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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    larry ellison musashi yacht

    Larry Ellison just increased his personal credit line to nearly $10 billion, according to documents filed with the SEC, as spotted by Bloomberg's Caleb Melby and Laura Marcinek.

    That's like having a $10 billion credit card. With a "b."

    Ellison pledged 250 million shares of Oracle's stock as collateral for his personal line of credit. Shares are trading at about $39 a share as of Friday, making that credit line worth about $9.7 billion. That compares to 215 million shares he pledged last year and 139 million in 2012, reports Bloomberg. Oracle's share price has grown since 2012, so he's not just trying to maintain a credit limit, he's increasing it.

    And why not? As the fifth-richest man in the world, his own net worth has risen since 2012, too, from about $37 billion to more than $48 billion.

    Ellison is not shy about spending his money. He collects mansions, yachts, aircraft, race cars, art. He bought most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for a reported $300 million, and not just one, but two airlines to serve it. He could spend up to $100 million this year on his America's Cup sailing team alone.

    The credit line represents only a fraction of his Oracle stake, too. He owns 1.16 billion shares of Oracle, about 26% of the company, according to forms filed to the SEC. The shares pledged as collateral are less than 20% of that.

    So between Oracle, his vast real estate holdings, and his other business interests (NetSuite, for example), the banks know he's good for the $10 billion, even if they want collateral.

    A bigger question is why borrow money when you're swimming in it? There are a couple of possibilities. First, interest rates are low and Oracle's stock has been on the rise. It could be cheaper for him to borrow money than to sell stock and lose out on that growth.

    If he wants to buy something that costs a lot, a loan could be a faster way to get his hands on the money. As a major officer at Oracle, he has to be careful about how quickly he sells a lot of stock. He can't flood the market with shares.

    Plus, most execs need to avoid accusations of insider trading. He learned that the hard way. In 2005, Ellison paid $100 million to charity to settle an insider trading lawsuit, Infoworld reported at the time. Today most execs schedule their trades in advance to avoid any perception of insider trading.

    Third, he actually prefers to hold onto his Oracle stock. Although he's granted millions of shares every year in stock options, he rarely sells them, according to insider trading forms filed with the SEC.

    So there's a lot of reasons for Ellison to keep a humongous credit line available.

    But sometimes we still have to stop and marvel at how much money the world's richest people could spend in an instant, on a whim.

    SEE ALSO: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Look What Happened To The Cofounders Of Oracle

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    george soros james simons

    Forbes has released its annual "Richest People In America List." 

    The Forbes 400 always includes the biggest names in the hedge fund space. We counted 30 hedge fund managers this year.

    Fund managers like Daniel Loeb of Third Point and Bill Ackman of Pershing Square have both seen their net-worth increase significantly in the past year. Steve Cohen also saw a $1 billion jump in his personal fortune. 

    The 84-year-old George Soros is still king, though, with an estimated net-worth of $24 billion.

    On the flip side, numerous billionaire fund managers in the US didn't make the cut. Folks like Baupost Group's Seth Klarman and Discovery Capital's Rob Citrone, who are worth 10 figures, weren't quite rich enough. 

    Tom Steyer

    Rank: 389

    Net-worth: $1.62 billion

    Age: 57

    Fund: Farallon Capital (Retired)

    Source: Forbes



    Louis Bacon

    Rank: 388

    Net-worth: $1.62 billion

    Age: 56

    Fund: Moore Capital Management 

    Source: Forbes



    Bill Ackman

    Rank: 377

    Net-worth: $1.7 billion

    Age: 48

    Fund: Pershing Square Capital Management 

    Source: Forbes



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bill gates

    With a net worth of approximately $81 billion, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world. 

    He topped Forbes' list of the wealthiest people in America, released Monday. It's the 21st year in a row that Gates has held the top spot. 

    Gates has been a public fixture ever since he and Paul Allen started a computer revolution in the 1980s. He has all of the toys you would expect from the world's richest man, from a private jet to a 66,000-square-foot home he nicknamed Xanadu 2.0. 

    Yet as his wealth has grown, Gates has done more and more philanthropy work, donating billions of dollars to charity projects through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

    Bill Gates was born on Oct. 28, 1955, in Seattle. The son of a lawyer and a schoolteacher, he was an argumentative but brilliant child. As a teenager, his appetite for knowledge was so great that he read the entire "World Book Encyclopedia" series from start to finish.

    Source: Wall Street Journal



    His parents enrolled him at the Lakeside School, a rigorous Seattle private high school that future Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen also attended. Gates often credits his discovery of computers to the tools he gained at Lakeside. "The experience and insight Paul Allen and I gained here gave us the confidence to start a company based on this wild idea that nobody else agreed with — that computer chips were going to become so powerful that computers and software would become a tool that would be on every desk and in every home," he said in a 2005 speech at the school.

    Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

     



    After graduating from Lakeside in 1973, Gates headed to Harvard. Though he entered as a pre-law major, he soon changed course and quickly worked his way through the university's upper-level math and computer science classes.

    Source: NPR



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jack ma alibaba

    Forbes released its annual Forbes 400 list on Monday, revealing the 400 wealthiest people in the US.

    It's not just a list of privilege; it's a story of opportunity. Many of these mega successes started with limited means. 

    Just ask Jan Koum, the WhatsApp founder who once lived on food stamps. After selling his company to Facebook in February for $19 billion, he's now worth $7.7 billion, Forbes estimates.

    Then there's Larry Ellison, who worked eight years of odd jobs before founding Oracle. He's one of the biggest dollar gainers since last year, making a $9 billion jump in net worth from 2013. 

    It's not only an American Dream. Several international entrepreneurs have had similarly meteoric rises. Talk to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who started his career as an English teacher and is now worth over $20 billion after taking his company public

    These rags-to-riches stories remind us that through determination, grit, and a bit of luck anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success.

    Vivian Giang contributed research to this article.

    Jan Koum, the CEO and cofounder of WhatsApp, once lived on food stamps before Facebook made him a billionaire.

    Net worth: $7.7 billion (according to Forbes)

    Koum, 37, came to the US from Ukraine when he was 16 years old. His family, struggling to make ends meet, lived on food stamps that they picked up a couple blocks away from Koum's future WhatsApp offices in Mountain View, California.

    In 2009, he and cofounder Brian Acton launched the real-time messaging app with an aim to connect people around the world. It essentially replaces text messaging.  

    WhatsApp, which now has over 600 million global usersagreed to a $19 billion buyout from Facebook earlier this year. 

    The deal made Koum a multibillionaire.



    Jack Ma taught English before founding Alibaba in 1999.

    Net worth: $20.2 billion 

    Born in Hangzhou, China, Ma grew up in poverty. He couldn't get a job at the local KFC. He failed the national college entrance exams — twice — before finally graduating and starting his career as an English teacher. 

    Then, in 1995, he had his first visit to the US. He saw the internet for the first time. 

    Recognizing that there was little in the way of Chinese content online, he started China Pages, a directory that was arguably the very first Chinese web startup. It promptly failed. 

    In 1999, he founded Alibaba. Today, the online retailer handles double the merchandise of Amazon. With September's IPO, Ma became China's richest person



    Elizabeth Holmes started her blood diagnostics company when she was 19. Now at 30, she's a billionaire.

    Net worth: $4.5 billion

    When Holmes was a 19-year-old sophomore at Stanford University back in 2003, she started Theranos, a blood diagnostics company that makes blood testing cheap. 

    The Palo Alto startup has 500 employees, a reported $400 million in funding, and a $9 billion evaluation. 

    Holmes has always been precocious — she taught herself Mandarin in her spare time when she was growing up in Houston. She was filing patents before getting to Stanford. And now she's worth billions. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark zuckerberg

    The 2014 Forbes 400, an annual ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, launched Monday. One thing's certain: The rich keep getting richer.

    Mark Zuckerberg, the 30-year-old cofounder and CEO of Facebook, became the 11th richest person in the U.S., with a net worth of $34 billion. The Zuck also scored the title of "biggest gainer" in 2014, pocketing an additional $15 billion since last year.

    His placement atop this list continues a winning streak of sorts for the CEO, whose net worth has more than tripled over the past two years, according to Forbes' Katia SavchukHis soaring fortune is in part thanks to Facebook's recovery from its disappointing IPO in 2012. Shares of the $200 billion company have seen a sharp rise in the last year, and in the second quarter of this year.

    facebook shares stock september 29 2014

    Read more: Facebook Is Hiding Important Information From Investors

    In July, Facebook announced its second quarter revenues were up 67% from the same quarter during the year before. "Even better, 62% of those revenues came from the sale of mobile ads, a business Facebook didn't enter until 2012, after its IPO,"Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson reported earlier this month. Its market cap is now larger than Amazon's and Yahoo's combined.

    The behemoths of tech were all winners this year. The top 10 earners working in the tech industry are collectively 23% richer than last year. Zuckerberg is also now the third richest American working in tech, behind Bill Gates ($81 billion) and Larry Ellison ($50 billion), and followed by Larry Page ($31.5 billion), Sergey Brin ($31 billion), and Jeff Bezos ($30.5 billion).

    nick woodman goproAnd while Zuckerberg saw the biggest gain in dollars, GoPro founder Nick Woodman rocketed the most in terms of percentage points. His net worth is up 200% since last year, reaching $3.9 billion. GoPro, which makes cameras that strap onto bike helmets, surfboards, scuba gear, and more, went public in June. Shares are up a ridiculous 172% as of last week.

    Here's the list of the top 10 dollar-gainers on the 2014 Forbes 400:

    TOP 10 DOLLAR-GAINERS OF THE 2014 FORBES 400

    SEE ALSO: The 10 Wealthiest People In America

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    bill gates

    The annual Forbes 400 list was released today, ranking the wealthiest Americans across industries. 

    The rich continue to get richer. The combined net worth of the richest 400 Americans was $2.29 trillion, a huge increase from last year's $270 billion.

    Bill Gates, who is no newcomer to rankings of wealth, topped the list for the 21st year in a row.

    But it turns out that many of the richest people in America made their fortunes through technology — we've rounded up the 10 richest here. 

    10. Charles Ergen is worth $16.9 billion.

    Change from last year: +$4.4 billion

    Age: 61

    Charles Ergen is the founder and chairman of the DISH Network. His company had humble beginnings— in 1980, he, his wife, and a friend started selling satellite dishes out of the back of a truck. 

    Ergen is notorious for being a frugal leader and micromanager. Up until about 10 years ago, he insisted on signing every check that came out of Dish.

    Source: Forbes

     



    9. Paul Allen is worth $17 billion.

    Change from last year: +$1.2 billion

    Age: 61

    Paul Allen cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. He left the company 8 years later after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease. 

    Since then, he's beat cancer twice and has chosen to live a life of luxury, complete with with megayachts, rock bands, and vintage fighter planes. 

    Source: Forbes



    8. Michael Dell is worth $17.5 billion.

    Change from last year: +$1.6 billion

    Age: 49

    Michael Dell created Dell Computer Corp. from his University of Texas dorm room in 1983.

    In October 2013, he won a long, difficult battle to make Dell private again. He says the company has been thriving ever since.

    Source: Forbes



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Waltons are the richest family in America.

    The descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, the family controls more than 50% of the Wal-Mart Corporation, according to Bloomberg, and combined are worth at least $160 billion based on Forbes' wealth estimates.

    Four Walton family members are in the top 10 of the latest Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. They have spent some of their money amassing huge collections of art, real estate, and expensive cars.

    They also invest a portion of their fortune into charity, mainly through the Walton Family Foundation. But unlike some of today's millionaires who plan to donate most of their vast wealth to charity, the Waltons have used tax loopholes to keep getting richer.

    Despite backlash, lawsuits, and even the occasional scandal, Wal-Mart's first family isn't going anywhere — especially when 90% of Americans live within 15 miles of one of the gigantic chain's stores.

    Walton Family Tree UPDATED

    SEE ALSO: The 10 Wealthiest People In America

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    Elizabeth Holmes TheranosThe next time you get a blood test, you might not have to go to the doctor and watch vials of blood fill up as the precious fluid is drawn from your arm.

    No more wondering to yourself, "Ah, how much more can they take before I pass out?"

    Instead you might be able to walk into a Walgreens pharmacy for a reportedly painless fingerprick that will draw just a tiny drop of blood, thanks to Elizabeth Holmes, 30, the youngest woman and third-youngest billionaire on Forbes' newly released annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans.

    Revolutionizing the blood test is a golden idea.

    Because of new testing methods developed by Holmes' startup Theranos, that lone drop can now yield a ton of information.

    The company can run hundreds of tests on a drop of blood far more quickly than could be done with whole vials in the past — and it costs a lot less.

    A Billion-Dollar Idea

    Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to found what would become Theranos after deciding that her tuition money could be better put to use by transforming healthcare.

    Traditional blood testing is shockingly difficult and expensive for a tool that's used so frequently. It also hasn't changed since the 1960s.

    It's done in hospitals and doctors' offices. Vials of blood have to be sent out and tested, which can take weeks using traditional methods and is prone to human error. And, of course, sticking a needle in someone's arm scares some people enough that they avoid getting blood drawn, even when it could reveal lifesaving information.

    Holmes recognized that process was ripe for disruption.

    It took a decade for her idea to be ready for primetime, but now it seems that her decision to drop out was undoubtedly a good call. Last year, Walgreen Co. announced that it would be installing Theranos Wellness Centers in pharmacies across the country, with locations already up and running in Phoenix and Palo Alto, California. And Holmes has raised $400 million in venture capital for Theranos, which is now valued at $9 billion (Holmes owns 50%).

    The other two 30-year-olds on Forbes' List, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his former roommate and Facebook CEO Dustin Moskovitz, also have access to a wealth of information about people — but their data is less likely to directly save a life.

    elizabeth holmes theranos

    How It Works

    One closely guarded secret is what MedCityNews calls"the most interesting part of [the Theranos] story": how exactly the technology behind its blood test works. The company's methods are protected by more than a dozen patents filed as far back as 2004 and as recently as last week.

    In an interview with Wired, Holmes hinted at some of the key ideas behind Theranos.

    "We had to develop ... methodologies that would make it possible to accelerate results," she said. "In the case of a virus or bacteria, traditionally tested using a culture, we measure the DNA of the pathogen instead so we can report results much faster."

    While we can't yet assess independently how well that method works when compared with traditional blood tests, it already seems to be upending the old way of doing things.

    Why Blood Tests?

    Holmes told Medscape that she targeted lab medicine because it drives about 80% of clinical decisions made by doctors.

    By zeroing in on the inefficiencies of that system, the Theranos approach completely revolutionizes it.

    The new tests can be done without going to the doctor, which saves both money and time. Most results are available in about four hours, which means that you could swing by a pharmacy and have a test done the day before a doctor's visit, and then the results would be available for the physician.

    Quick tests that can be done at any time are already a total change, but the amount of data the company can get from a single drop of blood is amazing.

    Blood samples have traditionally been used for one test, but if a follow-up was needed, another sample had to be drawn and sent out — making it less likely that someone would get care. The Theranos approach means the same drop can be used for dozens of different tests.

    It's cheap, too. One common criticism of the healthcare system is that the pricing structure is a confusing labyrinth that makes it impossible to know how much anything costs. Theranos lists its prices online, and they're impressive.

    Each test costs less than 50% of standard Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. If those two programs were to perform all tests at those prices, they'd save $202 billion over the next decade, Holmes said in an interview on Wired.

    Plus, people get access to their own results.

    As an example of how helpful that can be, Holmes told Wired that Theranos charges $35 for a fertility test, which is usually paid for out-of-pocket and costs up to $2,000.

    But she also said that this data could be useful for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of his or her health.

    "By testing, you can start to understand your body, understand yourself, change your diet, change your lifestyle, and begin to change your life," she said.


    NOW WATCH: Richard Branson Describes The Early Moment That Changed His Career Forever

     

    SEE ALSO: How Healthy People Who Should Be Sick Could Revolutionize Medicine

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Dustin MoskovitzThis week, Forbes released its annual Forbes 400 list, revealing the 400 wealthiest people in the US.

    At age 30, Dustin Moskovitz is the second-youngest billionaire in America, after 24-year-old Snapchat cofounder Evan Spiegel. Moskovitz, a cofounder of Facebook and the current CEO of the organization app Asana, has an estimated net worth of $8 billion, according to the publication.

    A tiny fraction of people could even hope to know what it feels like to be a billionaire. And an even smaller number will have a 10-digit bank balance by the age of 30.

    So what's it like to be filthy rich? Moskovitz discussed how he felt about being a billionaire, whether the money was a burden, and where it would go when he died in a response to an inquiry on Quora last year.

    The entrepreneur said he viewed his fortune as a resource to promote the social good rather than as a means to fulfill his interests. Here's his full response, posted with his permission:

    I'm very fond of this quote from Louis C.K. below and generally view the world through this lens:

    “I never viewed money as being ‘my money.’ I always saw it as ‘The money.’ It's a resource. If it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.”

    In other words, Cari and I are stewards of this capital. It's pooled up around us right now, but it belongs to the world. We are not perfect in applying this attitude, but we try very hard.

    All that said, it turns out to be quite difficult to flush such a large sum back into the world in a way you can feel confident about, which is why we started Good Ventures and work so closely with GiveWell. But we're learning more and more every day and accelerating our pace as we do. We intend not to have much left when we die (i.e. we have a "burn down" foundation).

    Moskovitz later posted the following update on how he felt about reinvesting his wealth back into business:

    A few people have commented or sent me private messages along the lines of "businesses can do good for the world too! Don't just give it all away!" I want to be clear that I agree 100% with that viewpoint. I personally work full time on building Asana because I agree so strongly (Solving the ultimate meta-problem at The Asana Blog). I also have many decades to invest my capital before the "burn down" aspect even starts to meaningfully limit the opportunities I can pursue on the business side. We've even already made one very notable investment from the foundation side of our world (Vicarious Raises $15M Led By Good Ventures To Build Software That ‘Learns Like A Human’).

    But I see no strong reasons to try to set up a system that perpetually invests this capital after I die, so I'd like to be rid of it before then (much like Warren Buffett). Further, even the money we grant will inevitably be re-invested in the economy somehow; it has not been "consumed." So, I'm just giving other people a chance to be stewards of the capital in the long run, to re-grant it or invest as they see fit.


    NOW WATCH — Peter Thiel: Luck Is Just An Excuse For Not Working Hard Enough

     

    SEE ALSO: 14 Billionaires Who Started With Nothing — Including Jack Ma And Larry Ellison

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    New York Skyline

    The world's 2,325 billionaires live all over the place, but they cluster together in a few moneyed metropolises. 

    A full 34% of the world's billionaires base themselves in the below cities, according to a report from the research firm Wealth-X

    "Certain clusters help explain the large billionaire populations in many cities," the report says. "For instance, New York's role as the financial capital of the world has helped attract new billionaire financiers. In addition, certain cities are particularly attractive because of the lifestyle they offer, from cultural attractions to a desirable environment in which to raise a family." 

    Here's the list: 

    billionaire cities

    For a look at last year's billionaire arrangement, go here.

    SEE ALSO: How Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, And Other Self-Made Billionaires Got Their Big Break

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    alibaba jack ma

    Fresh off the biggest IPO in history, Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma is now the richest person in China.

    Ma is now worth an estimated $25 billion, which includes his 7.8% stake in Alibaba and a nearly 50% stake in payment processing service Alipay.

    Ma is a true rags-to-riches story. He grew up poor in communist China, failed his college entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at KFC, before finding success with his third internet company, Alibaba. 

    Jack Ma (a.k.a. Ma Yun) was born on October 15, 1964, in Hangzhou, located in the southeastern part of China. He has an older brother and a younger sister. He and his siblings grew up at a time when communist China was increasingly isolated from the West, and his family didn't have much money when they were young.

     Source: 60 Minutes, USA Today

     



    Ma was scrawny and often got into fights with classmates. "I was never afraid of opponents who were bigger than I," he recalls in "Alibaba," a book by Liu Shiying and Martha Avery. Still, Ma had hobbies just like any other kid. He liked collecting crickets and making them fight, and was able to distinguish the size and type of cricket just by the sound it made.

    Source: USA Today, Business Insider



    After then-US president Richard Nixon visited Hangzhou in 1972, Ma's hometown became a tourist mecca. As a teenager, Ma started waking up early to visit the city's main hotel, offering visitors tours of the city in exchange for English lessons. The nickname "Jack" was given to him by a tourist he befriended.

    Source: 60 Minutes

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Warren Buffett

    There are 12 million millionaires in the world, but only 2,325 billionaires.

    That's an exclusive club, of which the likes of Warren Buffett, Jack Ma, and Oprah Winfrey are members. 

    Digging into research firm Wealth-X's new Billionaire Census, we found that billionaires have some commonalities. 

    Such as:

    • If there is an average billionaire, he or she is worth around $3 billion. Or roughly one Snapchat.

    • Billionaires have a combined wealth of $7.3 trillion, a 12% increase from last year. That's higher than the market capitalization of all the Dow Jones companies put together. Put another way, if all the world's billionaires decided to join forces and become a country, their combined wealth would be greater than the GDP than Japan. 

    • The 2,325 billionaires control 4% of the wealth in the world. The more inclusive 1% of the world's population controls 40% of the wealth

    • For every three million peopleon earth there's a single billionaire. Lonely, right? 

    • Europe has more billionaires than any other region. The Old World has 775 of them.

    • The US has more than any other country. America has 571 billionaires, with 57 newly minted members since last year. 

    • 60% of billionaires made their wealth themselves, like Jack Ma and Larry Ellison. Meanwhile, 26.9% became billionaires from re-investing inherited wealth, and 13% of them inherited their billionaire status straight out. 

    • Getting to billionaire status takes a while. Your average billionaire is 63 years old, and 93% of the world's billionaire population is over 45.  

    • Billionaires invest a lot in real estate, at about $160 million per person. They tend to have four properties — it supports "the billionaire lifestyle," the report says. 

    • Billionaires tend to have "non-real estate luxury assets." They sound really fun. "For example, one in 30 billionaires owns a sports team or a racehorse," the report says. "Other significant luxury assets include yachts, planes, cars, and art." 

    • Billionaires are into matrimony. 65% of them are married.

    • Billionaires love the Ivy League. While billionaires went to over 700 different universities, the Ivies have the most grads: 25 went to the University of Pennsylvania, 22 went to Harvard, and 20 went to Yale. 

    • But a surprising number of billionaires don't have a college degree. 35% never finished undergrad.

    • Billionaires tend to work in finance. Almost 20% of billionaires made their careers on Wall Street or its equivalents. 

    And they're most likely living in New York

    SEE ALSO: 14 Billionaires Who Started With Nothing — Including Jack Ma And Larry Ellison

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    warren buffets house

    Warren Buffett's house is the object of endless fascination when people learn about him -- and for good reason. Buffett is one of the richest people in the world; therefore, it's always surprising to learn that he's lived in the same house for most of his adult life.

    Looking more closely, Warren Buffett's house can teach you a lot about success and what's important in life.

    Warren Buffett bought his house in Omaha, Nebraska in 1958 for $31,500. The house is stucco, and has five bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Warren Buffett has called his house "the third best investment" he ever made, behind only wedding rings.

    In reverse order, here are the biggest lessons we can learn about success from Warren Buffett's house.

    Wealth Is About What You Don't See

    What does Warren Buffet's house tell you about how much he's worth? Nothing. 

    Most people's idea of wealth isn't someone who has a million dollars in the bank; it's of someone spending a million dollars. Too often, people confuse the trappings of wealth with actual wealth.

    Warren Buffett is now worth an estimated $68 billion. You can't tell how much someone is worth from his or her house or car. Wealth is about what you don't see.

    Warren Buffett's house is the same house he originally bought; but it was not a financial investment in the sense that Warren's goal wasn't appreciation in value. Warren bought a house he could afford, and has called it one of his best investments because, "My family and I gained 52 years of terrific memories with more to come."

    Warren didn't lose sight of the idea that a home is for living in rather than for speculation on housing prices. When you mix the two, bad things can happen.

    Possessions Don't Bring Happiness

    One thing you may notice about Warren Buffett's house is that there is only one. As Warren Buffett wrote in his Giving Pledge:

    Some material things make my life more enjoyable; many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning a half-dozen homes would be a burden.

    Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.

    Stocks Are Better Investments Than Real Estate In The Long Run

    "All things considered, the third best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home, though I would have made far more money had I instead rented and used the purchase money to buy stocks," says Buffett.

    On a purely financial level, data shows that, over the long term, houses do not return much above inflation, while the stock market generally does. Robert Shiller has collected home price data in the U.S. as far back as 1890. On an inflation-adjusted level, home prices have not risen much.

    home chart

    mf chart

    Success Has Nothing To Do With The House You Live In

    There are many definitions of success, but the size of your house has nothing to do with it. While life will have its ups and downs, continuous learning, thinking for yourself, developing good habits, focusing on the long term, and having fun on the journey, is what you need to set yourself up for success in life. It's as simple as that.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Elon Musk

    There are 2,325 billionaires on this planet. 

    Surprisingly, 35% of them don't hold an undergraduate degree

    Unsurprisingly, those that do tend to flock to the Ivy League. 

    According to research firm Wealth-X's Billionaire Census, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale are the schools with the most billionaire alumni. 

    Here's its list of the 20 schools with the most billionaire grads:

    billionaire schoolsSo why do these elite schools attract individuals who create the most wealth? 

    Duke University researcher Jonathan Wai attempted to answer as much in a recent research paper called "Investigating The World's Rich And Powerful." 

    It's clear that powerful people are overrepresented at top-tier colleges. Wai found that while only 2% to 5% of US undergraduates went to one of these super-elite schools, 44.8% of American billionaires did. And he believes it's due to a mixture of personality and privilege.

    So even if (Stanford-educated) billionaire investor Peter Thiel is telling you not to go to college, the stats suggest that you should if you're trying to break into the billionaires club. 

    Wai provides three arguments as to why: 

    One could argue that, especially for billionaires, many of these people got a leg up in college admissions due to their parent's wealth and influence. However, even among self-made billionaires, the percentage attending elite schools was not much different. Still, it is hard to completely rule out the possibility that this trend is, in part, about money and elite college attendance as a symbol of status for the ruling class. 

    Alternatively, it could be that many of the smartest people end up attending elite schools due to their high standardized test scores and other academic metrics. Maybe it's not elite college attendance that matters as much as the personal traits they had before they even went to college. Following that theory, whether (Delta State University alum and UPS CEO) David Abney went to a state school or an elite school, perhaps he still would have risen to the top spot at UPS because of who he is. 

    Or it might be that the power of the networks, brand name, and quality of education that come with elite school attendance is why so many of these people ended up in such positions of influence. 

    For a deeper look into why elite colleges are so tied to cultural elites, read Wai's full post.

    SEE ALSO: The World's 2,325 Billionaires Have These 14 Traits In Common

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    faxon road

    Atherton, a small town in Silicon Valley, has been named America's most expensive zip code for the second year in a row, according to Forbes.

    To determine the rankings, Mountain View-based firm Altos Research calculated the median home listing prices for 28,500 zip codes across the country. 

    In Atherton, the median listing price was a whopping $9.03 million, landing it at the top of the list.

    The town itself is quiet and secluded, and building codes prohibit commercial development. Still, it's not far from the bustling tech-centered towns of Palo Alto and Menlo Park. 

    "Atherton is drawing a lot of young executives: CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs," Silicon Valley broker Ken DeLeon said to Forbes. "And the international buyers really draw on the prestige."

    Several noted tech billionaires, including Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and HP CEO Meg Whitman, currently own homes here. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also lived in Atherton before she moved into her new waterfall-equipped home in nearby Menlo Park last year. 

    Here are the top 10 zip codes on Forbes' list:

    1. Atherton, California (94027) — $9.03 million

    2. Sagaponack, New York (11962) — $6.43 million

    3. New York, New York (10013) — $6.05 million

    4. New York, New York (10065) — $5.93 million

    5. New York, New York (10075) — $5.37 million

    6. Alpine, New Jersey (07620) — $5.03 million

    7. Woody Creek, Colorado (81656) — $4.95 million

    8. New York, New York (10011) — $4.9 million

    9. New York, New York (10014) — $4.86 million

    10. New York, New York (10012) — $4.78 million

    SEE ALSO: The 18 Most Expensive Mansions For Sale In Silicon Valley Right Now

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    atherton 33 emilie avenueSilicon Valley real estate is outrageously expensive, but perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the quiet town of Atherton, California. 

    The town of 7,000 was recently named the most expensive zip code in the country in Forbes' annual list.

    According to Forbes' analysis, the median listing price in Atherton is a whopping $9.03 million.

    Tech billionaires Paul Allen, Eric Schmidt, and Meg Whitman all currently own homes here. Sheryl Sandberg also lived in Atherton before she moved into her new waterfall-equipped home in nearby Menlo Park last year. 

    Our friends at Point2Homes helped us find the most expensive homes for sale in Atherton right now.

    A structural engineer designed this one-story home for his family.

    Address: 297 Polhemus Avenue

    Price: $9.95 million

    It has 11,843 square feet of living space over more than an acre of land. There's a large basement, with enough  space for extra bedrooms, a media room, gym, and an area reserved for wine tasting.



    Don't be fooled by this house's modest exterior.

    Address: 97 Fairview Avenue

    Price: $9.99 million

    Inside there are seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a home gym, and a pool and spa. There's also a detached guesthouse with its own kitchen. 



    This 12,000-square-foot home looks like an old European castle.

    Address: 65 Selby Lane

    Price: $12.3 million

    The columns, stonework, and impressive inner courtyard give this home an Old World feel. Inside, sleek countertops and a cutting-edge design make it feel more modern. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark cuban

    Billionaires are a whole other class of people, right? They must be smarter than the rest of us. Stronger. Luckier. Better.

    What if I told you billionaires are just like you — and that at one point, each of the fabulously wealthy people in this column struggled through challenges and issues much the same as those you're facing?

    Wouldn't you want to understand how they broke through, beat the odds, and grew their fortunes into billions?

    These six self-made billionaires are generous with their experience and have excellent business advice for you:

    "It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."—Bill Gates

    Bill Gates knows a little something about failure. One of the most famous and successful tech entrepreneurs in history, Gates was first a college dropout. Still, in his time at Harvard, Gates told his professors he would be a millionaire by the time he turned 30. He did them one better, in fact — by age 31, he was a self-made billionaire.

    It wasn't an easy path, though, and even his epic philanthropy work hasn't produced enough good karma to completely insulate Gates from failure. In fact, his philanthropy efforts have sometimes failed; Gates admits he regrets some programs, such as science that didn't work or a lunch program the government failed to take over.

    Even so, he keeps trying. Each new venture is informed by the failures of his past, which has most certainly played a huge role in his earning the No. 2 spot on Forbes' ranking of the richest people on the planet, with a net worth of $81.4 billion.

    "Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that's more productive."—Donald Trump

    If it seems like Donald Trump always has his irons in a number of different fires, it's because he does. He's a prime example of a mover and shaker, constantly working new deals. But he doesn't get emotionally attached or married to any of them.

    The insanely wealthy understand perhaps better than anyone else the value of their time. Entrepreneurs often struggle with the feeling that their idea — their business — is their baby. It's a dangerous mindset that can result in an unwillingness to change, the exercising of too much control, or hanging on to a failing model too long.

    Every moment counts. If an idea isn't working out, you have to know when to cut your losses and free up that time to try something else.

    "If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."—J.K. Rowling

    The world's richest author, J.K. Rowling has maintained a deep respect and understanding for those living in poverty. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that she lived in it herself.

    Now worth an estimated $1 billion, those days are long gone for Rowling, yet anyone who has experienced destitution never really leaves that legacy far behind. Becoming fabulously wealthy doesn't make you any better than the next person — it simply means you have more money. Fortunes are won and lost constantly, and Rowling's advice reminds us to be kind to those around us, regardless of who they are. After all, you never know when you may fall on hard times yourself and need those people to give you a hand back up.

    "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."—Andrew Carnegie

    The Internet has forever changed the way we communicate — and the vast amount of information available about individuals and businesses.

    The world is watching.

    Even start-up entrepreneurs can find themselves under the microscope, to varying degrees. You may think your actions go unnoticed, but apps like Secret and social networks like Facebook mean nothing is ever really private anymore, not really.

    Customers are watching. Potential investors are watching. They're not as interested in what you say as what you do. Don't disappoint!

    "If you never want to be criticized, for goodness' sake don't do anything new."—Jeff Bezos

    Grow a thick skin; you're going to need it.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a tech leader many love to hate--he certainly takes his fair share of criticism, and then some. His company has faced criticism and controversy since its launch, with Bezos' personal business ethics and management style often thrown into the mix.

    Still, Amazon has revolutionized the way we shop online. Bezos understands that changing the game invites criticism. And he's okay with that.

    If you have a business idea and want to shake up an industry, you'd better get okay with it, too.

    "Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don't do it."—Mark Cuban

    It may seem like everything Mark Cuban has touched has turned to gold, but his upbringing wasn't exceptional. Cuban grew up in an affluent suburb of Pittsburgh and found his entrepreneurial spirit at just 12 years old, when he sold garbage bags to pay for a pair of shoes he coveted. After earning his B.S. in Business Administration at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, he did a short stint as a salesperson for a Dallas software retailer — and was fired within a year.

    Cuban's first business, MicroSolutions, sold to CompuServe for $6 million. His next venture was exponentially larger and more lucrative. With a partner, he founded Audionet, which would become Broadcast.com in 1998. A year later, in the dot-com boom, it was acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock.

    The rest, as they say, is history. Cuban has faced his share of controversy over the years, but now owns the Dallas Mavericks and is a star investor on ABC's Shark Tank. Forbes puts his net worth at $2.7 billion, making him the 652nd richest person on the planet.

    Cuban loves investing and business. You can't argue that he's not fantastic at it. Do what you do best or don't bother!

    SEE ALSO: What 11 Extremely Successful People Learned From Failure

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    ibillionaire billionairesWhen Warren Buffett talks about investing, everyone listens.

    Now, those listeners can sign up for a constant stream of Buffett's investing wisdom, along with insight from other major investing names including Carl Icahn, George Soros, and Ray Dalio through an app called iBillionaire.

    "The stock market is volatile," says iBillionaire cofounder and CEO Raul Moreno. "As an investor, you're deciding if you need to buy or sell or hold. One of our missions is to help investors make these decisions, and we thought, 'Who would you want to help with that decision?' In an ideal world, you'd want the best in the industry to guide you through the process."

    image_2And that's what iBillionaire aims to do. By tracking the activity of billionaires chosen for both their proven ability to do well in the market long-term and their status as industry thought leaders, the app provides a constant stream of information about their investments.

    This information comes from publicly accessible SEC filings that ostensibly, anyone could look at.

    "By learning what the billionaires are doing and what they think, we provide the value," Moreno says. "Obviously the information is available publicly, but it's not easy to understand or to see on a phone, where people are making the decisions."

    iBillionaire has a few parts: There's the app, which provides a running commentary of what billionaires are doing with their money and allows investors to compare their portfolios to those of the billionaires; an index created from 30 large-cap equities popular among said billionaires; and an ETF (IBLN), which tracks the index and allows anyone with at least $25 to invest.

    "The reason we chose an ETF structure is we believe that it allows any type of investor," Moreno says. "It trades like a stock: You can buy it from any bank — JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, all of them. We believe in the democratization of these investors' ideas that historically have only been available to rich people. We have the diversification, the liquidity, but not the high fees or high investment minimums. That's one of the reasons we like ETFs, and why we're bullish on them as an investment vehicle."

    Moreno says the iBillionaire Index ETF currently holds $36 million in assets, and iBillionaire's site says the index outperforms the S&P 500.

    ibillionaire index performance

    The iBillionaire app itself has 160,000 global downloads, and 90% of those downloads are from individual investors, Moreno estimates. The other 10% is from financial advisers.

    "We assume the market is volatile, and as a result of that reality, you will have to make investing decisions, and those decisions are not always buy and hold," Moreno says. "We give you the information about what the billionaires are doing and thinking, so you can make your own decisions and think for yourself about what's best for you. I guess it goes against the traditional view of passive investing, but it's not completely active investing, either. It's a mix of both."

    ibillionaire screenshot pushIf Acorns, the app that invests small amounts of money ETFs that we've previously discussed, is an app for people just dipping their toes into the investing waters, iBillionaire is for those who are already nose-deep.

    Anyone might be interested in seeing how billionaires invest, but it's that next step that might be intimidating to rookie investors: connecting that insight with your own portfolio.

    iBillionaire is very clear about the fact that it's not an investment adviser and that the information it provides may apply to each investor in a different way, but applying any investing insight to your situation involves a certain amount of knowledge.

    Still, it's pretty cool to get a push notification about Seth Klarman.


    NOW WATCH: Here's The Trick To Not Feeling So Stressed On Sundays

     

    SEE ALSO: This Startup Wants To Be The Yelp Of Investing

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    china houses apartments smog housing

    Trading in Agile Property Holdings, a $20 billion real estate development company in mainland China, has been suspended since Oct. 3, pending information about a share offering that was supposed to take place on Friday.

    On Thursday, the company announced that the $350 million share offering would not take place at all. 

    Rumors then started circulating that the company's billionaire chairman, Chen Zhuolin, had gone missing. He and his family are controlling shareholders in the company.

    On Friday he was found and placed under house arrest in Kunming province. He has not been charged with any crime.

    Agile was having major problems long before this month. Back in spring 2013, authorities dropped two indecent assault charges against Chen — a saga that shaved 21% from the stock until the case was closed. The company's stock price has plummeted 45% in the last year. 

    On Oct. 7th a report posted on the internet connected Chen to Zhou Yongkang — China's former security chief, and the highest level official taken down in President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive. Chen denied this connection.

    In a statement Friday, the family said that it would support future fundraising efforts with its own cash if necessary. However, the company has refused to comment on chatter that Chen has gone missing.

    What everyone's most worried about here is another big property company collapse, leaving piles and piles of debt and sucking liquidity out of an already fragile system. China's property sector is cooling along with the rest of the economy. And now more than ever before the government is showing signs that it's going to take aggressive action to support the sector in order to allow the economy to balance.

    So Agile may very well be on its own on this one.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    bill gates farm

    Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has has purchased a 228-acre horse farm in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to property records, the purchase price was a cool $18 million.

    The estate formerly belonged to weight-loss expert Jenny Craig, who initially listed the property for $30 million several years ago. Its last listing price was $25 million, though it was no longer on the open market when Gates made the purchase.

    The property, known as the Rancho Paseana, includes a racetrack, guesthouse, office, veterinarian's suite, orchard, and five barns. 

    Gates' daughter Jennifer regularly participates in equestrian competitions, and the family owns another horse farm in Wellington, Florida.

    It's a beautiful property, with wide-open pastures and plenty of California palm trees. 

    Rancho Paseana is located about 20 minutes north of San Diego, in a valley in Rancho Sante Fe, California.



    It's only about 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean.



    Rancho Paseana encompasses 228 acres of land.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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