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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    Of the world's wealthiest people, the majority still hail from the world's top economic superpower — the United States. There are 29 US billionaires who rank among the 50 richest on earth, and they command a whopping $938 billion between them.

    This comes from new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super-wealthy, featured in our recent ranking of the world's richest people. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model that takes into account each person's assets, then adjusts estimated net worth to account for currency-exchange rates, local taxes, savings rates, investment performance, and other factors.

    The two richest people in America are no surprise: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett maintain their lead at the top despite being the two most generous people on earth. But US tech moguls have begun to overtake the upper echelon, with heavyweights like Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook adding billions to their net worth each year as their powerful companies continue to grow in value and influence.

    Not everyone is an entrepreneur though. Inherited wealth has kept a hefty portion of the country's cash in the hands of a few families, as the Koch brothers, the Waltons of Walmart, and the heirs to the Mars candy conglomerate each rank among the wealthiest.

    Read on to learn more about the 29 Americans with the deepest pockets.  

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    DON'T MISS: The wealthiest people in the world under 35

    28. James Simons

    Net worth:$14.3 billion

    Age: 77

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Renaissance Technologies

    Before revolutionizing the hedge fund industry with his mathematics-based approach, "Quant King" James Simons worked as a code breaker for the US Department of Defense during the Vietnam War, but was fired after criticizing the war in the press. He chaired the math department at Stony Brook University for a decade until leaving in 1978 to start a quantitative-trading firm. That firm, now called Renaissance Technologies, has more than $65 billion in assets under management among its many funds.

    Simons has always dreamed big. About 10 years ago, he announced that he was starting a fund that he claimed would be able to handle $100 billion, about 10% of all assets managed by hedge funds at the time. That fund, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund, never quite reached his aspirations — it currently handles about $10.5 billion— but his flagship Medallion fund is among the best-performing ever: It has generated a nearly 80% annualized return before fees since its inception in 1988.

    In October, Renaissance shut down a $1 billion fund — one of its smaller ones — "due to a lack of investor interest." The firm's other funds, however, have been up and climbing. Simons retired in 2009, but remains chairman of the company.



    28. Laurene Powell Jobs

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 52

    Country: US

    Industry: Media

    Source of wealth: Inheritance; Disney

    The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Jobs' stake in Disney — which has nearly tripled in value since her husband's death in 2011 and comprises more than $12 billion of her net worth — makes her the company's largest individual shareholder.

    Though she's best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991, after which she married her late husband and started organic-foods company Terravera. But she's been primarily preoccupied with philanthropic ventures, with a particular focus on education. In 1997, she founded College Track, an after-school program that helps low-income students prepare for and enroll in college, and in September she committed $50 million to a new project called XQ: The Super School Project, which aims to revamp the high-school curriculum and experience.

    Last October, Jobs spoke out against "Steve Jobs," Aaron Sorkin's movie about her late husband that portrays him in a harsh light, calling it "fiction." Jobs had been against the project from the get-go, reportedly calling Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to ask them to decline roles in the film.



    27. Charlie Ergen

    Net worth:$14.5 billion

    Age: 62

    Country: US

    Industry: Media

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Dish Network

    After four years away from satellite TV provider Dish Network, the company he founded in 1980, Charlie Ergen returned to his position as CEO last spring. But Ergen's reunion came amid difficult times for Dish, as the company has been striving to stem its slipping number of subscribers.

    But one of the network's newest services might be its saving grace. Last January, the company launched Sling TV, a streaming service that allows subscribers to watch their favorite channels, such as ESPN and Food Network, online for only $20 per month. Though Sling is a 180-degree pivot from Dish's signature product, it has caught on with customers, inspiring copycat services and potentially providing the struggling company with the leg up it needed.

    Despite not offering wireless plans to subscribers, Ergen also bought up nearly $10 billion worth of wireless-spectrum licenses at an auction last year. But the purchase incited significant backlash against Dish, which through two controlled affiliates had secured a 25% small-business discount that was subsequently revoked by the FCC. The company was forced to pay penalties exceeding $500 million to the FCC and surrender some of the licenses. Controversy surrounding Ergen's leadership is nothing new, however. His reputation for cutthroat business tactics in the past led The Hollywood Reporter to dub him the "the most hated man in Hollywood."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tatoosh paul allen yacht

    Tatoosh, a 300-foot yacht owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, allegedly did some serious damage to a coral reef in the Cayman Islands, according to the Cayman News Service.

    The cause? A dragging anchor chain, which allegedly damaged almost 14,000 square feet of reef in the West Bay replenishment zone earlier this month, says the Department of Environment after conducting a survey using local divers.

    That's 80% percent of the coral in the area.

    Vulcan Inc., the company that manages Allen's business, released a statement placing the blame on the Port Authority.

    "MV Tatoosh was moored in a position explicitly directed by the local Port Authority. When its crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral in the area, the crew promptly, and on their own accord, relocated their position to ensure the reef was protected," the statement provided to Business Insider reads. "Vulcan and the ship's crew are actively and cooperatively working with local authorities to determine the details of what happened." The Tatoosh was anchored by the Doc Poulson shipwreck and The Knife dive site, says Yachting and Boating World.

    It's no small thing to manage a 300-foot yacht. Tatoosh — which Allen attempted to sell in 2010 for around $165 million, but ultimately held onto — is a true luxury vessel, complete with multiple helicopter pads, a basketball court, a swimming pool, and a movie theater. It's staffed by 35 crew members. (Allen also owns a second, larger yacht, the 414-foot "Octopus", which has a permanent staff of 60.)

    Any ship that damages a reef can be subject to fines. But, as the Cayman News Service points out, multiple reef damage incidents in recent years have not been followed up with any government action or fines, including infractions by Carnival Cruise Lines.

    Yet the health of the Caribbean's coral reefs is in jeopardy. Studies show that coral has declined as much as 80% since the 1980s, and the World Resources Institute calls the area around the Cayman Islands "highly threatened". 

    "The ability of Caribbean coral reefs to cope with future local and global environmental change may be irretrievably compromised," one study published in Science Magazine noted.

     

    SEE ALSO: The best tropical beaches in the world

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    NOW WATCH: Take a look inside the $90 million superyacht that can travel nearly 5,000 miles on one tank of fuel


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    amancio ortega marta ortega

    Europe is home to many of the most powerful and economically developed countries in the world, as well as more than 740 million people. 

    But only eight of the 50 richest people in the world come from the continent — and half of them inherited their fortunes. The others, including second-richest person on earth Amancio Ortega, forged their fortunes in fashion and furniture.

    This comes from new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super-wealthy, featured in our recent ranking of the world's richest people. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model to discern the size of their fortunes. 

    Read on to learn more about the richest people in Europe, including a man who has a near-monopoly on eyewear and the founder of the world's largest furniture maker. 

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    SEE ALSO: The 29 richest people in America

    8. Leonardo Del Vecchio

    Net worth:$19.7 billion

    Age: 80

    Country: Italy

    Industry: Eyewear

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Luxottica Group

    Even at 80, Leonardo Del Vecchio still chairs Luxottica, the nearly $30 billion company he founded in 1961. The largest eyewear company on the planet, Luxottica not only owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, and Oakley, but manufacturers glasses for nearly every luxury brand out there, including Burberry, Chanel, Prada, and Versace.

    Though Del Vecchio started Luxottica as a tiny one-room enterprise in Milan, it now operates 10 factories worldwide, employs 35,000 people, and produces more than 65,000 pairs of glasses per day, holding a veritable monopoly on the eyewear industry.

    Del Vecchio isn't all business, though. Last March, he showed his generous side by giving his Italian employees $10 million worth of shares in the company to celebrate his 80th birthday.



    7. Dieter Schwarz

    Net worth:$20.9 billion

    Age: 76

    Country: Germany

    Industry: Retail

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Schwarz Gruppe

    Dieter Schwarz joined his father's food-wholesaling business in 1973 and opened the company's first discount supermarket shortly thereafter. He took over as CEO when his father died in 1977 and rapidly expanded the business outside Germany, rebranding the company as Schwarz Gruppe.

    The parent company umbrellas Lidl, a successful grocery-store chain and the second largest in Germany behind Aldi, and Kaufland, a chain of "hypermarket" stores similar to Walmart. Lidl has nearly 10,000 stores across 26 European countries and is set to break ground on US soil in 2018. Schwarz Gruppe now pulls in $85 billion in annual sales.

    The German billionaire lives a quiet life out of the spotlight with his wife and two kids in their hometown of Heilbronn. He's reportedly a generous donor to educational causes.



    6. Georg Schaeffler

    Net worth:$22.2 billion

    Age: 51

    Country: Germany

    Industry: Manufacturing

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Schaeffler Group

    Georg Schaeffler served in the German military and held a short career in corporate law in the US before jumping aboard his father's company, Schaeffler Group, the nearly $11 billion (in sales) ball bearings and auto-parts maker that Schaeffler now co-owns with his mother.

    The company made a splash in 2008 with its $17 billion hostile takeover attempt of tire and auto-parts maker Continental AG, which went south and left Schaeffler Group saddled with debt that it's managing to this day. It still owns a nearly 50% stake in Continental.

    Schaeffler Group has recently invested nearly $550 million in its electric and hybrid car parts business, and it expects to double the number in the next five years.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump tweet megyn kelly

    Real-estate mogul Donald Trump promoted a fake photo and a conspiracy theory in the middle of his Thursday-morning tweetstorm blasting Fox News and one of the network's anchors, Megyn Kelly.

    Trump tweeted someone's photo that supposedly shows Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Alwaleed's sister, and Kelly.

    The text on the image stated: "Most people don't know that the co-owner of Fox News is Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia here with his sister and with host Mygan [sic] Kelly. In case you only watch Fox News and you missed it everywhere else. GOOGLE IT!"

    However, Googling the claim yielded multiple fact-checking websites declaring that it was mostly false. Snopes.com reported that the photo was a fabrication and found the original photo of Kelly.

    Both Snopes.com and PolitiFact reported that the ownership claim wasn't true, but the billionaire Saudi prince's investment company owns a smaller amount of 21st Century Fox.

    The Republican presidential front-runner's tweetstorm was heavily focused on Fox News and Kelly, one of the moderators at the Thursday-night primary debate that he's boycotting.

    Trump has attacked Kelly relentlessly since last August, when she was one of the moderators at the first Fox-hosted debate. Kelly infuriated Trump at the time by asking a pointed question about disparaging comments he's made about women's looks.

    SEE ALSO: 'Be the bigger man': Bill O'Reilly confronts Donald Trump over debate boycott in combative interview

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Tina Fey take on Sarah Palin's Trump endorsement speech on SNL


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    donald trump tweet megyn kelly

    Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal fired back at Donald Trump on Thursday after the Republican presidential front-runner promoted a fake photo of him to attack Fox News.

    Trump shared a photo on Twitter that purported to show Alwaleed, Alwaleed's sister, and Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

    The text on the photo claimed that Alwaleed was a "co-owner" of Fox News. The network is hosting the Thursday-night debate that Trump is boycotting.

    But Snopes.com and PolitiFact found that claim mostly false. They reported that Alwaleed's investment company owned a small percentage of 21st Century Fox.

    Alwaleed, who reportedly once bought Trump's yacht, tweeted back at Trump while claiming to have "bailed" him out multiple times:

    The two billionaires also exchanged Twitter blows last month.

    Alwaleed wrote that Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US was "a disgrace" and called on the real-state mogul to withdraw from the presidential race:

    Trump responded by calling Alwaleed "dopey":

    SEE ALSO: 140 times Donald Trump called somebody 'dummy' or 'dopey' on Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Tina Fey take on Sarah Palin's Trump endorsement speech on SNL


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    Billionaires Row San Francisco Pacific heights (1 of 1) 16

    When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire wiped the city clean, the wealthy stood around the burned rubble of their Nob Hill homes and took a cool, hard look at San Francisco Bay. The best view in the city was in Pacific Heights, and with that swath of real estate now up for grabs, the big money built there and settled in.

    Through the Great Depression and both world wars, the residents of Pacific Heights built mansions in an ex-frontier town that now has a median sale price of more than $1.12 million, according to Trulia.

    Today's buyers have given this slice of San Francisco the name "Billionaire's Row." And those billionaires include a lot of tech names mingling with San Francisco's "Old Money" crowd — Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, Apple design genius Jony Ive, and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, just to name a few.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the big shots who live at 15 Central Park W., the world's most powerful address

    Pacific Heights sits atop a series of steep hills in the northern part of San Francisco.



    In the years after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, many of the city's wealthiest residents moved from tony Nob Hill to Pacific Heights, forever changing the face of the neighborhood.



    Pacific Heights has been an elite enclave of moneyed families ever since. The Gettys and the Trainas are just a few of the names who have ruled the Pacific Heights roost for decades.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    warren buffett

    The world's top investors spend their days handling money and generating substantial returns for their clients — and the best of the best make billions for themselves in the process. 

    Business Insider recently released its list of the 50 richest people on earth in partnership with Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super-wealthy. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model to discern the size of their fortunes. 

    When narrowed down to those who work in finance, the list encompasses a some of the greatest investors and financiers in history, including legendary Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Ray Dalio, the most successful hedge fund manager ever. Combined, these 10 men are worth nearly $260 billion and control far more of the world's wealth through their funds and investments.

    Read on to see the rest of wealthiest people in finance. 

     

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    DON'T MISS: The 20 most generous people in the world

    10. James Simons

    Net worth:$14.3 billion

    Age: 77

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Renaissance Technologies

    Before revolutionizing the hedge fund industry with his mathematics-based approach, "Quant King" James Simons worked as a code breaker for the US Department of Defense during the Vietnam War, but was fired after criticizing the war in the press. He chaired the math department at Stony Brook University for a decade until leaving in 1978 to start a quantitative-trading firm. That firm, now called Renaissance Technologies, has more than $65 billion in assets under management among its many funds.

    Simons has always dreamed big. About 10 years ago, he announced that he was starting a fund that he claimed would be able to handle $100 billion, about 10% of all assets managed by hedge funds at the time. That fund, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund, never quite reached his aspirations — it currently handles about $10.5 billion— but his flagship Medallion fund is among the best-performing ever: It has generated a nearly 80% annualized return before fees since its inception in 1988.

    In October, Renaissance shut down a $1 billion fund — one of its smaller ones — "due to a lack of investor interest." The firm's other funds, however, have been up and climbing. Simons retired in 2009, but remains chairman of the company.



    9. Ray Dalio

    Net worth:$16.3 billion

    Age: 66

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Bridgewater Associates

    Ray Dalio's hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the biggest in the world, managing a portfolio of around $154 billion in global investments.

    At the top of his industry and having amassed an enormous fortune, Dalio has more recently focused on giving away money and advice. He's taken the Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of his wealth to charity. And last year he shared his highly coveted "investment secrets," albeit in an unorthodox manner for a hedge funder, in a 30-minute YouTube video, which has been watched more than 2 million times. His 123-page, self-published manual on his principles of money management and leadership is also seen as somewhat of a bible among the investment world.

    Dalio has always taken a radical approach to management, making everything he and his fund does completely transparent to employees. And it's worked well for him: Bridgewater, while sometimes viewed as "cultish," is one of the most coveted places to work in finance. Dalio has said that he attributes his success, in part, to reminding himself that history repeats itself and keeping track of the decisions he's made that didn't work.



    8. Len Blavatnik

    Net worth:$16.7 billion

    Age: 58

    Country: US

    Industry: Diversified investments

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Access Industries

    After earning degrees at Columbia University and Harvard Business School, Len Blavatnik— a Ukraine-born American — founded Access Industries, a privately held industrial company, in 1986. The company began with only Russian investments, but it now boasts a diverse portfolio that includes natural resources, chemicals, media and telecommunications, and real estate.

    Blavatnik built his fortune through business savvy and a knack for making well-timed investments. In 2004, his company purchased a 20% stake in Tory Burch, becoming the first and largest outside investor in the fashion house, which has since blossomed into a powerhouse retailer worth over $3 billion. He's credited with one of the greatest investments of all time in his risky buyout of petrochemicals maker LyondellBasell, which he purchased out of bankruptcy amid the financial crisis for north of $2 billion. The value of his stake had jumped to more than $10 billion in 2014. He incurred a comparatively measly fine of $656,000 from the Federal Trade Commission in October for failing to properly report his investments in the company.

    Recently he's tried his hand as a music mogul, purchasing Warner Music Group in 2011 for $3.3 billion. Two years later, he bought British label Parlophone for $742 million, giving him an expanded roster of musical acts that includes Coldplay, Blur, Metallica, and Bruno Mars. His music holdings also include investments in emerging-technology companies such as Spotify and Beats Electronics.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ingvar Kamprad

    Swedish business magnate Ingvar Kamprad has been at the helm of IKEA, one of the world's largest furniture stores and most beloved brands, for more than 70 years.

    With a net worth of $39.3 billion, the retailer ranks as the 10th richest person on earth and the second-richest in Europe, according to new data from Wealth-X.

    The 89-year-old grew his flatpacking-furniture brand by maintaining a personal and professional ethos of innovation and simplicity. 

    From humble beginnings selling holiday tchotchkes to his neighbors as a child, Kamprad started a revolutionary, privately held furniture giant with $33 billion in sales  — and became one of the richest people on the planet in the process.

     

    SEE ALSO: The 8 richest people in Europe

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    Kamprad was born in the south of Sweden in 1926 and by the age of 5 began selling matches for profit. At 10, he rode his bike around the neighborhood to sell Christmas decorations, fish, and pencils.

    Source: Business Insider, Sweden.se



    In his teens, Kamprad became involved in a Nazi youth movement by the influence of his German grandmother, who was "a great admirer of Hitler." He later described that time as "the greatest mistake of my life" and even penned a letter to his employees asking their forgiveness.

    Source: Telegraph, Fortune



    When Kamprad was 17, his dad gave him a cash reward for making good grades in school despite his dyslexia. He used the money to found IKEA in 1943. Kamprad didn't introduce furniture until five years in; he'd started by selling small household items, like picture frames.

    Source: Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Alice Walton (Jim out of focus)

    With a net worth of $33.2 billion, Alice Walton isn't just the wealthiest woman on our list of the 50 richest people on earth, she's also a member of one of the richest families in the world. 

    Alice, along with older brothers Jim and Rob — who also graced the list, produced with Wealth-Xa company that conducts research on the superwealthy— have a combined net worth of $101.5 billion, thanks primarily to their stake in retail giant Walmart.

    Unlike her brothers, 66-year-old Walton never took an active role in running the retail empire her father started in 1962, though she's still managed to become the target of pushback from minimum-wage Walmart employees who view her highfalutin lifestyle as insensitive and ignorant to the plight of many workers.

    Instead of spending time at Walmart, Walton became a patron of the arts at a young age. When she was just 10 years old, Walton saved up her allowance to buy a reproduction of Picasso's "Blue Nude,"she told The New Yorker.

    "Collecting has been such a joy, and such an important part of my life in terms of seeing art, and loving it,” she said.

    She began buying watercolor pieces in the 1970s and adorning the walls of her Rocking W Ranch with them. From there she moved on to more serious original works, particularly those by classic American artists; her immense personal collection now includes pieces from Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Georgia O'Keefe, among others.

    In 2011, she opened the $50 million Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas to house her $500 million collection. When it opened, Crystal Bridges already had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York.

    Before delving into the art realm, Walton made a brief career as an equity analyst and even founded her own investment bank, Llama Company, in 1988. The company closed about 10 years later, shortly after Walton was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (not for the first time).

    Twice divorced with no children, Walton is also a lover of horses, which she breeds at Rocking W Ranch, located in Texas, and rides competitively. The 1,456-acre ranch, however, is currently for sale for nearly $20 million.

    Walton is one of just four women to make our list of the 50 richest people on earth — and each inherited their fortune. The next wealthiest woman is 93-year-old Liliane Bettencourt, the French heiress to the L'Oreal fortune, with a net worth of $29 billion.  

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s where the 20 richest people in America live


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    Aliko Dangote

    There's only one person in all of Africa who makes the list of the 50 richest people on earthNigerian businessman Aliko Dangote. When our ranking was released, Dangote's net worth stood at $14.3 billion, equal to 2.5% of Nigeria's GDP

    The majority of his wealth stems from a more than 90% stake in Dangote Cement, his $2.4 billion in sales company that's publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

    Dangote's business interests span several African countries. He owns cement plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa. In 2011, the commodities baron invested $4 billion to build a facility on the Ivory Coast.

    Dangote, who has been CEO and president of Dangote Group for 35 years, is also an active philanthropist. As chairman of The Dangote Foundation, he oversees several education, agriculture, and health initiatives, including a $12,000-per-day food program for the undernourished. 

    "Aliko is Africa’s richest man, and his business activities drive economic growth across the continent. That’s impressive, but I know him best as a leader constantly in search of ways to bridge the gap between private business and public health,"wrote Bill Gates, the richest person in the world, of his fellow philanthropist in Time Magazine. The tech mogul also praised Dangote's success in removing Nigeria from the global list of endemic countries in his fight to eradicate polio.

    In January, Dangote and Gates announced a $100 million pledge to cut malnutrition in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and leading economy. The pair also signed a deal to enhance immunization programs in the country's Northern states.

    Dangote tied for 49th on our ranking of the world's 50 richest people— produced with Wealth-Xa company that conducts research on the super-wealthy — and is the only black person to make the list. 

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    NOW READ: 25 quotes from Bill Gates that take you inside the mind of the world's richest man

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    NOW WATCH: Here’s where the 20 richest people in America live


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    jack ma

    The largest continent by size and population, Asia has also grown into a financial powerhouse. It's home to the world's second-, third-, and ninth-largest economies in China, Japan, and India, respectively. The continent is also the playground for 10 of the planet's 50 wealthiest people, who are worth a combined $205 billion.

    With a fortune of $29.2 billion, real estate mogul Wang Jianlin is the richest person in Asia, followed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma at $26.5 billion. India's wealthiest man, industrial magnate Mukesh Ambani, rounds out the top three with a net worth of $24.8 billion.

    This comes from new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super-wealthy, featured in our recent ranking of the world's richest people. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model to discern the size of their fortunes.

    Read on to learn more about the richest people on the world's largest continent, who range from tech tycoons to real estate giants. 

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    DON'T MISS: The wealthiest people in the world under 35

    10. Lei Jun

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 45

    Country: China

    Industry: Tech

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Xiaomi

    Like several of his fellow 21st-century Chinese billionaires, Lei Jun earned his $14.4 billion fortune in tech. His smartphone maker, Xiaomi, became the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the world, and the largest in China, within about three years of its founding.

    Lei got his start in tech shortly after college when he joined Kingsoft, a Chinese software company similar to Microsoft, as an engineer. During his tenure at Kingsoft, Lei served as chief technology officer, president, and CEO, succeeding in taking the company public in 2007 before resigning. In 2010, after spending a few years as a venture capitalist, the already-wealthy Chinese entrepreneur founded Xiaomi with a former Google China executive. Lei was appointed chairman of Kingsoft in 2011 and forged a partnership between the two companies to provide cloud-storage capabilities for his phones.

    Xiaomi, often referred to as "the Apple of China," is now the second most valuable private-tech company in the world, with a $46 billion valuation. But as sales growth has slowed, experts are contemplating the sustainability of Xiaomi's business model in overseas markets.



    9. Dilip Shanghvi

    Net worth:$16.4 billion

    Age: 60

    Country: India

    Industry: Pharmaceuticals

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

    After graduating from the University of Calcutta in 1982, Dilip Shanghvi started working at his father's wholesale generic-drugs business, where he saw an opportunity to manufacture Lithosun, a drug that treated manic-depressive disorders and was unavailable in much of eastern India. That was the genesis of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which Shangvi founded in 1983 with a $1,000 investment from his father.

    In its first year of business, Sun Pharma generated more than $100,000 in sales, and in 1994 the company went public on the Bombay Stock Exchange. It began expanding shortly thereafter, entering the global generic-drug market by acquiring Michigan-based Caraco Pharmaceuticals Laboratories in 1997, the first of many international acquisitions. In 2012, Shanghvi stepped down as chairman and now serves as managing director of the company, which generates $4.5 billion in sales.

    Early in 2015, Shanghvi became the richest man in India for a period of time after his company's stocks surged. No matter the number, Shanghvi remains devoted to philanthropy as founder and chairman of the Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation, which donates to education, social-welfare, and community-development causes.



    8. Azim Premji

    Net worth:$16.5 billion

    Age: 70

    Country: India

    Industry: Technology

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Wipro

    In 1966, 21-year-old Azim Premji dropped out of Stanford in the wake of his father's death to take the helm of his father's company Western India Vegetable Products — later renamed Wipro. It was under Premji's leadership that the company diversified into toiletries and bath products and, eventually, IT, and the company grew exponentially. Now India's third-largest IT giant, Wipro generated revenues of $7.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

    Just days into the new year, Premji named Abidali Neemuchwala, a Dallas-based consultancy executive, the new CEO of Wipro, citing him as the best leader to take Wipro into "its next phase of growth." Neemuchwala had been brought on to Wipro as chief operating officer last April after years of working for rival Tata Consultancy Services.

    Premji is known for his generosity. He signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate at least half of his wealth to charity, and in 2015 was named "the most generous Indian" on the Hurun India Philanthropy list for the third year in a row.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Larry Page

    Almost one-fourth of the 50 richest people on earth made their extraordinary fortunes founding and building today's largest tech companies.

    Together, the 13 billionaires have a net worth of about $450 billion. That includes Microsoft visionary Bill Gates, the richest person on earth with a fortune of $87.4 billion, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest tech CEO in the world with a fortune of $56.6 billion.

    This comes from new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super-wealthy. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model to discern the size of their fortunes.

    Although the American tech scene is home to the most billionaires on our list — nine of the top 50 — the emerging economies in China and India are starting to churn out enormously rich tech moguls of their own.

    Read on to learn about the richest tech titans in the world.

    SEE ALSO: The 29 richest people in America

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    13. Jun Lei

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 45

    Country: China

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Xiaomi

    Like several of his fellow 21st-century Chinese billionaires, Lei Jun earned his $14.4 billion fortune in tech. His smartphone maker, Xiaomi, became the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the world, and the largest in China, within about three years of its founding.

    Lei got his start in tech shortly after college when he joined Kingsoft, a Chinese software company similar to Microsoft, as an engineer. During his tenure at Kingsoft, Lei served as chief technology officer, president, and CEO, succeeding in taking the company public in 2007 before resigning. In 2010, after spending a few years as a venture capitalist, the already-wealthy Chinese entrepreneur founded Xiaomi with a former Google China executive. Lei was appointed chairman of Kingsoft in 2011 and forged a partnership between the two companies to provide cloud-storage capabilities for his phones.

    Xiaomi, often referred to as "the Apple of China," is now the second most valuable private-tech company in the world, with a $46 billion valuation. But as sales growth has slowed, experts are contemplating the sustainability of Xiaomi's business model in overseas markets.



    12. Azim Premji

    Net worth:$16.5 billion

    Age: 70

    Country: India

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Wipro

    In 1966, 21-year-old Azim Premji dropped out of Stanford in the wake of his father's death to take the helm of his father's company Western India Vegetable Products — later renamed Wipro. It was under Premji's leadership that the company diversified into toiletries and bath products and, eventually, IT, and the company grew exponentially. Now India's third-largest IT giant, Wipro generated revenues of $7.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

    Just days into the new year, Premji named Abidali Neemuchwala, a Dallas-based consultancy executive, the new CEO of Wipro, citing him as the best leader to take Wipro into "its next phase of growth." Neemuchwala had been brought on to Wipro as chief operating officer last April after years of working for rival Tata Consultancy Services.

    Premji is known for his generosity. He signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate at least half of his wealth to charity, and in 2015 was named "the most generous Indian" on the Hurun India Philanthropy list for the third year in a row.



    11. Ma Huateng

    Net worth:$17.1 billion

    Age: 44

    Country: China

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

    Softward engineer Ma Huateng founded China's largest internet portal, Tencent Holdings, in 1998. He was 26. Ma's company has a number of successful and widely used platforms in its portfolio, including QQ, its instant-messaging service, which is one of the world's 10 largest websites; a mobile-texting service (WeChat) with 600 million users; a mobile-commerce product (WeChat Wallet); and an online-gaming community (Tencent Games), the largest in China.

    Last year Ma made two big deals. In April, he bought a $400 million stake in Chinese classified-listings platform 58.com, of which Tencent already owned a 25% share. That same month he also bought a 15% stake in mobile-game maker Glu Mobile for $126 million.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos

    Of the 50 richest people in the world, most built their wealth up from nothing, creating some of the most powerful companies out there — including Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Nike, and Google — along the way. 

    The 25 richest self-made billionaires on earth have accrued more than $850 billion combined, each with a personal net worth of at least $18 billion. 

    This comes from new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, which conducts research on the super-wealthy, as featured in our recent list of the richest people on earthWealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model to discern the size of their fortunes. 

    The list ranges from tech moguls like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos to influential investors like Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn. Read on to learn how each of these 25 self-made magnates earned their fortune.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    DON'T MISS: The 8 richest people in Europe

    25. Paul Allen

    Net worth:$18.3 billion

    Age: 62

    Country: US

    Industry: Diversified investments

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

    Alongside his cofounder Bill Gates, Paul Allen credits Microsoft for his fortune. Although Allen left the company before it went public in 1986, he remained a board member until 2000 and today holds a less than 5% stake. The college dropout went on to found Vulcan, his private-investment vehicle, shortly after leaving the software giant.

    With lifetime donations exceeding $2 billion, Allen's philanthropic efforts make him one of the most generous people in the world. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation gives to global health causes, including $5 million to Seattle BioMed, $4 million to Global FinPrint — a conservation project focused on the preservation of sharks worldwide — and $7 million in grants to Alzheimer's research. During West Africa's Ebola pandemic in 2014, Allen gave more than $100 million to develop solutions to stem the outbreak. In October 2015, the foundation announced seven new grants totaling $11 million to prevent future widespread Ebola outbreaks.

    The self-made billionaire also counts an extravagant lineup of cars, World War II fighter jets, real estate, and two sports teams — the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers — among his luxurious array of assets.



    24. Lee Shau Kee

    Net worth:$18.5 billion

    Age: 87

    Country: Hong Kong

    Industry: Real estate

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Henderson Land Development

    Lee Shau Kee fled China for Hong Kong before the Communist takeover in 1948, working in commodities like gold and currency exchange before founding Henderson Land Development in 1973. Over the last 43 years, Henderson has become a top real-estate developer in Hong Kong and China, generating annual sales of more than $3 billion and making Lee one of the richest men in Asia.

    An active philanthropist, Lee has donated more than $100 million over the years to causes ranging from education to affordable housing to farmer-training programs. In October, he honored the birth of his seventh grandchild by giving away HK$15 million— about US$1.9 million — to his friends and employees.



    23. Carl Icahn

    Net worth:$18.7 billion

    Age: 79

    Country: US

    Industry: Diversified investments

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Icahn Enterprises

    Carl Icahn has made a lifelong habit and lucrative career out of agitating undervalued and poorly managed companies to change their ways. Since founding his own investment firm in 1968, Icahn has become one of the most powerful people in finance, investing in scores of high-profile companies, including RJR Nabisco, Philips Petroleum, Viacom, Marvel, Time Warner, Netflix, and Herbalife.

    And he usually gets his way. When Icahn revealed that he held a stake in Apple worth more than $1 billion in 2013, the company's stock shot up and CEO Tim Cook responded to Icahn's critique of the company. Cook has even come around to some of Icahn's views, and Icahn said in the fall that he may buy an even larger stake.

    Now Icahn's leading the charge against AIG, publishing an open letter in January calling for the insurance giant to break up into a "smaller, simpler company."

    Icahn has said that he has no plans of retiring from pestering corporate executives, but a career shift may nonetheless be in the works. Donald Trump has said that if elected US president, he would bring Icahn in as Treasury secretary — a position which Icahn said he would accept despite some disagreements with the combative real-estate mogul's positions.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bill ackman

    I've heard a lot of stories about investors losing money in my time covering Wall Street.

    There are lots of ways to do it, and lots of ways to react to it.

    By far the most fascinating people to observe losing money — also the hardest to watch — are super-rich investors.

    The fascinating part of watching this rarefied group is not the scale of losses, nor is it the spillover to the rest of the investment industry.

    It is that when real "Master of the Universe"-types lose money, you find out that money doesn't really matter to them at all.

    There's one thing that is far more important.

    Being right.

    2015

    And that is why 2015 was so painful for many hedge fund titans. Losses are bad, but having all your peers, all of the financial media, and your entire town know you were wrong is worse.

    All of that was on florid display last week, when billionaire investor Bill Ackman wrote a year-end investor letter that included a candid revelation of a personal, inner struggle to be right.

    "We do not believe that our investment performance in 2015 was primarily due to unforced errors, but rather due mostly to the market's reappraisal of our holdings without a corresponding material diminution in their intrinsic value," he wrote.

    In other words, the market is acting irrationally and I'm still right.

    In the same breath that Ackman acknowledged making mistakes, he defended several of them. Yes, he made a few, but some of them were unavoidable because of restrictions on selling stock, and still, he said, the mistakes weren't the biggest driver of his fund's poor performance.

    In fact, the biggest losses were partially the result of something out of his control, something he acknowledges earlier in the letter he could not foresee (emphasis added):

    The companies in our portfolio that have suffered the largest peak-to-trough declines are Valeant, Platform, Nomad, and Fannie and Freddie. The inherent relative risk of their underlying businesses and their more leveraged capital structures partially explain their greater declines in market value as markets moved to a "risk off" mentality.

    But their massive declines in value, in our view substantially more than can be accounted for due to fundamental issues in their respective businesses, cannot, we believe, be attributed to these factors. Importantly, none of these companies is in any of the important market indexes. Their shareholder bases are, therefore, largely comprised of hedge funds and other active managers, which we believe has contributed to their underperformance.

    Not his fault, guys.

    In the cheap seats you can't afford

    But this rule of being right doesn't go for everyone in the business of finance. That's because others have actual financial pain to bear when a downturn hits.

    In some cases, it's because they have been outspending their paychecks, anticipating that their earnings might catch up or just because they had a break with reality. Money slips through their fingers like sand, and when they run out of it, it's as if they've come out of a deep hypnosis. They look around, and they don't even know how they got to where they're standing.

    Others aren't quite so extravagant but still live life bonus check to bonus check. When one of those checks comes in light, or not at all, they have to choose between the second home or private school for the kids next year.

    Margin Call Stanley Tucci laid off banker layoff firedTheir meltdowns can be witnessed in any quasi-private space at a Wall Street firm — a conference room, a boss' office, the bar downstairs — grown men freaking out about what they're going to tell their wives.

    The high rollers

    The Masters of the Universe are different. They will never have to worry about private-school fees. They would struggle to blow their billions even if they tried.

    For them, the money isn't the goal. It's just a way of keeping score.

    "In general it's about being right or being smart — being smart more importantly because anyone can be right once," said Denise Shull of The Rethink Group, a trading therapist who has worked with some of the highest-profile people on Wall Street.

    And also in terms of reactions, she said, "it really runs the gamut."

    There are Masters of the Universe who can quietly lose money years running and you'd never know it. These are the guys with white knuckles and calm faces. Ask the drivers who drive them, the nannies who take care of their children, the maitre d's who serve them — none of those people would be able to tell you that something is amiss.

    But every now and then the veneer will slip. This usually comes in the form of quick, vicious self-flagellation — something along the lines of, "Of course I wasn't invited to XYZ — I'm not a winner anymore."

    This negativity is gone from their demeanor as suddenly as it came. Don't ask them about it afterward, either, because this kind of trader is a black box.

    There are personality changers, too. People who were once bold and boisterous will become shy and despondent. People who were nerds in high school will become obsessed with going to the gym.

    Therapy, though, is not always considered. The thought is: "What's the point? There's really nowhere I can go to escape this."

    Remember, after all, that the nannies and the drivers, the analysts and the managing directors, the caddies at the club and the fund-raisers at charities — they all exist in an ecosystem that is in some part dependent on this one Master of the Universe's ideas being right.

    "A lot of these guys do feel a real sense of responsibility," Shull said.

    This is why there's a therapist in the Showtime show "Billions" who listens to hedge fund superstars cry on her couch. There is deep emotion in all this. In fact, the entire idea of taking emotion out of your trading is nonsense, Shull said. Humans can't even make a decision about when to go to the store without some emotion.

    "In the hedge fund world we call it conviction," she said.

    Conviction is the deep-seated knowledge that you are right, which means that knowing you are right is emotional. That's opposite of what you were taught during your first summer internship at Morgan Stanley, when vets tell you you're supposed to trade unemotionally.

    The key instead is to maintain a keen awareness of the awesome, emotional power of your desire to be right. Even Masters of the Universe must surrender to this. If they don't, Shull says, and the Master tries to ignore where this "conviction" is really coming from, its grip over the mind becomes even more powerful.

    valeant 6 month chart

    Your next move

    This is a test. Some hedge fund managers get through it; others don't. They shut down their funds, and then they write letters to their investors that sound like this one from the defunct London-based hedge fund Nevsky Capital (emphasis added):

    In summary, all of the above factors now mean that it is more difficult than ever before for us to accurately forecast macroeconomic and corporate variables. This pushes up our cost of capital and substantially increases the risk of us suffering substantial capital loss on individual positions either because of a forecast error or simply because we could be caught up in an erroneous market trend, which could then persist for far longer than we could take the pain. This has made what we enjoy most — the thrill of analyzing economic data releases and company accounts — no longer enjoyable.

    You get the point — the market has changed, and it's no longer something we can master. It isn't fun anymore. We could be wrong, and we don't want to be wrong.

    If you want to survive, then the question is do you change your portfolio, or do you double down on your ideas, white knuckling until you can convince the market you're right with sheer will?

    We know what Ackman has chosen.

    "While it is impossible to know for sure, we believe that our continued negative out performance in the first few weeks of the year relates primarily to forced selling of our holdings by investors whose stakes overlap with our own," Ackman wrote in his letter.

    He continued: "We are unlikely to make wholesale changes to the current portfolio as we find the valuations of our holdings extremely attractive."

    In other words, investors who lack our conviction are selling, or perhaps being forced to sell. We, however, will not. This thing will turn around, our investors will make money.

    And the world knows we were right in the end.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Phil Knight

    Retail is an enormous and profitable industry. Global sales were projected to top $24 trillion in 2015 and are expected to grow another 3.2% this year, making the magnates who run the sector's largest companies even wealthier.

    We recently released our list of the 50 richest people on earth based on data from Wealth-X, which conducts research on the super wealthy. Three people in the top 10 are in retail — including the visionaries behind Zara, Amazon, and IKEA — and 12 others cracked the list as well.

    To find the wealthiest people in the world, Wealth-X looked at its database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high net-worth people and used a proprietary valuation model that takes into account each person's assets, then adjusts estimated net worth to account for currency-exchange rates, local taxes, savings rates, investment performance, and other factors. We narrowed that list down to just the billionaires in the retail industry.

    Here are the 15 wealthiest people who made their billions in retail:

    15. Leonardo Del Vecchio

    Net worth:$19.7 billion

    Age: 80

    Country: Italy

    Source of wealth: Self-made, Luxottica Group

    Even at 80, Leonardo Del Vecchio still chairs Luxottica, the nearly $30 billion company he founded in 1961. The largest eyewear company on the planet, Luxottica not only owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, and Oakley, but also manufacturers glasses for nearly every luxury brand out there, including Burberry, Chanel, Prada, and Versace.

    Though Del Vecchio started Luxottica as a tiny one-room enterprise in Milan, it now operates 10 factories worldwide, employs 35,000 people, and produces more than 65,000 pairs of glasses per day, holding a veritable monopoly on the eyewear industry.

    Del Vecchio isn't all business, though. Last March, he showed his generous side by giving his Italian employees $10 million worth of shares in the company to celebrate his 80th birthday.



    14. Dieter Schwarz

    Net worth:$20.9 billion

    Age: 76

    Country: Germany

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made, Schwarz Gruppe

    Dieter Schwarz joined his father's food-wholesaling business in 1973 and opened the company's first discount supermarket shortly thereafter. He took over as CEO when his father died in 1977 and rapidly expanded the business outside Germany, rebranding the company as Schwarz Gruppe.

    The parent company umbrellas Lidl, a successful grocery-store chain and the second largest in Germany behind Aldi, and Kaufland, a chain of "hypermarket" stores similar to Walmart. Lidl has nearly 10,000 stores across 26 European countries and is set to break ground on US soil in 2018. Schwarz Gruppe now pulls in $85 billion in annual sales.

    The German billionaire lives a quiet life out of the spotlight with his wife and two kids in their hometown of Heilbronn. He's reportedly a generous donor to educational causes.



    13. Phil Knight

    Net worth:$25.7 billion

    Age: 77

    Country: US

    Source of wealth: Self-made, Nike

    After a stint in the US Army, and with a Stanford MBA under his belt, Phil Knight convinced Tiger-brand shoemaker Onitsuka in the early 1960s to allow him to distribute Tiger shoes under the name Blue Ribbon Sports — the name Knight picked that predated his swoosh-logo-clad company Nike. Knight worked full-time as an accountant as he launched his new brand, and by 1968 he had built up enough of a rapport with customers that he was able to leave the CPA life behind.

    Nike has built its success on celebrity and athlete-endorsement deals, starting with running prodigy Steve Prefontaine in 1973 and continuing with one of the most successful shoe marketers of all time in Michael Jordan. Nike signed him to a five-year endorsement deal in 1984 worth roughly $500,000 per year. The biggest NBA star today is still under the Nike roof, with LeBron James signing a lifetime contract with the brand in December for an undisclosed sum.

    Though Knight announced plans in June to step down as Nike chairman, he's leaving the $30.6 billion — in sales — company in better shape than ever, with the stock and revenues at all-time highs.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Liliane Bettencourt and daughter

    We recently released our list of the 50 richest people on earth based on data from Wealth-X, which conducts research on the super-wealthy. Many of the billionaires on the list came from humble beginnings and built huge empires from next to nothing.

    Others were born into money.

    To find the wealthiest people in the world, Wealth-X looked at its database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people and used a proprietary valuation model that takes into account each person's assets, then adjusts estimated net worth to account for currency-exchange rates, local taxes, savings rates, investment performance, and other factors. We narrowed that list down to just the billionaires who inherited at least part of their wealth.

    Some built upon their inherited fortune to create companies that far exceed those of their parents or spouses — like the Koch Brothers or L'Oreal's Liliane Bettencourt — while others, such as the Mars siblings, haven't actively expanded the family business. 

    Here are the 16 richest heirs and heiresses in the world.

    16. Laurene Powell Jobs

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 52

    Country: US

    Industry: Media

    The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Jobs' stake in Disney — which has nearly tripled in value since her husband's death in 2011 and comprises more than $12 billion of her net worth — makes her the company's largest individual shareholder.

    Though she's best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991, after which she married her late husband and started organic-foods company Terravera. But she's been primarily preoccupied with philanthropic ventures, with a particular focus on education. In 1997, she founded College Track, an after-school program that helps low-income students prepare for and enroll in college, and in September she committed $50 million to a new project called XQ: The Super School Project, which aims to revamp the high-school curriculum and experience.

    Last October, Jobs spoke out against "Steve Jobs," Aaron Sorkin's movie about her late husband that portrays him in a harsh light, calling it "fiction." Jobs had been against the project from the get-go, reportedly calling Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to ask them to decline roles in the film.



    15. Azim Premji

    Net worth:$16.5 billion

    Age: 70

    Country: India

    Industry: Technology

    In 1966, 21-year-old Azim Premji dropped out of Stanford in the wake of his father's death to take the helm of his father's company Western India Vegetable Products — later renamed Wipro. It was under Premji's leadership that the company diversified into toiletries and bath products and, eventually, IT, and the company grew exponentially. Now India's third-largest IT giant, Wipro generated revenues of $7.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

    Just days into the new year, Premji named Abidali Neemuchwala, a Dallas-based consultancy executive, the new CEO of Wipro, citing him as the best leader to take Wipro into "its next phase of growth." Neemuchwala had been brought on to Wipro as chief operating officer last April after years of working for rival Tata Consultancy Services.

    Premji is known for his generosity. He signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate at least half of his wealth to charity, and in 2015 was named "the most generous Indian" on the Hurun India Philanthropy list for the third year in a row.



    14. Dieter Schwarz

    Net worth:$20.9 billion

    Age: 76

    Country: Germany

    Industry: Retail

    Dieter Schwarz joined his father's food-wholesaling business in 1973 and opened the company's first discount supermarket shortly thereafter. He took over as CEO when his father died in 1977 and rapidly expanded the business outside Germany, rebranding the company as Schwarz Gruppe.

    The parent company umbrellas Lidl, a successful grocery-store chain and the second largest in Germany behind Aldi, and Kaufland, a chain of "hypermarket" stores similar to Walmart. Lidl has nearly 10,000 stores across 26 European countries and is set to break ground on US soil in 2018. Schwarz Gruppe now pulls in $85 billion in annual sales.

    The German billionaire lives a quiet life out of the spotlight with his wife and two kids in their hometown of Heilbronn. He's reportedly a generous donor to educational causes.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Frugality is a subjective term. To the average Joe it could mean eating meals at home or scouring the Internet for cheap flights. But to a billionaire it means showing up to work in a t-shirt and jeans, driving a Toyota or Volkswagen, and in some instances, foregoing the purchase of a private jet or lavish vacation home.

    A handful of frugal billionaires appear on our list of the richest people on earth, and each one has his own penny-pinching habits.

    From eating lunch in the office cafeteria with their employees to residing in homes worth a fraction of their wealth, these seven self-made billionaires — many who are also generous philanthropists— know the secret to keeping their net worths high.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 richest people on earth

    SEE ALSO: The 25 richest self-made billionaires

    Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

    Net worth:$60.7 billion

    The "Oracle of Omaha" is one of the wisest and most frugal billionaires around. Despite his status as the third-richest person on earth, he still lives in the same modest home he bought for $31,500 in 1958, doesn't carry a cell phone or have a computer at his desk, and once had a vanity license plate that read THRIFTY, according to his 2009 biography.

    Buffett also has a decidedly low-brow palate, known not just for investing in junk-food purveyors like Burger King, Dairy Queen, and Coca-Cola but filling up on them as well. The Buffett diet includes five Cokes a day, as well as Cheetos and potato chips. 

    At his annual shareholder's meeting in 2014, Buffett explained that his quality of life isn't impacted by the amount of money he has: "My life couldn't be happier. In fact, it'd be worse if I had six or eight houses. So, I have everything I need to have, and I don't need any more because it doesn't make a difference after a point."

     



    Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network

    Net worth:$14.5 billion

    Charlie Ergen is a notoriously frugal business leader, but he also nickels and dimes in his personal life. Ergen has said his frugality hearkens back to his mother's childhood. "My mom grew up in the Depression," he told the Financial Times. "I don’t have a mahogany desk."

    The self-made billionaire packs a lunch of a sandwich and Gatorade before work every day, and until recently, he shared hotel rooms with colleagues during travel. 



    Carlos Slim Helú, founder of Grupo Carso

    Net worth:$23.5 billion

    Rather than spending his fluctuating fortune, Carlos Slim funnels his billions back into the economy and his vast array of companies. He once mused to Reuters that wealth was like an orchard, "what you have to do is make it grow, reinvest to make it bigger, or diversify into other areas."

    The 75-year-old is by far the richest man in Mexico, but he forgoes luxuries like private jets and yachts and reportedly still drives an old Mercedes-Benz. Slim runs his companies frugally too, writing in staff handbooks that employees should always"maintain austerity in prosperous times (in times when the cow is fat with milk)."

    The businessman has lived in the same six-bedroom house in Mexico for more than 40 years and routinely enjoys sharing home-cooked meals with his children and grandchildren. He's got a couple of known indulgences, including fine art — in honor of his late wife — and Cuban cigars, as well as an $80 million mansion in Manhattan, which he was trying to sell last spring. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tony Abbott

    High-level Australian politicians, including a former opposition leader, have returned a bunch of Rolex watches gifted to them by a Chinese billionaire after realizing they were actually real, The Guardian reports.

    For years the politicians believed the watches to be fake. Li Ruipeng, the chair of the Li Guancheng Investment Management Group — who made his fortune from selling instant noodles — gave the watches to them in plastic bags at a dinner party.

    The politicians were former opposition leader Tony Abbot, Minister of Parliament Stuart Robert, and opposition spokesman Ian Macfarlane. This all happened at Australia's Parliament House back in 2013.

    Since the politicians thought the watches were fake, they declared them officially as $300 to $500 gifts and left it at that. Then, a politician with an actual Rolex complimented Mcfarlane on his watch, and they realized it was worth about $40,000.

    The watches were then collected and returned.

    To be fair, China is known for its fake luxury goods. A recent study conducted by New York University professor Damon McCoy tracked payments for luxury goods around the world. After making around 300 purchases, he tracked 97% of his payments back to three huge Chinese state banks.

    For the full story on this watch fiasco, head to The Guardian>>

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Alice Walton

    Business Insider recently published a list of the 50 richest people on earth with data provided by Wealth-X, a firm that conducts research on the super-wealthy.

    Of these 50 billionaires, only four (8%) are women — Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs, Mars Inc. heiress Jacqueline Mars, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, and Walmart heiress Alice Walton — and each of these women inherited rather than built their fortunes.

    Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of the world's 50 richest people are men who built up their wealth from nothing.

    What might explain the gender gap at the very top of the wealth spectrum?

    Billion-dollar fortunes are typically built by launching hugely successful companies (think Google, Facebook, and Amazon), and women entrepreneurs have had a harder time finding similar success as men in this arena.

    Although women are creating 40% of new businesses — in 2014 they created an estimated 470,000 — many have difficulty growing past $1 million in revenue without generous funding from investors, who are typically men. Plus, women in the US still earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, giving them less capital to start with.

    Despite the odds, the landscape is changing. Today, women own 30% of all private businesses across all sectors and hold the majority of management, professional, and related positions in the US, according to a report by Bank of Montreal's (BMO) Wealth Institute. And women-led private tech companies that are able to secure funding achieve 35% higher return on investment than male-led tech companies.

    As more women hold lucrative positions, the number of female billionaires worldwide continues to increase: There are now 145 female billionaires, up from 22 in 1995. However, it's still a far cry from the 1,202 men who belong to the billionaire club.

    Getting wealth in the hands of women could be good for everyone.Research indicates that women give more money away than their male counterparts at all income levels.

    Indeed, the four richest women in the world have a strong record of philanthropy. Learn more about them below.

    SEE THE FULL LIST: The 50 richest people on earth

    AND: 16 billionaires who inherited their fortunes

    Laurene Powell Jobs

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 52

    Country: US

    Industry: Media

    Source of wealth: Inheritance; Disney

    The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Jobs' stake in Disney — which has nearly tripled in value since her husband's death in 2011 and comprises more than $12 billion of her net worth — makes her the company's largest individual shareholder.

    Though she's best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991, after which she married her late husband and started organic-foods company Terravera. But she's been primarily preoccupied with philanthropic ventures, with a particular focus on education. In 1997, she founded College Track, an after-school program that helps low-income students prepare for and enroll in college, and in September she committed $50 million to a new project called XQ: The Super School Project, which aims to revamp the high-school curriculum and experience.

    Last October, Jobs spoke out against "Steve Jobs," Aaron Sorkin's movie about her late husband that portrays him in a harsh light, calling it "fiction." Jobs had been against the project from the get-go, reportedly calling Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to ask them to decline roles in the film.



    Jacqueline Mars

    Net worth:$28.6 billion

    Age: 76

    Country: US

    Industry: Candy

    Source of wealth: Inheritance; Mars Inc.

    Siblings Forrest, Jacqueline, and John Mars inherited a stake in the iconic candymaker Mars Inc. when their father, Forrest Sr., died in 1999. The notoriously private trio co-own but don't actively manage the maker of M&M's and Milky Way bars, which their grandfather started in 1931 as a confectionary business in his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington.

    In 2008, Mars Inc. branched out from chocolate to gum, when it acquired the Wrigley Jr. Co. for $23 billion. Since then, it's delved into pet food, buying Iams and two other brands in 2014 from Procter & Gamble for close to $2.9 billion.

    Together the three siblings run the Mars Foundation, which gives primarily to educational, environmental, cultural, and health-related causes. 



    Liliane Bettencourt

    Net worth:$29 billion

    Age: 93

    Country: France

    Industry: Cosmetics

    Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; L'Oreal Group

    The heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune and the company's largest shareholder, Liliane Bettencourt is the richest woman in Europe and the second-richest woman in the world, with a net worth of $29 billion. She no longer has a hand in business operations, but L'Oreal and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation she cofounded with her late husband continue to prosper. She's an avid art collector, owning pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Munch.

    In recent years, Bettencourt became a household name in France as the central figure in an infamous trial in which judges examined whether the billionaire was taken advantage of by those close to her. The trial closed in May 2015 when eight people, including trusted friends and financial advisers, were convicted of exploiting the heiress.

    Bettencourt was back in the news again late last year after accusations were made against her former butler and five journalists for recording meetings with the billionaire and thus violating her right to privacy. The butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, claimed that he made the recordings to show Bettencourt's fragile state — all six were acquitted in early January.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    im on top of the world titanic

    More than a century since the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, an Australian billionaire has announced his plans to resurrect the iconic ship.

    It's called Titanic II. And after a few years of stalled plans, businessman and politician Clive Palmer recently confirmed it will hit the water by 2018.

    Palmer's vision for the new luxury liner will be nearly identical to the original Titanic. It will feature a crew of 900 (original: 885), measure 885 feet in length (original: 882), feature nine decks (original: nine), and will reach a top speed of 24 knots (original: 24 knots).

    The biggest difference?

    While the original Titanic carried enough lifeboats to rescue 1,178 people, Titanic II's biggest priority is making sure there are lifeboats for all, reports the Belfast Telegraph. In 2013, Palmer said it will be "the most safe cruise ship in the world" upon its launch.

    "We want to recreate in Titanic II the whole experience, the wonder, that was in Titanic," the billionaire said in a promotional video. "And I think we can do that."

    Blue Star Line, Palmer's cargo and passenger shipping company, notes that Titanic II will feature all the same classes and dining options as the original.

    First-class passengers will have access to high-end restaurants, while third-class passengers will crowd into an upscale cafeteria. And keeping consistent with the original 1912 design, there will be no TVs or personal computers onboard.

    The ship will also stay faithful to the original Titanic's grand staircase and Marconi room, which allowed the operator to communicate with navigators on the shore. (In the Titanic II, the Marconi room will be purely for show.)

    Blue Star Line hasn't started selling any tickets to the new ship's maiden voyage. But even with the disaster that happened more than 100 years ago, something tells us people will be willing to leave the past behind.

    What's the worst that could happen?

    To see the entire walk-through of Titanic II, check out the promotional video below:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Terrifying video aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship that battled hurricane-force winds and 30-foot waves


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