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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    sad russia hockey fans8

    Russia just lost its spot as the world's third largest community of billionaires. It was knocked down to fourth place by another BRIC country: India.

    That's according to the latest "global rich list" from publisher Hurun Report, which ranks dollar billionaires around the world.

    Ten Russians dropped out of the ranking this year, while India's number jumped by 27 people up to 97 in total.

    Their combined wealth is $266 billion, and Mukesh Ambani, worth $20 billion, holds his place as India's richest person. (He also has one of the flashiest houses on the planet.)

    India has become a hotspot for investment since pro-business Narendra Modi was voted in as prime minister last May. Stocks have rallied and helped to line the pockets of Indian business owners and investors.

    Meanwhile, weak oil prices, a plummeting currency, and sanctions from the West have hurt Russia's wealthy.

    Props to India, but the US and China still dominate. They're home to 537 and 430 billionaires each, and together account for nearly half the world's total.

    Here are the top 20 countries:

    1. USA: 537
    2. China: 430
    3. India: 97
    4. Russia: 93
    5. UK: 80
    6. Germany: 72
    7. Switzerland: 60
    8. Brazil: 56
    9. Chinese Taipei: 48
    10. France: 46
    11. Japan: 45
    12. Canada: 39
    13. South Korea: 33
    14. Turkey: 33
    15. Australia: 32
    16. Thailand: 29
    17. Italy: 28
    18. Singapore: 26
    19. Indonesia: 24
    20. Spain: 19

    Check out Hurun's full report here for more information on the world's wealthiest, including rankings by city and industry, plus China's wealthiest billionaires broken down by star sign.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 11 Facts That Show How Different Russia Is From The Rest Of The World


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    Billionaire Toys - Steve Cohen

    When you run one of the world's most successful hedge funds, you can probably afford some pretty amazing stuff. 

    So it makes sense that Steve Cohen, with an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion, has a long list of incredible personal purchases.

    Cohen started SAC Capital in 1992, and became a Wall Street legend after his firm saw returns of 70% for two consecutive years.

    Cohen is known for his love of art, having spent lavish amounts on famous artwork by Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and more. He also enjoys buying up real estate, and owns several properties, each worth millions of dollars.

    In 2013, an SEC probe into insider trading allegations at SAC Capital cost Cohen $616 million, and in the past couple years, the billionaire has started unloading some of his more expensive items. Cohen himself wasn't charged, and restructured SAC Capital into a new family office firm called Point72 Asset Management.

    But the SEC settlement doesn't necessarily mark the end of Cohen's extravagant spending. Cohen's still in the game – Point72 Asset Management has been doing well since its creation and pulled in $2.5 -$3 billion for 2014.

    Cohen once spent $100,000 for Food Network star Guy Fieri to spend the day with him.

    Source: Page Six



    He's dabbled in sports – Cohen bought a 4% stake in the New York Mets for $20 million.

    Source: Reuters



    He also made an unsuccessful bid for the LA Dodgers, during which he hired an architect for the Dodgers stadium.

    Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Steve Schwarzman

    Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman has become the richest man in private equity, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

    According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Schwarzman's dividend earnings in 2014 was nearly double that of last year's big earner, Leon Black from Apollo Global Management.

    Schwarzman took home more than $500 million in dividends, compared to Black's $268 million, which fell 27 percent from last year. Last year Schwarzman earned $353 million.

    Schwarzman's big paycheck comes after a record-breaking year for the Blackstone Group, which he co-founded in 1985. In January the firm reported record numbers for 2014 across many metrics, including earnings, assets and distributions. The firm now manages $290 billion in assets.

    In contrast, Black's Apollo Global Management just released fourth-quarter and full-year reports, which saw drastic declines in earnings and distribution. Net income after tax fell to $567.9 million for 2014, compared to $2 billion the previous year.

    Schwarzman himself is worth $11.7 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index.

    You can read the full report over at Bloomberg>>

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Elon Musk

    Until very recently, taking on grand challenges was off-limits for most people. Historically, going big meant huge capital outlays and multi-decade bets.

    It meant staging personnel in dozens, sometimes hundreds, of countries. Assembling the astounding array of talent required an infrastructure for hiring, retaining and retraining it as technology evolved. But with the wealth of crowdsourcing tools available to today's entrepreneurs, the entire playing field has shifted.

    Technology lets companies to scale up in size as never before. Small groups can have huge impacts. A team of passionate innovators can alter the lives of a billion people in an eye blink.

    A quartet of entrepreneurs have harnessed technology to build multibillion dollar companies that forever changed the world: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Google CEO Larry Page.

    Each of them mastered a rarely discussed skill fundamental to bold pursuits and enterprises with exponential growth: the ability to think at scale.

    Based on my in-depth interviews of these men and other sources, I have distilled eight strategies for business success:

    1. Take risks but mitigate them

    Just about everything Sir Richard Branson has done has involved taking brazen risks. But he also runs his Virgin Group empire like a competitive ecosystem, letting some companies live, others die and always ceaselessly experimenting.

    He is quick to rapidly iterate his ideas and quicker to shut down a failure. While Branson is known to have started tons of companies, he has also shed ones that didn't work for him.

    Branson understands that risk mitigation is critical.

    "It looks like entrepreneurs have a high tolerance for risk," he told my co-author Peter H. Diamandis in an interview for our just-published book, "Bold.""But, having said that, one of the most important phrases in my life is 'protect the downside.' It should be one of the most important phrases in any businessperson's life."

    It was a "big, bold move going into the airline business," Branson said of his launch of Virgin Airlines after initially starting Virgin Records. But Boeing allowed for him to "give the plane back after 12 months."

    "That meant I could put my toe in the water, I could see whether people liked the airline," he said. "But if it didn't work out, it wasn't going to bring everything else crashing down."

    Added Branson: "I'd be able to look my record company bosses in the eye and we'd still be friends because they'd still have jobs."

    "Protecting the downside is critical," Branson said. "Make bold moves but make sure to have a way out if things go wrong."

    2. Rapidly iterate and experiment until things are right

    Jeff Bezos is a busy man. He isn't interested in small shifts in direction or polite progress. He wants to effect change on a massive scale, tapping customer-centric thinking for the long term.

    The Amazon CEO also understands that the only way to really succeed is via experimentation. He knows that this approach will occasionally produce spectacular mistakes. "Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It's not optional," he wrote in a 2014 Amazon shareholder letter.

    Staff at his company "believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right," Bezos added.

    "When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size," he wrote. "Most experiments can start small."

    "And when we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success," Bezos said.

    3. Be driven by passion and purpose

    Nothing is more important than passion and purpose for Elon Musk, who also heads up Space Exploration Technologies and SolarCity.

    "I didn't go into the rocket business, the car business or the solar business thinking this is a great opportunity," Musk told me in an interview.

    "I just thought, in order to make a difference, something needed to be done. I wanted to have an impact. I wanted to create something substantially better than what came before."

    4. Think long term

    Google X chief Astro Teller told Wired how he imagined wheeling a time machine into Google CEO Larry Page's office, plugging it in to demonstrate that it worked only to have his boss ask why it needed a plug and wouldn't it be better without having to draw from an electric power source?

    This was to illustrate Page's focus on 10x thinking, which Teller has referred to as making something 10 times better.

    For Page, the answer for him and Googlers always sits at the intersection of long-term planning and customer-centric thinking.

    "We always try to concentrate on the long term," Page told me in an interview. "When we first looked at YouTube, people said, 'Oh, you guys are never going to make money with that, but you bought it for $1.4 billion. You're totally crazy.'"

    "We were reasonably crazy, but it was a good bet," Page said, noting YouTube's revenue growth.

    Added Page: "Our philosophy is that the things that people use often are really important to them and we think that over time, you can make money from those things."

    5. Emphasize a customer-centric approach

    Branson's fiery devotion to fun is relayed to his dedicated clientele and fervent fans. The net effect is a business strategy based on experimental customer-centrism. If Branson thinks a particular service might be beneficial to his customers (and fun), he tries it out.

    This is why Virgin Atlantic offers free seat-back TVs, onboard massages, a glass-bottomed plane and stand-up comedians.

    "Unless you're customer-centric you might be able to create something wonderful, but you're not going to survive," Branson told me.

    "It's about getting every little detail right. It is running your airline like you would an upscale restaurant — the kind where the owner is there every day," he added.

    "Virgin Atlantic started out with one plane," Branson said. "On paper, we should not have survived. But because we were customer-centric, people went out of their way to fly us."

    6. Broaden the view by tracking probabilities

    Thinking in probabilities (a business has, say, a 60% chance of success) rather than deterministically (if I do A and B, then C will happen) doesn't just guard against oversimplification. This type of thought process protects an entrepreneur against the brain's inherent laziness.

    Musk strives to broaden his view by thinking in probabilities.

    "Outcomes are usually not deterministic,"Musk told Kevin Rose in a 2011 interview. "They're probabilistic."

    Added Musk: "The popular definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result — that's only true in a highly deterministic situation.

    "If you have a probabilistic situation, which most situations are, then if you do the same thing twice, it can be quite reasonable to expect a different result," he concluded.

    7. Be a rational optimist.

    Larry Page famously said in a keynote address to Google's I/0 conference in 2013, "Being negative is not how we make progress."

    "I'm tremendously optimistic," he said. "I'm certain that whatever challenges we take on, we can solve with a little bit of concerted effort and some good technology. And that's an exciting place to be."

    Page observed that this meant his company's "job is really to make the world better" and that the world needs "more people working on this. We need to have more ambitious goals."

    Said Page: "The world has enough resources to provide a good quality of life for everyone. We have enough raw materials. We need to get better organized and move a lot faster."

    8. Rely on fundamental truths

    Musk urges entrepreneurs to seek direct, blunt, critical feedback from friends. "It's not going to be easy, but it's really important to solicit negative feedback," the type that "helps you recognize as fast as possible what you're doing wrong and adjust course," he told me.

    "That's usually what people don't do," Musk said. "They don't adjust course fast enough and adapt to the reality of the situation."

    Often, he says, people do things because "others are doing them" or they spot a trend. They see "everyone moving in one direction and decide that's the best direction to go."

    At times "this is correct, but sometimes this will take you right off a cliff," Musk said.

    Considering fundamental truths "protects you from these errors," Musk concluded.

    SEE ALSO: This Trait Helped Carl Icahn Become A Billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Dirty Jobs' Host Mike Rowe: Here's Why You Should Never Follow Your Passion


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    eike batista

    Eike Batista, once Brazil's richest man, has earned himself the rare title of "negative billionaire."

    According to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, Batista, who was worth $35 billion in 2012, now owes $1.2 billion.

    Furthermore, a Brazilian federal judge is ordering the seizure of Batista's assets, Bloomberg's Blake Schmidt reported Friday.

    Authorities are seizing all of Batista's financial assets in Brazil — including a white Lamborghini and $32,490 in cash, computers, and watches — as well as any real estate, six other cars, his boat and his airplanes. 

    According to Reuters, local media said investigators were concerned that Batista was selling or donating his frozen assets. This is the latest action taken against Batista for charges of insider trading and stock manipulation, allegedly in an attempt to save his flagship oil company OGX. Batista made his first fortune trading gold in the 1980s, and went on to start six companies in mining, energy, and oil.

    Batista White Lamborghini

    In 2013, Batista's billion-dollar empire came crashing down, losing $9.7 billion. After the fall of OGX in 2013, Batista's net worth dropped to about $200 million

    Four of Batista's companies are now bankrupt, and the former billionaire is still working on paying off his debts.

    It's a rough turn for a man who once claimed that he would become the richest man in the world. Batista had been on his way at the 7th richest rank, before his fortune evaporated.

    But there's still a ray of hope.

    Schmidt reported that according the book "All or Nothing" by Malu Gaspar, Batista sought out advice from a Buddhist monk, who told him he would become the world's richest man in 2017.

    So Batista still has two years to get there. 

    Here are some of the other luxury vehicles he's owned:

    Pink Fleet Yacht

    Spirit of Brazil VIII yacht

    Embraer Phenom 300 jet

    Gulfstream 550 jet

    Embraer Legacy 600 jet

    SEE ALSO: The Complete Story Of How Brazilian Tycoon Eike Batista Lost 99% Of His $34.5 Billion Fortune

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Elizabeth Holmes Theranos

    Elizabeth Holmes is rich.

    Super rich.

    As the founder and CEO of Theranos, a biotech blood-testing company, 31-year-old Holmes is the youngest self-made female billionaire in America.

    In 2003, she founded her company with the notion that you could test blood for various health issues through a fingerstick rather than by drawing vials' worth of blood.

    More than a decade later, and with a partnership with Walgreens, Holmes' Palo Alto–based business is flourishing.

    Here are 10 facts about Elizabeth and her remarkable venture.

    1. She dropped out of college. Elizabeth Holmes left Stanford University when she was 19 years old with the intention of starting her own company. She was studying chemical engineering.

    2. Her parents' resumes are equally impressive. Her father, Christian Holmes IV, reportedly held "several executive positions" with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Her mother, Noel, worked as a foreign-policy and defense aide on Capitol Hill.

    3. She hates needles. She told CNN Money in 2014, "I really believe that if we were from another planet and we sat down to put our heads together on torture experiments, the concept of sticking a needle into someone and sucking their blood out would probably qualify as a pretty good one."

    4. She has retained more than half the stock in her company. Smart cookie.

    5. She can quote Jane Austen by heart. But she says she doesn't have time to read much anymore.

    6. She studied three years of college-level Mandarin while in high school. Holmes reportedly called Stanford admissions repeatedly when she was a high-school sophomore, only to be told they didn't accept high-school students. She persisted until the head of the department agreed to test her fluency. She was accepted right away.

    7. One of her former Stanford professors now works at Theranos full time. When Holmes told Channing Robertson, a dean at the engineering school, that she was leaving Stanford to start her own company, she offered to make him her first board member. He also introduced Holmes to viable venture capitalists.

    8. Her parents allowed her to use her tuition money to start her company. She had essentially stopped going to classes because she was working on her company anyway.

    9. Her company's current board of directors has no women. But she says that she "qualifies." (She is cited as chairman.)

    10. Her net worth is estimated at $4.5 billion. Cash money.

    SEE ALSO: This Is The Hardest Part Of Getting Rich, According To A Billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What Happened When A Bunch Of Young Boys Were Told To Hit A Girl


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    graduation caps graduate collegeIn her book, "The MBA Bubble," Mariana Zanetti, an MBA graduate of IE Business School in Spain, argues that getting an MBA is a waste of time and money. The following has been excerpted from the book with her permission.

    The first thing I am going to say about wealth is that many authors who write about prosperity and wealth make it clear: A job will not make you rich.

    If you want to be wealthy, at some moment of your life, you will have to create a source of income other than your salary. This is an evident and crushing reality: If you sell your time to others, you will quickly reach limit in your capacity to generate income.

    In his book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki said that the rich do not work for money; they generate assets that work for them. If you want to learn how to work for money, go to school. If you want to learn how to work even harder, you should get an MBA.

    OK, some top managers earn millions (and they are therefore millionaires). Some people still think they can get to those positions with an MBA — as if the Businessweek study, which found an MBA does not have a causal relationship with professional success, was not convincing enough.

    Do you want some more proof that an MBA will not get you there? If you look at the degrees of CEOs of the CAC 40 (the main stock exchange index in France), you will see that the MBA is nothing but an "optional" degree.

    In some companies, it is still desirable to climb the corporate ladder. These companies represent a very low percentage of the companies in the market, and you do not need an MBA if your biggest ambition in life is to climb to a top management position.

    But let's go back to the topic that interests you: how to be rich. If you want to be rich, you must be an entrepreneur, investor, or both. By a simple matter of statistics, your probability of becoming a rock star, sports star, or Standard & Poor's CEO are very low (and believe me, the MBA will not increase your probability of becoming a Standard & Poor's CEO).

    The richest men in the world are entrepreneurs and do not have MBAs. Many of them have no degree at all or quit college when they realized that it was only teaching them to be employees and to obey.

    Today these people hire the ones who have degrees. Consider the cases of Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook, Bill Gates with Microsoft, Steve Jobs with Apple, Amancio Ortega with Zara–Inditex, Richard Branson with Virgin, or Ingvar Kamprad with Ikea.

    And there are a lot of anonymous rich men and women who have never sat in a college classroom to learn how to be corporate slaves.

    An MBA may not make you rich, but it can open doors. Tell us: What do you think are the best business schools in the world? Please take our survey below.

    SEE ALSO: Why More MBAs Are Becoming Entrepreneurs Straight Out Of Business School

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Flying Car Is Real And It Can Fly 430 Miles On A Full Tank


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    Brazilian authorities raided the mansion of fallen tycoon Eike Batista last week. In it, they found over $32,000 worth of Brazilian reais in cash along with jewels, cell phones and a number of expensive toys including 7 cars.

    The raid was announced on the Brazilian federal police's website with a picture of Batista's prized Lamborghini Aventador being taken away. Previous reports had said that Batista sold the car to a dealership, but apparently the deal fell through.

    Here's what it looked like:

    eike batista lambo police posted

    A Judge ordered Batista's assets frozen last week as the government continues its investigation against the man who, three years ago, was confident he would become the richest person on the planet.

    Since then, however, the empire he built on the back of Brazil's economic rise and the country's commodities has fallen hard. Oil fields that were supposed to spew black gold were actually dry. Creditors have called in their debts turning Batista into a 'negative billionaire'. According to Bloomberg, he owes $1.2 billion.

    Now he faces charges of insider trading, and could be the first man in Brazil to go to jail for such a crime.

     

    SEE ALSO: The Complete Story Of How Brazilian Tycoon Eike Batista Lost 99% Of His $34.5 Billion Fortune

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 9-year-old makes $1 million a year opening toys


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    25 Columbus Circle

    On Saturday, The New York Times released a fantastic investigation into the influx of foreign wealth in the New York City luxury real estate market.

    Looking at more than 200 limited-liability corporations (LLCs) and trusts, The Times's Louise Story and Stephanie Saul attempted to unravel who exactly lived in the Time Warner Center and other "Billionaires' Row" highrises.

    The report took 13 people an entire year to put together, which they did by "searching business and court records from more than 20 countries, interviewing dozens of people with close knowledge of the complex, examining hundreds of property records and connecting the dots from lawyers or relatives named on deeds to the actual buyers," the reporters wrote.

    That alone should put into perspective how slippery real estate LLCs and trusts have become. Thanks to these types of shell companies and the lack of incentive to regulate them, luxury real estate has never been more secretive.

    Take for example One57, home to the city’s first apartment to sell for over $100 million. Of the 27 units that have been sold so far, over half of them are owned by LLCs and trusts to maintain the owners’ privacy.

    This is happening elsewhere in Midtown, too. According to The Times, Bloomberg Tower is 57% owned by LLCs or trusts, The Plaza's ownership is 69% such arrangements, the Time Warner Center is at 64%, and 15 Central Park West is at 58%.

    At some of these residences, only a third of the owners actually live there at any one time, the Times reports.

    These secretive ownership arrangements are not limited to the glossy penthouses of Manhattan. According to data from First American Data Tree that The Times analyzed, 44% of sales over $5 million in the US were to shell companies. 

    The fact that the world’s 1% are using real estate purchases as their own private bank accounts is nothing new. New York’s real estate in particular is a prime option because it leads to such stable returns.

    new york apartments compared to nasdaq chartBut what The Times points out in its investigation is that these secretive purchases can allow corrupt officials and billionaires to keep their assets hidden away from victims and foreign governments.

    Even if you were to somehow pin down a name associated with an owner (or their relatives or lawyers), the fact remains that trusts and LLCs can transfer ownership without any real estate record. Many of the sales are also in cash, according to The Times, so there are no mortgage statements or public documents.

    Though there have been a few attempts to make real estate ownership more transparent, the main argument against doing so is that it could hurt the economy. If these wealthy individuals didn’t feel safe buying property in America, they would just spend their money elsewhere.

    one57 rendering viewThe hope in New York is that despite rising rents, a homeless crisis, and a lack of affordable units, the money from these multi-million penthouses and pieds-à-terre will eventually trickle down.

    And in the meantime, luxury buildings will continue to rise and court the mega-wealthy from around the world. 

    “I don’t see some kind of global effort to stop all this because the money’s too good,” said David M. Crane, a Syracuse University law professor, told The Times. 

    Check out the full, must-read article here.

    SEE ALSO: Inside One57, where New York's most expensive penthouse just sold for a record-breaking $100 million

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Mark Cuban: Here's The Hardest Part Of Being A Billionaire


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    richard branson

    Were billionaires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet just born lucky — or were they made to succeed?

    Aside from the size of their bank accounts, billionaires possess a unique series of traits that most people don't exhibit.

    Maybe some attributes they were born with, but most of these traits don't come naturally; they are skills that these billionaires honed and habits that they nurtured on their road to riches.

    Because these traits aren't inherent, anyone can work on acquiring these attributes and applying them in their lives to see greater success and wealth. Start developing some of them on your own and you might be well on your way to striking it rich.

    Oprah Winfrey: grateful

    The former queen of daytime television doesn't let her $3 billion net worth get to her head. Despite her abundant success, her constant gratitude is truly humbling.

    Her legions of fans are inspired by her words of wisdom like, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."



    Warren Buffet: patient

    Warren Buffet, the second richest man in American, built his $67 billion net worth by simply taking his time.

    Not a fan of trendy stocks or knee-jerk reactions to market fluctuations, Buffet has a "set it and forget it" investing philosophy, saying, "It's pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it's not easy to get rich quick."



    Bill Gates: humble

    Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have devoted the better part of their fortune to improving the lives of the world's poorest people. But despite his donations that that already total in the tens of billions of dollars, Gates recognizes that others are making contributions that he says are more meaningful than his.

    "I'm not giving up food, or vacation, or a trip to the movies," to give charitably, Bill Gates said in a video interview for Reddit. "I essentially sacrifice nothing that I want, and there are people who are out in the field and they are giving more."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark zuckerberg

    In 2013, news broke that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg had bought four houses adjacent to his Palo Alto home. 

    Zuckerberg reportedly scooped up the four houses when he heard that a developer planned to build a large home on one of the lots behind his property. 

    But in May 2014, the developer, Mircea Voskerician, filed suit against Zuckerberg, claiming that the billionaire never followed through on an agreement they had made in secret.

    In November 2012, Voskerician reportedly sent Zuckerberg a letter saying that he planned to tear down the home behind the Zuckerberg home and build a 9,600-square-foot mansion in its place. The new home, he said, would have a direct view of the Zuckerbergs' house, including their master bedroom. 

    A number of emails between Voskerician and Zuckerberg have been unearthed during litigation.

    According to court filings reported on by Bloomberg, Voskerician then made Zuckerberg an offer that would preserve his privacy: he would sell Zuckerberg the entire property if the Facebook billionaire would introduce the developer to his important Silicon Valley contacts. According to Voskerician's suit, the two parties agreed on this, though it was never put in writing. 

    Voskerician writes in an April 13, 2013 email to Zuckerberg: 

    "Mr. Zuckerberg, First I am happy that I could maintain your privacy by selling you the Hamilton property. Second, I wanted to meet and shake hands for the transaction and discuss your offering of working with you in the future as you stated you have built Facebook on connections that you have with others in Silicon Valley. One of the reasons I went with your offer other than maintaining your privacy was your offering to help me get my homes, development projects, in front of your Facebook employees and build a relationship with you."

    zuckerberg houseVoskerician expressed interest in discussing a project with Zuckerberg, one that used "modern science based sustainable social living" on an "open source" model.

    Emails between Zuckerberg and his inner circle indicate that the Facebook chief had no intention of helping Voskerician other than in a "light" way.

    In an email, Divesh Makan, a financial adviser to Zuckerberg, says Voskerician's offer to maintain the CEO's privacy on these conditions was an "obscene proposal." 

    In another, Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan, writes, "It’s stuff like this that makes me so sad and angry."

    Zuckerberg's lawyers are calling Voskerician's offers "extortive."

    Zuckerberg paid Voskerician $1.7 million for the rights to the property, then bought the lot from its owners for $4.8 million, according to county records. But Voskerician claims his interest in the property was worth far more than $1.7 million, and that he gave Zuckerberg a discount because of the business his referrals would potentially bring in. 

    Makan's firm later bought the three other homes around Zuckerberg's house, further guaranteeing his privacy. The homes were purchased for $10.5 million, $14 million, and $14.5 million, according to county records.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg Is Being Sued Over The Palo Alto Houses He Bought Last Year

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 9-year-old makes $1 million a year opening toys


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    Steve Jobs point

    "I have never let school interfere with my education." —Mark Twain

    As a young child, I was taught that the path to success looked something like this: Study hard. Go to college. Work even harder. Marry a nice person, have a nice life, work until you can retire, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Sounds familiar, right? I bet you've heard this advice your entire life — that if you can afford to go to college, you need to do just that. And if you can't afford it, you'd better work hard for a scholarship! People without college degrees make less money and don't get the good jobs.

    At least, that's what we're told.

    Even as the cost of a college degree has skyrocketed, leaving American students with more debt than ever before, conventional wisdom tells us college is a must. We're borrowing more to fund our education, too; U.S. students now owe more than a trillion dollars in outstanding student loans.

    But you have to go to college. You'll fail without it.

    Someone should have told these nine tech billionaires.

    Each person on this list dropped out of college, yet every one of them went on to make not only millions, but billions in the business of technology. Would they have been better off with a college degree? It's hard to imagine how.

    Check out these billionaires who share a trait that should have held them back in life: They dropped out of college.

    1. Michael Dell — Dell founder

    Net worth: $21.9 billion

    Was Michael Dell ever cut out for college? At just 8 years old, he applied to take his high school equivalency exam. His parents made him stay in school, but that didn't slow Dell down. He focused instead on after-school ventures and, at 14, he learned that he was pretty skilled in fixing computers. Dell gave college a go at the University of Texas. His parents hoped he would become a doctor, but he ended up building a $25,000/month computer business in his dorm room. I hope they're not still disappointed in his career path!

    2. Elizabeth Holmes — Theranos founder

    Net worth: $4.5 billion

    School: Stanford

    Elizabeth Holmes went to Stanford for chemical engineering; it was there that 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. Today, she's reimagining the American health care system, with her revolutionary blood-testing technology that runs diagnostic tests with a single drop of blood.

    3. Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook founder

    Net worth: $33.3 billion

    School: Harvard

    It's a good thing Zuckerberg at least gave college a shot. Were it not for his time at Harvard, he may never have met his roomies Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, who helped him launch the first iteration of Facebook from his dorm room.

    4. Steve Jobs — Apple founder

    Net worth: $11 billion

    School: Reed College

    The iconic founder of Apple might be the best-known college dropout-turned-billionaire on the planet. It's not like he didn't get anything out of his time at college; Jobs's inspiration was that he wanted a computer interface as pretty as the calligraphy on his college campus posters.

    5. Bill Gates — Microsoft founder

    School: Harvard

    Net worth: $80.5 billion

    Gates started at Harvard in 1973 but dropped out two years later. While there, he told professors he would be a millionaire by the time he was 30. Always the overachiever, Gates became a billionaire at 31.

    6. Jack Dorsey — Twitter co-founder

    Net worth: $2.3 billion

    School: Missouri University of Science and Technology and NYU

    Dorsey attended Missouri only briefly before transferring to NYU. He'd been interested in computers and programming since his high school days back in St. Louis, yet he dropped out before receiving his degree. Instead, he made his way to Oakland and met up with Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Stone was an executive with Dorsey and Williams's first company, Odeo, before coming on board with them to start-up a simple site called Obvious, which was based on 140-character messages. Sounds a lot like Twitter, huh? That's exactly what Obvious became.

    7. Evan Williams — Twitter co-founder

    Net worth: $2.4 billion

    School: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Like his co-founder Dorsey, Williams' felt the call of the start-up and left college before graduation. In fact, he left the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after just a year and a half. Odeo was a start-up success for the pair, but it was Twitter that made them both billionaires. Williams still serves on Twitter's board, but now spend most of his time working on his blog platform, Medium.

    8. Larry Ellison — Oracle founder

    Net worth: $46 billion

    School: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Chicago

    Ellison left the University of Illinois in his second year without taking his final exams, after the death of his adopted mother. He tried a term at the University of Chicago, but ended up moving to California. It was a good thing he did! After a few false starts, Ellison founded a company with two partners — that company was renamed Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982.

    9. Jan Koum — WhatsApp founder

    Net worth: $6.8 billion

    School: San Jose State University

    Koum embodies the American Dream. After emigrating to the U.S. at 16 with his mother, he became a math and computer science major at San Jose State University. However, his work as a security tester during college led him to a position at Yahoo. He dropped out to work at Yahoo for nine years, before starting WhatsApp.

    Now, if you're adamant that a college degree is necessary, let me suggest that you probably don't want to go to Harvard or Stanford. (I know, "Are you crazy, Larry?")

    I'm serious — get yourself in to the University of Pennsylvania. Of the super successful who have graduated college, UPenn has produced the most self-made billionaires currently alive in the U.S. Charles Butt, Steve Cohen, Elon Musk, and Ronald Perelman all got their degrees from Penn.

    SEE ALSO: This Trait Helped Carl Icahn Become A Billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Mark Cuban: Here's The Hardest Part Of Being A Billionaire


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    Eike Batista

    Last week Brazilian police raided the home of once multibillionaire, now negative billionaire, Eike Batista. They froze his assets and took his Lamborghini, as well as six other cars, some fancy watches, and a pile of cash.

    Now they've taken things a step further and seized his water toys too  including jet skis, a speedboat, and his yacht, the Spirit of Brazil, Bloomberg reported.

    This comes after Batista's oil company, OGX, lost $9.7 billion and went bankrupt in 2013, pulling his own net worth down to about $200 million.

    Then Batista went on trial for insider trading and stock manipulation.

    yacht batista

    The story is, Batista started to suspect that OGX's oil fields wouldn't deliver, and personally guaranteed $1 billion to keep things running.

    It was enough to stabilize the plunging stock.

    Then, prosecutors say, Batista made his move: when suspicions were confirmed and things really started to look bleak for the company, he allegedly sold his own stock and abandoned his $1 billion promise.

    Now, four of Batista's companies are bankrupt and he reportedly owes $1.2 billion.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Billionaire's Definition Of Success Will Surprise You


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    JLo Hinduja wedding

    A member of India’s billionaire Hinduja dynasty got married on Thursday and the multi-million-dollar-affair was the place to be for India's rich and famous.

    Sanjay Hinduja, the son of business legend Gopichand Hinduja and chairman of Gulf Oil International, married designer Anu Mahtani on Thursday after a week of celebrations that reportedly cost upward of $20 million. 

    The wedding took place in Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan state, at the island palace where the James Bond movie "Octopussy" was shot. Highlights included performances from Jennifer Lopez and pop artist Nicole Scherzinger, as well as a number of Bollywood stars.

    According to the Daily Mail, more than 200 private jets chartered guests to the palace, and some 16,000 people attended week-long events leading up to the wedding.

    Here's a look at the lavish affair:

     on


    JLo killed it on stage.

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    British film actress Sophie Choudry posed with the groom.

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    Bollywood star Ranveer Singh posed with Nicole Scherzinger and other Indian celebs.

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    People were really excited when JLo arrived a few days early. It was her first trip to India.

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    She obviously had to take some selfies while touring around.

    Jagmandir Island Palace

    The luxurious Jagmandir Island Palace venue.

     on


    Here's Nicole Scherzinger again. Check out that decor.

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    Here are socialites Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta, Manish Malhotra, Sophie Choudry and Raveena Tandon.

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    Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Nicole Scherzinger perform.

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    Guests were asked to wear traditional Indian dress to the ceremony.

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    Here's Nicole Scherzinger, who sings "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" from the film "Slumdog Millionaire."

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    Looks like it was quite the bash.

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    NOW WATCH: These are the keys to a happy marriage in China


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    new york city cloudy stormThe New York Times recently released an in-depth investigation into the influx of foreign wealth in the New York City luxury real estate market. 

    The piece, by Louise Story and Stephanie Saul, notes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg courted foreign buyers throughout his time in office.

    “If we could get every billionaire around the world to move here, it would be a godsend,” he famously said in a 2013 radio interview. "They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes, and we take the tax revenues from those people to help people throughout the entire rest of the spectrum.”

    He believed that wealth would eventually trickle down and stimulate the economy as those foreign billionaires spent money in New York, employed household staffs, and paid their property and income taxes.

    But that equation has proven problematic. Since most of these foreign billionaires are not living and working full-time in New York City, they are not paying city income taxes, and because New York  City has some extreme tax breaks for luxury real estate projects, they are not paying substantial taxes on their real estate holdings, either. 

    These property tax savings come from an affordable housing program known as 421-a. Essentially, 421-a promises huge, long-term tax breaks on luxury properties as long as the developers also build affordable and moderate-income apartments. 

    The legislation allowed luxury properties such as uber-luxury high-rise One57 to receive a 95% tax break. 

    But there are significant problems with 421-a. Not only is it under investigation by US attorney Preet Bharara, but some developers are reportedly “double-dipping” by receiving benefits for future luxury projects with previously built affordable housing units.

    Opponents of the controversial program — which is set to expire this summer — estimate that the city has lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

    And most of these foreign buyers use their apartments only occasionally, meaning they aren't pumping cash into the city's economy. One recent study found that more than half of the apartments in the midtown neighborhood that encompasses "Billionaires' Row" sit empty for most of the year.

    So even though wealthy foreigners certainly love New York for their gorgeous penthouse views and strong returns on their real estate investments, New York should maybe think twice about loving them so much in return. 

    Check out the full, must-read Times article here.

    SEE ALSO: Inside One57, where New York's most expensive penthouse just sold for a record-breaking $100 million

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    NOW WATCH: Mark Cuban: Here's The Hardest Part Of Being A Billionaire


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    WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton

    It's been exactly one year since Facebook acquired mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion. 

    The groundbreaking deal made both of the app's cofounders billionaires. 

    Originally from Kiev, Ukraine, CEO Jan Koum moved with his family to the US when he was 16 years old. The family struggled and lived on welfare and food stamps.

    With an estimated net worth of $6.8 billion, Koum has certainly come a long way since his food stamp days. 

    In a somewhat symbolic move, Koum signed the paperwork for the Facebook acquisition on the door of his former welfare office. The office is located just a few blocks away from WhatsApp's headquarters in Mountain View.



    Suddenly, as of February 2014, Koum was a billionaire.



    The WhatsApp team celebrated the Facebook deal by popping bottles of Cristal champagne. Igor Solomennikov, one of WhatsApp's first employees, posted this photo to Instagram, though he later took it down. A bottle of Cristal typically costs about $200.

    Source: Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sicong tencent

    The tycoon Wang Jianlin has publicly defended his son who caused a furore on social media after he said his top criteria for choosing a girlfriend was that she be buxom.

    Wang, one of the richest men in China, told a state television programme his son had spent years studying overseas and had got into the habit of speaking whatever was on his mind.

    Wang Sicong was lambasted on social media after he told reporters on Valentine’ Day that a future girlfriend must have large breasts. The state-run news agency Xinhua later published a 1,287-word commentary condemning his remarks.

    His father, who runs a property and cinema empire, said he was always ready to “take a hint” from others and not “speak carelessly”, but his son speaks directly and has not learned Chinese subtlety.

    “He is smart. He went overseas for study at grade one and he’s got a western-style of thinking,” said Wang.

    “Maybe after spending five or eight years in China, he will truly become Chinese.”

    His son Wang Sicong, a board member of his father’s Wanda Group and the chairman of the private investment firm Prometheus Capital, is well-known for his outspoken comments on social media.

    He made his eyebrow-raising Valentine’s Day remarks after he had helped raise more than 500,000 yuan (HK$630,000) by auctioning the chance to watch a film with him.

    His father also told state television he wanted his son to succeed in his own right in business, but would give him only two opportunities to get it right.

    “The third time he fails, he comes to work at Wanda,” he said.

    Wang’s comments appearing to question western customs and values echo those of government officials in recent months. Education Minister Yuan Guiren said last month that universities must tightly control the use of overseas text books that spread "western values".

    Wang also spoke more generally about the need to be close to the government as the country’s economy is still under the sway of officials, particularly the property industry which needs permits for development projects.

    “At the same time we should refrain from bribes. In short, I say be close to the government, but stay away from politics,” he said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do


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    pile of swiss francs

    One French investor owns a financial contract so good that most people wouldn't believe it exists. It gave him 68.6% returns every year from 1997 to 2007, and he is exposed to almost no risk at all.

    That man is Max-Hervé George, who is the subject of an amazing FT Alphaville piece, and his deal with a major insurance company may be the best in the world.

    When George was 7 years old his father bought him a life-insurance contract that allowed him to switch his investments based on their market prices published each Friday. He can switch those investments at any time in the next week based on those prices, regardless of what happens to them during the week.

    It is almost unbelievable. Here is how it works, according to the FT:

    Life insurance is a popular savings product in France, and typically the customer allocates their money among different investment funds offered by the insurer. But this contract was not typical: prices for the funds were published each Friday, and clients were allowed to switch funds at those prices anytime before the next price was published, even if markets moved in the meantime.

    L'Abeille Vie called this an arbitrage, but really it was a gift. Is the stock market up this week? Just call your broker to buy it at last week's price and pocket the difference ...

    Mr George continues to arbitrage time. For instance, he might have his money in an Aviva fund invested in the French stock market. Lets say the Nikkei 225 rises 5 per cent during the week. He'll tell Aviva to move his investments into its Japanese fund, at the price before the market moved.

    If George's investments crash, no problem: He can just move them into something that didn't crash. Aviva is legally bound and has to accept this. George has to deliver instructions by letter, which he makes sure is done by a bailiff.

    The contract is an artifact of a bygone age in which financial price data was not readily available to anyone with a computer and switching your investments took time. The company that sold it, Abeille Vie, was merged into Commercial Union, which was then merged into Aviva. Aviva France is still bound to the contract.

    George and his family have won at least three court battles to keep the deal. As of 2007 the family had €21 million ($23.53 million), of which €1.4 million belonged to Max-Hervé. That's from just €8,000 worth of French francs initially. As for how much the family has now, Alphaville have crunched the numbers:

    Estimating the size of his windfall is an illustration of exponential growth. Assume the growth rate of 68.6 per cent a year continues, and €1.4m becomes €93m. There was quite a significant market crash in 2008, but imagine you were able to pick the best performer each week as markets rebounded in 2009.

    By 2020 that would be €1.2 billion, and over €230 billion by the end of 2030 (at which time it would be worth more than Aviva). Take a look at the whole article over at the FT, because it is absolutely amazing.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Homeless-Man-Turned-Billionaire Shares The Secret To The American Dream


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    A 14,000-square-foot penthouse apartment in San Francisco's yet-to-be-completed Lumina property has just been listed for a jaw-dropping $49 million.

    If sold for the listing price, it would be a record for San Francisco. The most expensive condo ever sold in the city was the St. Regis penthouse, which went for $28 million in 2011.

    The duplex penthouse takes up the 41st and 42nd floors of the taller of Lumina's two towers, which are currently under construction in the city's South of Market neighborhood.

    Gregg Lynn of Sotheby's International Realty has the listing

    "This property is located right in the epicenter of the tech world," Lynn said to Business Insider. "It's very possible that a tech luminary would be interested in this penthouse. We're expecting that." 

    Lumina's two buildings will have a total of 656 units, starting in the $2 million range. About 200 units are already under contract, though the first residents won't move into their new homes until at least the end of 2015. Lynn says the penthouse will be available by the summer of 2016. 

    lumina sf

    The $49 million penthouse will have 20-foot ceilings, two kitchens, and 360-degree views of the Bay from terraces totaling 1,200 square feet of space.

    Lynn adds that the property has already drawn significant interest, mostly from "locals with a deep interest in South of Market."

    lumina sf

    "It would definitely appeal to someone who has a lifestyle that's commensurate with this apartment, who does a lot of hosting or corporate events," Lynn said. "Plus there's that sense of grandeur."

    There will be five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and two partial baths. The condo was designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica

    lumina sf

    All of that glass makes for an amazing view any time of day. 

    lumina sf

     The building itself will also have some amazing amenities, like a 7,000-square-foot fitness center, lap pool, music rooms, and multiple lounges.

    lumina sflumina sf

    SEE ALSO: Inside the swanky 'Hospital Club' owned by a Microsoft billionaire

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    Andreas Halvorsen

    Forbes' magazine has just released its annual world's billionaires list.

    This year, we've counted 40 names in the hedge fund industry. A few of these titans have retired in recent years. 

    Fund managers are paid through a compensation structure commonly known as the "2 and 20," which stands for a 2% management fee and a 20% performance fee charge. More specifically, "2 and 20″ means a hedge fund manager would charge investors 2% of total assets under management and 20% of any profits.

    Overall, 2014 was an incredibly underwhelming year in the hedge fund world. According to research firm Preqin, hedge funds, on average, returned just a mere 3.78%, the lowest annual return since the 1.85% loss in 2011. Still, there were a few fund that delivered impressive returns such as Bill Ackman's Pershing Square.

    We've included a round up of the richest fund managers in the world. 

    Rob Citrone

    Rank: 1741

    Net-worth: $1 billion

    Age: 50

    Fund: Discovery Capital

    Source: Forbes



    Brian Higgins

    Rank: 1533

    Net-worth: $1.2 billion

    Age: 50

    Fund: King Street Capital

    Source: Forbes



    Richard Chilton, Jr.

    Rank: 1533

    Net-worth: $1.2 billion

    Age: 56

    Fund: Chilton Investment Company

    Source: Forbes



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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