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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    Harold Hamm

    An Oklahoma Judge has handed down the ruling in the most expensive divorce in US history — between billionaire energy magnate Harold Hamm and his ex-wife Sue Ann.

    CNBC reports that she'll be given less than $1 billion of Hamm's $16 billion fortune.

    Hamm made his fortune through the oil and gas company he founded in 1967, Continental Resources. He owns 68% of the company.

    He met his ex-wife there and she has served as a company attorney and in executives roles at the firm. They were married in 1988 without a prenup — which means Hamm could've had to hand over half his fortune to Sue Ann.

    The case was strange, not just for its size, but also for how it proceeded. The general counsel of Continental, Eric Eissenstat, had a huge role in the courtroom even though he didn't represent either party. The Judge was so friendly with Eissenstat he would toss him candy during the proceedings.

    “It sounds like the corporation is part of the divorce case,” said Arnold Rutkin, a lawyer at Rutkin Oldham in Connecticut told Reuters. “There are only two parties in a divorce: husband and wife.”

    Reuters also reported that Sue Ann's team alleged that Continental intervened in the divorce in Hamm's favor. In part, that means the company downplayed Hamm's role in its success, essentially chalking it up to friendly market conditions rather than his hard work. 

    In Oklahoma, if lawyers could prove that Continental's stock gains were made due to the market conditions rather than Hamm's leadership, those gains would be off the table in the divorce settlement.

    The title of "most expensive divorce" in the world goes to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid his wife $4.5 billion.

    All together Sue Ann will be getting $995.5 million, with a third of that due by the end of the year. The rest will be paid in installments of $7 million a month.

    SEE ALSO: The Oil Tycoon Who Just Paid Out A $1 Billion Divorce Settlement Has An Amazing Rags To Riches Story

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    paul allen

    With an estimated net worth of $17 billion, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can afford to buy himself some fancy toys. 

    But with interests that range from electric guitars to World War II aircraft, Allen takes expensive hobbies to a whole new level. 

    We've rounded up some of the billionaire's most ridiculous toys, from submarines to professional sports teams.

    Allen loves rock 'n' roll. An expert guitarist, he pays a band to travel with him so he can jam whenever he wants. He owns a number of valuable guitars, including some previously used by Woody Guthrie and Jimi Hendrix.

    Source: 60 Minutes


    In May, Allen showed off his skills at a celebrity-packed party he threw on his 414-foot yacht, "Octopus."

    Source: Business Insider


    Octopus is truly one-of-a-kind, decked out with two helicopter landing pads and its own submarine. Allen has sailed to Antarctica, Europe, and other exotic destinations. "During the day we explore, and at night we jam," he told "60 Minutes" in 2011.

    Source: 60 Minutes


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mellon rothko

    NEW YORK (AP) — Two Mark Rothko paintings owned by Listerine fortune heir Rachel "Bunny" Mellon fetched more than $76 million at a Sotheby's auction of post-war and contemporary art on Monday.

    "Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)," from 1955, sold for $36.5 million, just over its pre-sale estimate high of $30 million. "Untitled," created 15 years later, brought in just under $40 million, almost double its top pre-sale estimate, Sotheby's said.

    Other items from the Mellon collection, including jewelry and furnishings, will be offered in a series of sales Nov. 20-23. The total could realize more than $100 million.

    Proceeds will benefit The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, which supports The Oak Spring Garden Library in Upperville, Virginia. The library houses Mellon's collection of rare books, manuscripts and works of art related to landscape design, horticulture and natural history.

    Mellon, a noted horticulturist and widow of philanthropist Paul Mellon, died in March at age 103 at her Virginia estate.

    Mellon's grandfather Jordan W. Lambert created Listerine, and her father, Gerald Lambert, built a company that made everything from Dentyne to Schick razors. Paul Mellon had his own fortune, inherited from his Pittsburgh industrialist father and built on holdings in banking, coal, railroads, steel and aluminum.

    Bunny Mellon was a self-taught botanist and close friend of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In 1961 she redesigned the White House Rose Garden, and later she created another White House garden that was named for Kennedy after her death.

    The Mellons donated hundreds of important artworks to museums, including the National Gallery of Art, founded in 1937 by Paul Mellon's father, Andrew Mellon.

    On Tuesday, a third Rothko painting will go under the gavel at Sotheby's. "No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange)," bought by art benefactors Pierre and Sao Schlumberger from Rothko's estate, could bring more than $50 million.

    The painting was first exhibited in the seminal exhibition "15 Americans" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1952, a year after it was created. It has not been exhibited since a traveling retrospective of Rothko's work in 1971-72.

    The current Rothko auction record is $86.8 million for "Orange, Red, Yellow."

    Among other highlights at the Tuesday sale is Andy Warhol's 1974 "A group of Four Portraits of Sao Schlumberger."

    Sotheby's and Christie's also are cashing in on the Jeff Koons mania sweeping the globe.

    Sotheby's Tuesday sale features his "Moon (Yellow)," one of five moon sculptures he created in different colors and the first of them to appear at auction. A pink version was displayed at a recent Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    On Wednesday, Christie's is offering Koons' massive stainless steel "Balloon Monkey (Orange)."

    Koons became the most expensive living artist last year, when his "Balloon Dog (Orange)" was auctioned for $58.4 million.

    The week of high-end sales concludes with another blockbuster offering from Christie's on Wednesday: two Andy Warhol portraits never before seen at auction, one of Elvis Presley and the other of Marlon Brando. "Triple Elvis (Ferus Type)" and "Four Marlons" were acquired by German casino company WestSpiel in the 1970s.

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    harvard business school graduates

    Harvard Business School has produced 64 billionaire alumni, the most by far of any graduate business school in the world, according to a new report from Wealth-X.

    There is a massive gap between Harvard and even the next highest ranked business school, Stanford University, which has 23 billionaire MBA alumni. No other university had more than 20 billionaire business school alumni.

    American universities dominated the business school alumni billionaires list, representing seven spots in the top 10. According to Wealth-X's report, nearly 50% of all billionaires with an MBA recieved their graduate degree from one of the 10 schools below.

    Wealth-X also recently released a report on schools with the most undergraduate alumni billionaires, with the University of Pennsylvania topping the list with 25 former student billionaires. Wealth-X president David Friedman told Business Insider that UPenn's billionaires represent successes in an array of fields, which suggests that the university isn't focused entirely on channeling students into financial services or technology.

    Here are the 10 business schools with the most billionaire alumni and how many alumni they have, via Wealth-X:

    1. Harvard University — 64
    2. Stanford University — 23
    3. Columbia University — 14
    4. University of Pennsylvania — 12
    5. University of Chicago — 10
    6. INSEAD (Global) — 9
    7. New York University — 7
    8. International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland) — 5
    9. University of Southern California — 5
    10. London Business School (England) — 4

    SEE ALSO: The World's 50 Best Business Schools

    FOLLOW  Here's Why UPenn Produces More Billionaires Than Any Other School In The World

    FOLLOW US! Check Out BI Colleges On Facebook

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    warren buffettWarren Buffett — now worth more than $71 billion— has had a hunger for wealth since he was a tube-socked teenager.

    Through numerous schemes, the would-be Oracle of Omaha amassed the equivalent of $53,000 by the time he was 16, enough money that he nearly refused his father's request to go to college, because he didn't see the point.

    By looking through Alice Schroeder's biography, "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life," we can see that Buffett has always had a gift for manipulating money — and people. 

    Here are a half-dozen of his early hustles.

    He delivered The Washington Post. 

    Buffett's father, Howard, was elected to the US House of Representatives when Buffett was a teen, and the family had to move from Omaha to the nation's capital.

    As Schroeder notes, the young Buffett immediately set to work making money with the most traditional of hustles — dutifully delivering newspapers. But by handing out The Post, Buffett was making more money than most grown-ups. 

    "Just from pitching newspapers a couple hours a day, he was earning $175 a month, more money than his teachers," she writes. 

    He also sold calendars to his newspaper clients, bringing in a little extra.

    He sold used golf balls. 

    If you wanted to get a golf ball on the cheap back in the 1940s, you could do worse than buying Buffett's at $6 for a dozen. 

    Buffett's friends and family thought he scooped the balls out of water traps, but the young entrepreneur got them by ordering from a provider in Chicago. 

    "They were classy balls,"Buffett told Schroeder. "Titleist and Spalding Dots and Maxlis, which I bought for three and a half bucks a dozen. They looked brand new. He probably got them the way we first tried to get them, out of water traps, only he was better." 

    He sold stamps. 

    If you needed a fancy stamp, you could turn to Buffett's Approval Service, which sold collectible stamps to collectors around the country. 

    He buffed cars. 

    The teenage Buffett partnered with his friend Lou Battistone to form Buffett's Showroom Shine. The car-buffing business ran out of Battistone's dad's used car parking lot — though Schroeder reports that the duo abandoned the business when it turned out to be too much manual labor. 

    He set up a pinball machine business. 

    When Buffett was 17 he had his biggest money-making idea: pinball. 

    He made the following pitch to his friend Don Danley

    I bought this old pinball machine for 25 bucks, and we can have a partnership. Your part of the deal is to fix it up. And lookit, we'll tell Frank Erico, the barber, 'We represent Wilson's Coin-Operated Machine Company, and we have a proposition from Mr. Wilson. It's at no risk to you. Let's put this nickel machine in the back, Mr. Erico, and your customers can play while they wait. And we'll split the money.'

    The pinball machine was a hit: Buffett counted $4 in nickels on the first evening. The pair soon set up pinballs in barbershops all over Washington. 

    And he turned the horse track into a very lucrative playground. 

    When still in Omaha, the young Buffett found a bull market in the Ak-Sar-Ben arena, a horse-racing track that operated from 1919 to 1995. 

    He and a friend would go to the race track, and though the duo was too young to make bets, Buffett quickly found a way to make money: by stooping, which was like dumpster diving for race track tickets. 

    Here's Buffett's description

    At the start of racing season you get all these people who'd never seen a race except in the movies. And they'd think that if your horse came in second or third, you didn't get paid, because all the emphasis is on the winner, so they'd throw away [second-] and [third-place] tickets. 

    The other time you would hit it big was when there was a disputed race. That little light would go on that said 'contested' or 'protest.' By that time, some people had thrown away their tickets. Meanwhile, we were just gobbling them up. 

    It was awful; people would spit on the floor. But we had great fun. 

    And if the boys found any winning tickets, Buffett's aunt Alice would cash them in for the boys. 

    Buffett went a step further: using his love of math and of collecting information, he and a friend put together a tip sheet for bettors at the race track. Soon they were out hawking "Stable Boy Selections," a tip sheet that the boys typed out on an old Royal typewriter in Buffett's basement.

    "We were in the track, yelling, 'Get your Stable-Boy Selections!'" Buffett tells Schroeder. "At 25 cents, we were a cut-rate product. They shut down Stable-Boy selections fast because they were getting a cut on everything sold in the place except for us."

    Like other self-made billionaires, Buffett started early. 

    SEE ALSO: 9 Books Billionaire Warren Buffett Thinks Everyone Should Read

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    Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk unveils a new all-wheel-drive version of the Model S car in Hawthorne, California October 9, 2014.

    Today, Elon Musk is one of the most-covered figures in business — a Google News search of his name prompts over 30,000 results

    But he wasn't always such a media darling. 

    At one point, the lack of attention made him feel "incredibly insulted," as evidenced by emails he sent to Tesla employees in 2006.

    Musk was so affected by the lack of recognition that he threatened to fire a senior member of the Tesla team if he didn't get him more press.

    To understand why he was so upset, let's go back in time. 

    In the mid 2000s, the acquisition of PayPal made Musk ridiculously wealthy

    He founded SpaceX and also started investing, most notably leading the 2004 Series A round for electric car company Tesla Motors, founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk came on as chairman of the board. 

    The company stayed in stealth mode until 2006. That July, it came out of hiding. Tesla invited some 350 high-status people to a debut party for the Tesla Roadster in an aircraft hangar in Santa Monica, California.

    Michael Eisner, Ed Begley Jr, and then-governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger all came out to take a test drive in a prototype of the Tesla Roadster, the high-performance electric car that would become the startup automaker's flagship vehicle. 

    Back then, Eberhard was the face of the company, and he did dozens of interviews at the Roadster reveal. 

    As we detail in our investigative feature about Tesla's early days, all the attention paid to the then-CEO made Musk feel overlooked.

    You can see it in the emails Musk sent to members of the Tesla team, pasted from court documents below.

    In a July 18, 2006, email to Mike Harrigan, who was effectively coordinating Tesla's press at the time, Musk wrote that he would "like to talk with every major publication within reason."

    He continued

    The way that my role as been portrayed to date, where I am referred to merely as "an early investor" is outrageous. That would be like Martin [Eberhard] being called an "early employee."

    Apart from me leading the Series A & B and co-leading the Series C, my influence on the car itself runs from the headlights to the styling to the door sill to the trunk, and my strong interest in electric transport predates Tesla by a decade. Martin should certainly be the front and center guy, but the portrayal of my role to date has been incredibly insulting.

    I'm not blaming you or others at Tesla — the media is difficult to control. However, we need to make a serious effort to correct this perception.

    Two days later, the New York Times published its report of the Tesla debut party, which in its original form referred to Eberhard as the chairman of the company and left Musk out entirely. 

    To say Musk felt overlooked is an understatement.

    "I was incredibly insulted and embarrassed by the NY Times article"— he wrote in an email cc'd to Eberhard and Harrigan on July 20, 2006 — "where I am not merely unmentioned, but where Martin is actually referred to as the chairman. If anything like this happens again, please consider the PCGC [public relations firm] relationship with Tesla to end immediately upon publication of such a piece. Please ensure that the NYT publishes a correction as soon as possible."

    While Musk and Eberhard had bumped heads about product design before, Eberhard remembers that as the first time Musk grew so emotional about an issue. 

    Shortly after the debut party, Musk took Harrigan aside and made it clear to him that if he wanted to keep his job, he needed to get Musk some media attention. 

    These tensions would give rise to the Tesla Roadster — and the growth of Elon Musk

    Here are those emails: 

    musk angry email 1

    musk angry email 2

    Ultimately, Musk got his wish: After Tesla churned through Eberhard and two other CEOs, he became the face of the company. And now you can see his face everywhere.

    For more from the early days of Tesla, read our investigative feature.

    SEE ALSO: The Making Of Tesla: Invention, Betrayal, And The Birth Of The Roadster

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    rich man sports car jaguar

    Wealth inequality in the US is at near record levels according to a new study by academics. Over the past three decades, the share of household wealth owned by the top 0.1% has increased from 7% to 22%.

    For the bottom 90% of families, a combination of rising debt, the collapse of the value of their assets during the financial crisis, and stagnant real wages have led to the erosion of wealth.

    The share of wealth owned by the top 0.1% is almost the same as the share owned by the bottom 90%

    The research by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman [pdf] illustrates the evolution of wealth inequality over the last century. The chart shows how the top 0.1% of families now own roughly the same share of wealth as the bottom 90%.

    The picture actually improved in the aftermath of the 1930s Great Depression, with wealth inequality falling through to the late 1970s. It then started to rise again, with the share of total household wealth owned by the top 0.1% rising to 22% in 2012 from 7% in the late 1970s. The top 0.1% includes 160,000 families with total net assets of more than $20m (£13m) in 2012.

    In contrast, the share of total US wealth owned by the bottom 90% of families fell from a peak of 36% in the mid-1980s, to 23% in 2012 - just one percentage point above the top 0.1%.

    There is a new wealth divide in the US


    Average wealth of families in the bottom 90% and the top 1% of the wealth distribution, in constant 2010 US dollars, 1946-2012 Photograph: Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman

    The growing indebtedness of most Americans is the main reason behind the erosion of the wealth share of the bottom 90%, according to the report’s authors. Many middle-class families own their homes and have pensions, but too many have higher mortgage repayments, higher credit card bills, and higher student loans to service. The average wealth of bottom 90% jumped during the stock market boom of the late 1990s and the housing bubble of the early 2000s. But it then collapsed during and after the most recent financial crisis.

    Since then, there has been no recovery in the wealth of the middle class and the poor, the authors say. The average wealth of the bottom 90% of families is equal to $80,000 in 2012— the same level as in 1986. In contrast, the average wealth for the top 1% more than tripled between 1980 and 2012.

    Income inequality across the G20 is worrying, Oxfam warns

    new graph

    Among the nine G20 countries with sufficient data (featured in the graph above), the richest 1% of people (by income) have increased their income share significantly since 1980, according to Oxfam. In Australia, for example, the top 1% earned 4.8% of the country’s income in 1980. That had risen to more than 9% by 2010.

    Oxfam says that in the time that Australia has held the G20 presidency (between 2013 and 2014) the total wealth in the G20 increased by $17tn but the richest 1% of people in the G20 captured $6.2tn of this wealth – 36% of the total increase.

    This article originally appeared on

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    Sue Ann Hamm and Continental Resources Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm in a combination image.   REUTERS/Files

    (Reuters) - Just how much of Harold Hamm's fortune was amassed through his skill and hard work?

    That was a key question that Oklahoma divorce judge Howard Haralson had to weigh in his decision last week, when he ordered Hamm, the chief executive officer of Continental Resources - and Oklahoma's richest person - to hand over more than $1 billion in cash and assets to his ex-wife in one of the largest-ever U.S. divorce judgments.

    Haralson awarded Sun Ann Hamm just 6 percent of the $18 billion fortune her lawyers say the couple had amassed at the start of the divorce trial in August.

    Harold Hamm called the judgment "fair and equitable," but his ex-wife called it unfair and plans to appeal.

    Several divorce lawyers said they were surprised by how small the award was.

    “I would have expected that a larger percentage of the wealth be attributed to marital skill and labor,” said Carolyn Thompson, an Oklahoma family law expert. “Instead, the judge is ruling that the vast majority of the increase was attributable to market factors outside of Harold Hamm’s control."

    Under Oklahoma law, the growing value of assets - including premarital property - is typically split up if it resulted from the efforts or skills of either spouse during the marriage. The Hamm marriage lasted 26 years, and the couple had no prenuptial agreement.

    While Haralson ruled that much of Harold Hamm's fortune was gained through "passive" means, his 80-page ruling is a window into how, during the marriage, the CEO was often deeply involved in even the most picayune tasks of running his company.

    Hamm, who is also chairman of Continental's board, was considered a “micro-manager” by employees, it says. For years, he insisted on personally signing off on new oil wells, the purchase of land leases for drilling and all “petty cash” expenses of more than $500.

    Harold Hamm “has always been the majority shareholder of Continental, and as such has had the ultimate authority to make decisions for Continental,” one passage read.

    Through a series of shrewd land acquisitions and drilling campaigns approved by Harold Hamm, Continental’s value rose from less than $50 million when the couple wed to around $20 billion. Haralson's ruling allows the CEO to keep most of the 400-fold rise in his 68 percent Continental stake.

    That stake was worth around $18 billion when the trial began but has since dropped to around $13.3 billion, after Continental's share price fell.

    Only a small part of the growth, or $1.4 billion, “resulted from efforts, skills, or expended funds of either spouse” during the marriage, Haralson found.

    Under Oklahoma law, only that “active” growth in wealth is subject to division.            

    The $1 billion judgment “seems like a small amount,” said New York divorce lawyer Jacqueline Newman. “Mr. Hamm’s argument was one of passive appreciation, but maybe the court just looked at the magnitude of the assets and thought it just didn’t want to go beyond that award.”


    To limit his potential payout, Harold Hamm's lawyers argued that most of Continental’s growth was passive, or the result of factors beyond his control, such as rising oil prices. Continental shares have fallen recently along with world oil prices, but per barrel prices are still up sharply from when the Hamms wed.

    jed clampett beverly hillbilliesSome who followed the case dubbed it the Jed Clampett defense, a reference to the father figure in the 1960s TV series "The Beverly Hillbillies" who became rich through dumb luck by striking oil while out hunting.

    Hamm founded Continental in 1967. The firm now holds a leading position in North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken Shale.

    The judge also adopted Harold Hamm’s revised version of Continental’s corporate time line. Reuters reported earlier that the company changed descriptions of its history on its website this year in ways that might have helped Hamm’s case.

    For years, Continental's website said its highly profitable move into the Rocky Mountain region came in 1993, five years after the Hamms wed. Recently it was changed to say the move happened in 1987, before the marriage.

    “Continental began its move to the Rocky Mountain region prior to the marriage. Continental began work on acquiring leases in the region in 1987,” Haralson found.

    The judge largely rejected the testimony of Sue Ann’s expert witnesses, who told the court that nearly all of Continental’s growth was the result of Hamm’s deft management.

    “It looks to me that Judge Haralson took a narrow view of the identifiable appreciation of the Continental shares due to Hamm’s efforts,” said Barbara Atwood, a professor emerita of family law at the University of Arizona. “And he didn’t seem to be impressed with many of Mrs. Hamm’s witnesses.”

    A rise in oil prices, and new technologies that helped propel profits, were beyond Harold Hamm's control. Haralson also wrote that “team work has been a common theme around Continental,” and found that Hamm had played “a more limited role” in operations since Continental’s 2007 initial public offering.

    The ruling also suggests that, at least during some periods, Continental’s board had a diminished role.

    It references company documents showing that eight people were named to the board in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Four of the former directors testified that they had no recollection of sitting on the board; two others couldn’t recall when they joined.

    ”I’m surprised by the low value of the award to Sue Ann,” said Ilan Hirschfeld, a marital dissolution expert in New Jersey. “The ruling says that Harold Hamm played the major decision-making role, a dominant role, and some within his company said it was too dominant."


    (Editing by Jonathan Leff and Douglas Royalty)

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    Elizabeth Holmes at TEDMED 2014

    As a kid, Elizabeth Holmes spent a lot of time with her uncle.

    "I remember his love of crossword puzzles and trying to teach us to play football," she said, while speaking at TEDMED 2014 in San Francisco. She recalled his love of the beach and how she spent summers and holidays with him.

    But one day he was diagnosed with skin cancer, and doctors soon realized the cancer had already spread.

    That illness "all of a sudden was brain cancer and in his bones," she said. "He didn't live to see his son grow up and I never got to say goodbye."

    Holmes uses what happened to her uncle as a way of explaining why she started Theranos, a company valued at $9 billion that's transforming medicine by re-inventing the blood test.

    The problem Holmes identified with her uncle's cancer is that we usually diagnose disease when a person showing symptoms decides to get those symptoms checked out at a doctor. Oftentimes that doctor's visit happens too late.

    With Theranos, Holmes says she wants to offer individuals an easier, faster, cheaper way of getting access to their own health information, allowing them to transform their own behavior or to get treatment for serious health conditions earlier, giving them more time to get help.

    Elizabeth Holmes TEDMED2014

    "I believe the individual is the answer to the challenges of healthcare but we can't engage the individual in changing outcomes unless the individual has access to the information they need to do so," she said.

    At TEDMED and in the past, Holmes has defined access to health information as a "basic human right."

    And the lab tests Theranos provides, in theory at least, should give people much greater access to information — the very information used in 60-80% of clinical decisions, the company says.

    Theranos has partnered with Walgreens, so that anyone who needs (or just wants) a blood test can walk into a drug store — and not just during working hours. After submitting to a painless fingerprick, Theranos can run over 70 tests on a tiny sample of blood, checking for anything from blood sugar abnormalities to sexually transmitted infections, all for 50-90% cheaper than Medicare reimbursement rates.

    That model has attracted investors and a notable board of directors. For patients, though, making that kind of health information easily accessible has the potential make doctors visits and associated lab tests easier, cheaper, more convenient, and essentially painless. Still, it remains to be seen whether people will fully adopt the approach she envisions, where individuals track their health with the system "almost the way they might use a bathroom scale to watch their weight," as Roger Parloff describes it in his excellent Fortune profile of Holmes.

    If that goal is a success, changing the blood test would really be transforming our whole societal approach towards medicine.

    Check out the full TEDMED talk below.

    SEE ALSO: How Elizabeth Holmes Plans To Transform Medicine

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    musk angry sad

    In August 2007, Martin Eberhard was in Los Angeles to give a talk at a luncheon put on by the Motor Press Guild, the trade group for publications that cover cars. 

    At that time, he was the CEO of Tesla Motors, and he was getting to be a big deal in the auto industry.

    "Eberhard will discuss the business case for starting Tesla Motors and the viability of the electric car today and in the future,"a press release for the event glowed. "He will also reveal plans for the launch of the company's high-performance, all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster." 

    Then Eberhard got a call from Elon Musk, Tesla's chairman of the board and primary investor. 

    Musk sounded nervous. 

    He had some bad news for Eberhard: Michael Marks, an early Tesla investor, would be taking over as chief executive. 

    The Tesla board had held a meeting without him, Eberhard told Business Insider, and decided that it was time for him to step down. 

    "There was no discussion," Eberhard said. "I didn't get to hear what they said. I didn't get to defend myself. I felt totally stranded."

    Eberhard had an uncle who was a lawyer, so he asked his advice. After realizing that the board meeting violated the company's bylaws, he asked that they have another meeting via conference call so he could actually leave his position. 

    On Aug. 8, 2007, Eberhard resigned from the CEO position and took on a new title, President of Technology.

    Marks became the interim CEO

    Martin Eberhard Tesla

    "I never figured out what was said about me to those people," Eberhard said.

    Though he was still on staff with Tesla, Eberhard was moved off of almost every responsibility, save for troubleshooting and a handful of peripheral issues. 

    Now an employee, he was effectively shut out of the company he founded. 

    Mike Harrigan, who served as VP of marketing for Tesla at the time, told Business Insider that it was classic Musk. 

    Musk "is the kind of boss where day to day you don't know if you have a job or not," he said.

    "Once he's convinced that you can't do the job, there's no way you can convince him back again," Harrigan added. "That happened many times to many people, and that's what happened with Martin. Once he determined that Martin couldn't be the CEO of Tesla any longer, that was it. He was fired."

    This story is taken from "The Making Of Tesla: Invention, Betrayal, And The Birth Of The Roadster," an original Business Insider investigative feature. 

    SEE ALSO: The Making Of Tesla: Invention, Betrayal, And The Birth Of The Roadster

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    Bryan Sheffield, Parsley Energy

    In May, oil executive Bryan Sheffield became the only self-made billionaire under 40 on Bloomberg’s Billionaire index who didn’t come from a tech background. Sadly for him, it didn’t last long.

    The recent drop in oil prices has already dragged him back down to the ranks of the multi-millionaires, Bloomberg reported.

    Sheffield grew up in Texas in an oil family. His father worked for Parker & Parsley Petroleum and later for Pioneer Natural Resources.

    But, according to Bloomberg, young Bryan wanted to work in finance and moved to Chicago to trade futures.

    He never made more than $100,000 a year — even when he was living on the Spanish coast and trading German bonds in Gibraltar, Bloomberg reported.

    So he moved back to Texas to learn the family business.

    Soon, he began to build his own drilling company, Parsley Energy. It was 2009, right when fracking — or hydraulic fracturing, which uses hydraulically pressurized chemicals to fracture oil-rich rock bases — was starting to take hold as a popular drilling technique.

    Things took off for Sheffield, and he earned his billionaire ranking in May 2014, when he took his company public.

    But today, benchmark crude futures have fallen to around $75 a barrel, according to Bloomberg — well below the $90 mark where they’ve hovered the past few years.

    Parsley’s shares, of which Sheffield holds more than 14 percent, have dropped about 10 percent below their $18.50 IPO price.

    But who knows, at the rate this guy is going, he could be rolling in the deep again in no time.

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    warren buffettWarren Buffett made the first pennies of his estimated $71 billion fortune 78 years ago. 

    As a 6-year-old kid in Omaha, Nebraska, he bought packs of gum at his grandfather's grocery store, and spent the evenings going door to door selling them to neighbors. 

    Buffett wasn't intimidated; he was a hyper-intelligent, super-talkative kid who had an easy manner with grown-ups. 

    But he took a firm stance with selling.

    "I remember a woman named Virginia Macoubrie saying, 'I'll take one stick of Juicy Fruit,'" Buffett recalled to Alice Schroeder in her biography, "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life."

    His reply to the woman? "We don't break up packs of gum."

    It was a matter of honor for the mogul-to-be. 

    "I've got my principles," he explained to Schroeder. "I still, to this day, remember Mrs. Macoubrie saying that she wanted one stick." 

    And the young Buffett wouldn't move an inch. 

    "No, they were sold only in five-stick packs," Buffett said."They were a nickel, and she wanted to spend a penny with me." 

    Buffett's early business acumen would blossom as he grew. 

    Using a variety of hustles beyond selling gum — including horse tracks, pinball machines, and delivering the Washington Post — Buffett would make $53,000 by age 16.

    SEE ALSO:  9 Books Billionaire Warren Buffett Thinks Everyone Should Read

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    warren buffett

    When each of his three kids turned 10 years old, Howard Buffett took them on a trip from Omaha to the East Coast. 

    The middle child had his turn in 1940. He was a numbers-crazed boy named Warren. 

    Dad brought him to New York City. 

    Reflecting on his obsessions, Warren wanted to see three things: the Scott Stamp and Coin Company, the Lionel Train Company, and the New York Stock Exchange. 

    The last stop helped set him on the course to becoming one of the most powerful people alive

    Here's what happened.

    After taking in the men in bright jackets shouting and scribbling on the trading floor, the Buffetts had lunch at the Exchange with At Mol, a Dutchman who was a member of the Stock Exchange. 

    He was a "very impressive-looking man," Buffett told Alice Schroeder in her biography, "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life."

    But the most impressive thing happened after they finished eating. 

    "After lunch, a guy came along with a tray that had all these different kinds of tobacco leaves on it," Buffett recalled. "He made a cigar for Mr. Mol, who picked out the leaves he wanted. And I thought, this is it. It can't get any better than this. A custom-made cigar." 

    It was mind-boggling for Buffett. While the rest of the country was still in the muck of the Great Depression, the New York Stock Exchange could employ somebody to hand-roll cigars — not exactly a necessary expense — to keep traders happy. 

    Clearly, the Stock Exchange was a fountain of cash, one that Buffett would find a way to take part in.

    "A vision of his future was planted," Schroeder writes. 

    Buffett knew what he wanted to organize his life around: money

    "It would make me independent," Buffett said. 

    If he had his own money — especially lots of it — he could set out on his own. 

    "I could do what I wanted to do with my life," he continued, "and the biggest thing I wanted to do was work for myself. I didn't want other people directing me. The idea of doing what I wanted to do every day was very important to me." 

    So Buffett set upon the task of securing capital. 

    By age 16 — a mere six years later — he had made the equivalent of $53,000

    One of the world's largest fortunes was starting to grow, thanks to a memorable cigar.

    SEE ALSO: 9 Books Billionaire Warren Buffett Thinks Everyone Should Read

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    superyacht yacht

    The world's super-rich spend $22 billion on yachts every year, according to UBS and Wealth-X's annual World Ultra Wealth Report for 2014.

    A yacht is the pinnacle of luxury and decadence.

    But more so, a personal yacht offers something you can't get with most large vessels: privacy.

    Here's more from the report:"For ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals, many luxury items and experiences are part and parcel of their lifestyle and are not necessarily considered a “luxury”. For example, UHNW individuals with private jets use their aircraft not only for leisure, but also for business purposes. On the other hand, while yachts, and particularly superyachts, are usually a non-necessity, many UHNW individuals lead very public lives, and the privacy of a family holiday on a yacht is a very special treat."

    On average, each of these UHNW individuals, or people with net assets worth $30 million and above, spends about $1.1 million on luxury items every year. Combined, they make up about 19% of the global luxury market.

    But their spending on yachts takes a whopping 88% of the luxury market.

    The report says that luxury spending is increasingly experiential, meaning that the super rich are spending more money on intangible things like privacy. Private jets also take a chunk of the share of the luxury market for UHNW individuals, at 82.1%.

    In September, a Wealth-X report showed that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich owns the world's most expensive yacht called Eclipse. It's a 536-foot long boat with two helipads, a cinema and a restaurant. It is worth $1 billion.

    The global population of UHNW individuals is a record 211,275 people. Here's the breakdown of everything else they spend their money on.

    wealth x ubs luxury spending

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    Usually success and diligence go hand in hand. Undoubtedly is the case with T. Boone Pickens' strict morning routine. 

    Produced by: Justin Gmoser. Reporter: Julia La Roche

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    Mark Cuban

    Mark Cuban doesn't think there are any downsides to being a billionaire. 

    Speaking at Business Insider's Ignition conference, Cuban said he hated hearing other billionaires give interviews in which they complained about the hassles of being wealthy or in the spotlight all the time.

    "I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?' I mean, that is the dumbest s--- ever," he says.

    When someone asks Cuban what the downsides are to being as rich and famous as he is, he responds: "There are no downsides! This is as good as it gets!"

    Cuban, who has an estimated net worth of about $2.7 billion, owns the Dallas Mavericks and is on the ABC show "Shark Tank." 

    Although he mentioned that all his visibility could "sometimes be a pain in the a-- because of social media," it's not really a downside. 

    "I'm the luckiest guy in the world," he says. "I only have to do what I want to do. I only have to do what I like to do."

    Cuban knows how good he has it, and he's not afraid to show it. 

    "I mean, seriously, the hardest part is that it has to end sometime, and that's the part that drives me crazy," he says. "And that's it."

    NOW WATCH: Fitbit Is Going Into Nike Territory With This Inspiring Ad


    SEE ALSO: Mark Cuban: I Paved The Way For Steve Ballmer As An NBA Owner But I 'Hope He Sucks'

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    elizabeth holmes theranos

    In each generation, an elite few entrepreneurs skyrocket to almost unimaginable heights.

    Among that already select group an even more exceptional group emerges: those whose business success affects society in such a way that they become forever ingrained in the public conscious.

    Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and now Mark Zuckerberg are a few examples of this top-tier, ultra-successful group. As self-made billionaires, they certainly experienced success, but went on to become household names and forever cemented a place in history thanks to their innovation and ingenuity.

    A young woman named Elizabeth Holmes is rapidly working her way towards this status.

    Never heard of her? That's not surprising and was actually by design.

    Most entrepreneurs can't wait to get their start-up in the news. You need customers to buy into your idea. You need the industry to take you seriously. You need investors to get on board and help you grow.

    Looking back, Holmes was certainly a prodigy though like many other billionaires, she dropped out of college to pursue her dream. In high school, she taught herself Mandarin and sold C++ compilers to Chinese universities. She went on to Stanford for chemical engineering, where she filed her first patent and traveled to Singapore to work on the SARS virus. Just ahead of her sophomore year, however, Holmes left Stanford behind and went after her dream of pioneering personalized medicine.

    Her company, Theranos, was born of her desire to make the greatest change she could in the world, Holmes recently told the San Jose Mercury News.

    theranos chairmanShe's spent the last 11 years developing a revolutionary blood testing technology to run diagnostic tests with a single drop of blood, drawn by a painless fingerprick. Imagine completely accessible diagnostic testing available across the country, capable of running hundreds of tests with a tiny amount of blood — and at a fraction of the cost.

    It will fundamentally change healthcare, in America and around the world.

    Blood testing hasn't evolved since the 1960s and Holmes saw a unique way to shake up the industry, while doing social good.

    But she kept it quiet.

    Contrary to the strategy of the vast majority of startups, Holmes hasn't been out shouting her idea from the rooftops. There was no PR team behind the curtain orchestrating speaking engagements and media coverage. In fact, until Holmes landed on the Forbes 40 Under 40 and the cover of Fortune magazine this year, she was virtually unknown.

    (Holmes was featured in's 30 Under 30 in 2006 but still managed to stay unusually under the radar.)

    Holmes had a vision so significant, she didn't want her competitors to catch on until she had the creation of an entirely new market, consumer health technology, well under way.

    And her competitors are huge; think Quest, LabCorp. and other well-established players in the $70 billion U.S. blood testing industry. Yet instead of coming out of the gates with barrels blazing, Holmes quietly worked away at her start-up for a decade before beginning to build her public presence. In that time, she built a business that now has about 500 employees and counts Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson among its investors.

    In the age of selfies and YouTube stars and "breaking the Internet," isn't it refreshing to discover a young entrepreneur focused more on her business and social good than on her public persona? At just 30 years old and as 50% owner of her $9 billion company, Holmes just now seems to be making a concerted effort to come into the limelight.

    It's an unusual growth strategy, to work away diligently, largely out of the public eye, but it's one that's served Elizabeth Holmes, the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, incredibly well.

    SEE ALSO: Here's The Characteristic That Sets Self-Made Billionaires Apart From The Rest Of Us

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    anne wojcicki

    Anne Wojcicki may share a $29 billion wealth with estranged husband Sergey Brin, but that doesn't mean she passes up on freebies.

    According to an interview Wojcicki did with the Sunday Times, the 23andMe CEO has some surprisingly stingy habits.

    She said that she used to drink so much carrot juice — which was free at her office — that she got sick and actually turned orange.

    "I grew up with my mom being very, very cheap, so when it’s free I’m like, 'Oh my God, it’s free — I have to take as much as I can!'"she said.

    Though Wojcicki doesn't have to be frugal, she says she misses living on a budget. She never orders drinks when she goes out to eat at a restaurant. She has even calculated that it's worth it to park illegally rather than pay to park each time.

    "I get parking tickets all the time," she said. "We've worked out the stats and it's 50-50 odds of getting a ticket and the cost versus time saved means I can accept it."

    "'I think being on a constraint with money makes you much more creative," she said.

    SEE ALSO: 10 Extremely Wealthy Tech Executives Who Choose To Live Frugally

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    Elizabeth Holmes Theranos

    Elizabeth Holmes, worth an estimated $4.5 billion at age 30, isn't domineering or ruthless like many of her fellow self-made billionaires.

    But as the founder, CEO, and chairman of private health services company Theranos, Holmes has grown the company she started at age 19 into one that investors value at $9 billion for its potential to remove syringes from blood tests.

    Holmes has raised over $400 million for Theranos from investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and she runs a board that includes former Wells Fargo CEO and chairman Richard Kovacevich, cardiac surgeon and former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

    If it's hard to earn respect as a young boss, it's even harder as a young female boss.

    How has Holmes set the tone? In a new article in The New Yorker, Kissinger tells writer Ken Auletta how he thinks she's established her authority despite being soft-spoken and agreeable. She "has a sort of ethereal quality — that is to say, she looks like 19. And you say to yourself, 'How is she ever going to run this?'" It's through "intellectual dominance; she knows the subject," Kissinger says.

    Growing up, Holmes often demonstrated her sharp intellect, as well as her strong will.

    She taught herself Mandarin Chinese as a sophomore in high school and decided she'd like to spend her summer working on her Mandarin at Stanford University. After repeated denials from the admissions office, which refused to accept a high-school student, a frustrated representative decided he'd conduct the test over the phone to appease her. He accepted her on the spot, and Holmes used the next three summers to become fluent.

    Before she left to attend Stanford as a President's Scholar following high school, her father gave her a copy of Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations," a classic piece of Stoic philosophy that he intended would teach his daughter that she was always in charge of her destiny.

    theranos testHolmes spent the summer after freshman year working with engineering school dean Channing Robertson and his Ph.D. students at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She discovered through her research what she determined to be a better way to test blood and filed a patent. Back on campus, she stopped focusing on her classes and spent the majority of her time building the company that would become Theranos.

    In March 2004, as a 19-year-old sophomore, she convinced her parents that she should drop out and instead allocate tuition money toward her company. She also persuaded Robertson, who wanted her to finish her degree, that she was making the right decision.

    Robertson tells The New Yorker that while they were in Singapore, he found himself listening more to Holmes than to his Ph.D. candidates. He became Theranos' first board member and introduced her to the other power players that would join the board.

    Today, Holmes is at the forefront of a movement to give consumers more control over their health.

    Syringe-phobic patients can walk into Walgreens in Phoenix, Arizona, and Palo Alto, California with a doctor's note and get a blood test that requires only two drops of blood gathered from a finger prick. The blood is then sent to Theranos and tested in its labs. Theranos says its technology can run a variety of disease detection tests from just these two drops, as opposed to needing a full vial.

    Holmes is now intent on scaling Theranos, and says she prefers sacrificing free time for the sake of her company, skipping unnecessary indulgences. It comes back to the philosophy she developed as a child: "I would much rather live a life of purpose than one in which I might have other things but not that," she tells The New Yorker.

    To learn more about Theranos, Holmes' path to success, and her vision for the future, you can check out the full New Yorker story here.

    Correction: A previous version of this post did not clarify that the blood tests are currently only available in Phoenix and Palo Alto Walgreens locations.

    SEE ALSO: The Unusual Strategy That Made This Woman A Billionaire

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    Paul Allen billionaire

    Paul Allen, the Microsoft cofounder turned billionaire philanthropist, will donate $100 million to create a research center tasked with investigating the inner workings of human cells. The ultimate goal is to deepen our understanding of how diseases emerge and how they can be treated and prevented.

    "Cells are the fundamental units of life, with every disease we know of affecting particular types of cells," said Allen, in a press release from the new center. "We conceived of the Allen Institute for Cell Science as a catalyzing force to integrate technologies and approaches at a large scale in order to provide an exceptional resource for the entire scientific community."

    The institute will be based in Seattle.

    For its first project, the Allen Cell Observatory, more than 70 scientists will collaborate to create a visual database describing in great detail how every kind of cell works, down the molecular level, so that their normal behavior can be predicted and their aberrant behavior demystified. In an interview with Nature News, the center's new executive director, cell biologist Rick Horwitz, compared this unified effort to the Manhattan Project.

    The multidisciplinary approach "will bring together biologists, microscopy experts, data scientists and others from a diverse set of fields under one roof," noted The Washington Post, a crucial part of the center's strategy. And the center's "data, models, and tools" will be publicly available online.

    "People have studied individual systems but no one has tried to integrate it," Horwitz said. "It's a huge project."

    The new donation from Allen, whose Allen Institute for Brain Science has generated important results and innovations for neuroscience, has the potential to be transformative because it will focus a huge amount of research energy on basic science, which can be difficult to fund but has the potential have a broad, if unpredictable, impact.

    "These longer-term kinds of investments tend to be neglected because everyone wants short-term outputs," biochemist Bruce Alberts, who met with Allen earlier this year, told The Washington Post. "I am very pleased Paul Allen has a different vision."

    Still, one scientist pointed out to Nature News, "it will take time" to see whether the accomplishments of the center live up to its lofty goals. Allen will be paying close attention. After five years, he will decide whether or not to continue funding.

    SEE ALSO: We Are Now At A Major Turning Point In Understanding Mental Illness

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