inertia."

    Wait — the victim? We're calling the courtside pajama guy a victim?

    It's hard to feel entirely sorry for him, but in a sense, yes. For him, life has stopped moving forward. When businesspeople cash out big, says wealth coach Susan Bradley, "Momentum has been building for a while. Then there's this moment that it's over, and all the champagne is gone, and there's this feeling of this drop into an abyss. It's like the beams of a house have gone away and you have to build from the inside out. That sense is paralyzing. It actually affects our cognitive functioning."

    I'm pretty sure that acquiring a billion dollars would solve all my problems. However, studies show that the wealthy — especially those who fall into it through inheritance or the lottery or sale of a business — are often not happier once they're rich. A meaningful percentage of them believe that their wealth causes more problems than it solves.

    neil armstrong buzz aldrin moon walkIf you want to get really depressed about success, look at what happened to the heroic astronauts of the 1960s and '70s. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, returned home from the historic Apollo 11 mission and became an alcoholic. Severely depressed, his life unraveled. Aldrin burned through three marriages and wrote two memoirs about his misery.

    Neil Armstrong, the man who stepped out of Apollo 11 just ahead of Aldrin, spent his next few decades figuring out what to do with his life. He briefly taught some small classes at a university, then quit unexpectedly. He consulted a little for NASA and some random companies, and did a commercial for Chrysler, and quit all those things, too. Mostly, he just hid from autograph seekers and sued companies for using his name in ads.

    There were certainly multiple factors contributing to these men's post-moonwalk slump, but the question, What do you do after walking on the moon? became a gigantic speed bump.

    The trouble with moonwalkers and billionaires is when they arrive at the top, their momentum often stops. They turn into the kid on the jungle gym who just hangs from the ring.

    Not coincidentally, this is the same reason that only one-third of Americans are happy at their jobs. When there's no forward momentum in our careers, we get depressed, too. 

    As Newton pointed out, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. 

    So how does one avoid billionaire's depression? Or regular person's stuck-in-a-dead-end-job, lack-of-momentum-fueled depression? 

    Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile took on the question in the mid-2000s in a research study of white-collar employees. She tasked 238 pencil pushers in various industries to keep daily work diaries. The workers answered open-ended questions about how they felt, what events in their days stood out. Amabile and her fellow researchers then dissected the 12,000 resulting entries, searching for patterns in what affects people's "inner" work lives the most dramatically. 

    The answer, it turned it, was simply progress. A sense of forward motion. Regardless of how small. 

    And that's the interesting part. Amabile found that minor victories at work were nearly as psychologically powerful as major breakthroughs. To motivate stuck employees, as Amabile and her colleague Steven J. Kramer suggest in their book, "The Progress Principle," businesses need to help their workers experience lots of tiny wins. 

    smartcuts book cover

    This is helpful to know when motivating employees. But it also hints at what billionaires and astronauts can do to stave off the depression that follows the high of getting to the top. 

    To get out of the funk, say Joan DiFuria and Stephen Goldbart, cofounders of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute, depressed successes simply have to start the Olympic rings over. This is why so many people who don't need more money still create new businesses. It's why others parlay their success sideways to get into philanthropy. And it's why billionaires like Groupon's Andrew Mason and Microsoft's Paul Allen start bands. Even if their subsequent endeavors are small, they can hold depression at bay by making progress on, well, anything. 

    They don't have to do something bigger or better to be happy. They just have to keep moving. 

    This is what psychologist Karl Weick of the University of Michigan calls "Small Wins.""A small win is a concrete, complete, implemented outcome of moderate importance," he wrote in a seminal paper for American Psychologist in 1984. "Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win." 

    Not every astronaut struggled post-space like Buzz Aldrin did. Earth orbiter John Glenn went into politics. Alan Shepard, America's first man in space and the fifth to stand on the moon, became a successful businessman. Alan Bean, who moonwalked in the Apollo 12 mission, became a painter. And Apollo 15 spaceman James Irwin found fulfillment in helping others as a minister. Each parlayed his momentum into something that kept the wheels of life turning. 

    For someone who's suffering from a lack of momentum, discouragement comes in part from a feeling of a lack of control. "Small wins are controllable opportunities that produce visible results," Weick says. And that's all it takes to start feeling better.

    Shane Snow is author of new book "Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success."

    SEE ALSO: 15 Billionaires Who Were Once Dirt Poor

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    Want to rub shoulders with a billionaire? Your best bet is to attend one of the cultural, sporting, or business events where the super-rich flock each year.

    Wealth-X and UBS included a "billionaires' social calendar" in their recent Billionaire Census. We added a bit more information and created a handy version that you can print and hang on your refrigerator.

    Grab your derby hat, ball gown, and checkbook, and mark down these dates.

    BI_graphics_billionairesCalendar (1)

    SEE ALSO: The World's Most Expensive Yachts (And The Billionaires Who Own Them)

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