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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    Jan Koum

    Few people have benefited from Facebook's incredible success more than WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum.

    With an estimated fortune of roughly $9.5 billion, 41-year-old Koum has come a long way from growing up without running water in Soviet-Era Ukraine to creating a messaging app used by 1.2 billion people.

    Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for a jaw-dropping $19 billion, adding Koum to the company board and sending his net worth into the stratosphere.

    Koum now leads a team of around 100 people working on WhatsApp, which is used heavily in developing countries like India and Brazil. And he sold over half of his shares in Facebook last year, totaling roughly $5 billion.

    Here's how Koum got to where he is today:

    SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, one of the youngest billionaires in the world

    Koum has an estimated net worth of roughly $9.5 billion. His fortune is made up almost entirely from Facebook stock, which he's been selling aggressively over the past year.

    Source: Bloomberg, Forbes

    But Koum wasn't always wealthy. He was born in Ukraine in 1976 into a household without running water.

    Source: Forbes

    Here's how he described life in his hometown outside Kiev: "It was so run-down that our school didn't even have an inside bathroom. Imagine the Ukrainian winter, -20°C, where little kids have to stroll across the parking lot to use the bathroom. Society was extremely closed off: you can read 1984, but living there was experiencing it."

    Source: Wired

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Currently, only 2,397 people in the world hold billionaire status, according to Wealth-X, a firm that does research and valuations on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals.

    While the path to mega-riches certainly isn't the same for all, nearly 400 of those billionaires — 398, to be exact — hold a degree from one of 10 top American colleges, according to the latest report from Wealth-X.

    In its tally, Wealth-X counted alumni with both undergraduate and graduate degrees, counting alumni of multiple institutions more than once, but left out those with diplomas, certificates, honorary degrees, and drop outs.

    According to the report, 131 living billionaires are Harvard University alumni, commanding a total fortune of more than $528 billion. And that doesn't include Harvard drop outs Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, two of the richest men in the world.

    The next highest-billionaire producing school is Stanford University, with 50 known billionaire alumni.

    Below, check out the 10 US colleges that have minted the most billionaires, and how much wealth they command.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 colleges that have created the most millionaires and billionaires

    DON'T MISS: Here's what the world's most influential tech CEOs studied in college

    10. University of California, Berkeley

    Known billionaires: 19

    Combined wealth: $82.7 billion

    (TIE) 8. Yale University

    Known billionaires: 21

    Combined wealth: $99.2 billion

    (TIE) 8. University of Chicago

    Known billionaires: 21

    Combined wealth: $48.7 billion

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jay z beyonce

    Beyoncé and Jay Z are officially a billion-dollar couple after Forbes put their combined worth at $1.16 billion (£890 million) this week.

    The entertainment tycoons not only earn millions from music and tours, but they also rake in cash from numerous side companies and business ventures.

    They have risen to become one of the world's top power couples, but what do they do with all that cash?

    From properties all over the world to private jets and jewellery collections, we did some digging into how they make it rain.

    Scroll down for a look at how Beyoncé and Jay Z make and spend their billions.

    According to Forbes list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, released on Wednesday, 35-year-old Beyonce Knowles is worth $350 (£270) million.

    Source: Forbes.

    Her Formation World Tour alone grossed a quarter of a billion dollars.

    Meanwhile, a recent Forbes ranking of The Richest in Hop Hop of 2017 revealed that Jay Z's fortune has jumped 30% in the past year to $810 million (£625 million), putting the couple's combined net worth at $1.16 billion (£890 million).

    Source: Forbes.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Marian Ilitch, Ilitch Holdings INC.

    The richest self-made woman in America invested her life savings in a pizza store in Michigan in 1954. Her name is Marian Ilitch, and the restaurant that she and her husband Mike opened turned into the Little Caesars pizza chain—which now generates over $3 billion in sales annually.

    Today, Ilitch has a net worth of $5.1 billion, putting her at the top of the third-annual "America's Richest Self-Made Women" list from Forbes, which was released this week.

    The other wealthy women who made the cut earned their fortunes in a variety of fields, including tech, retail, entertainment, fast food, and fashion. (Women such as Walmart heir Alice Walton and Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs, are actually richer, but they're not included on the list because their wealth was inherited.)

    There are now 18 self-made American women who are billionaires, up from 16 last year. The top 10 are all worth $2 billion or more, with Ilitch in the top spot. Diane Hendricks ($4.9 billion), the cofounder and chair of the wholesale building supplies distributor ABC Supply, is second on the list, followed by a tie for third place between gas station and convenience store chain founder Judy Love and entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey—both at$2.9 billion.

    Rounding out the top 10 are Gap co-founder Doris Fisher ($2.6 billion); Epic Systems founder and CEO Judy Faulkner ($2.5 billion); Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman ($2.5 billion); trucking entrepreneur Johnelle Hunt ($2.3 billion); casino co-founder Elaine Wynn ($2.1 billion); and Lynda Resnick ($2 billion), who alongside her husband Stewart owns huge farms and the Wonderful Company, the company behind brands like Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful.

    Facebook COO and best-selling author Sheryl Sandberg and Spanx founder Sara Blakely are also in the billionaire club, with net worths of $1.6 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively. (Women such as Walmart heir Alice Walton and Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, are actually richer than anyone on Forbes' new list—but they're not included because their wealth was inherited, not self-made.)

    Among the other names on the list that many people will find familiar:

    • Vera Wang ($630 million)
    • Tory Burch ($600 million)
    • Madonna ($580 million)
    • Marissa Mayer ($540 million)
    • Donna Karan ($470 million)
    • Celine Dion ($400 million)
    • Barbra Streisand ($390 million)
    • Beyonce ($350 million)
    • Judy Sheindlin, a.k.a. "Judge Judy" ($300 million)
    • Taylor Swift ($280 million)

    At the age of just 27, Taylor Swift is the youngest woman on Forbes' list. The oldest is 90-year-old Alice Schwartz, who launched the biotech firm Bio-Rad Laboratories with her husband David in 1952, and is now worth an estimated $950 million.

    SEE ALSO: These 10 American colleges have minted almost 400 billionaires

    DON'T MISS: The 20 colleges that have created the most millionaires and billionaires

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Society seems to be obsessed with rich people. We seek their advice, study their habits, and replicate their wealth-building strategies.

    But the richest of the rich have more in common than a risk-taking attitude and an early morning routine.

    Wealth-X, a firm that does research and valuations on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, recently revealed where the world's wealthiest people — those with assets exceeding $30 million — went to college.

    Counting alumni with both undergraduate and graduate degrees and leaving out those with diplomas, certificates, honorary degrees, and drop outs, Wealth-X determined which alma maters the world's richest people share.

    Harvard University is the former stomping ground to 1,906 millionaires and billionaires, which together command a net worth of $811 billion, more than twice that of the No. 2 school, University of Pennsylvania.

    All together, five colleges with the richest alumni are public universities, six are Ivy League, and only one is located outside of the US. Though a degree from one of these schools won't guarantee wealth, the odds may be in your favor if history is any indication. 

    Check out the schools with the most millionaire and billionaire alumni in the chart below:

    BI Graphics_Colleges with richest alumni

     A few more insights from the Wealth-X report:

    • Stanford UHNW alumni have the highest average net worth of $263 million
    • Harvard has the most living billionaire alumni with 131 — a combined fortune of $528 billion
    • The majority of UHNW alumni are men, ranging from 88% at Boston University to 96% at MIT and University of Notre Dame
    • The majority of UHNW alumni are self-made, with the highest percentage (83%) coming from University of Virginia

    SEE ALSO: These 10 American colleges have minted almost 400 billionaires

    DON'T MISS: The 20 colleges that have created the most millionaires and billionaires

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's a month-by-month timeline of the best time to buy almost anything in 2017

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    Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett

    Fourteen billionaires and billionaire couples have committed to donating most of their fortunes to philanthropic causes, joining Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in signing the Giving Pledge, the organization announced Tuesday.

    The new members of the Giving Pledge— a global organization started by Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010 to encourage the world's wealthiest to donate a majority of their riches — hail from eight countries and have built a diverse array of businesses. They

    They include Dean Metropoulos, the private-equity titan; Dagmar Dolby, the wife of the audio-systems giant Ray Dolby; Leonard Ainsworth, the Australian founder of a casino-gaming-machines company; and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the Cypriot founder of easyJet who lives in Monaco.

    "Philanthropy is different around the world, but almost every culture has a long-standing tradition of giving back," Melinda Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in the Giving Pledge announcement. "Bill and Warren and I are excited to welcome the new, very international group of philanthropists joining the Giving Pledge, and we look forward to learning from their diverse experiences."

    Here are the 14 new members and their home countries, according to the announcement:

    1. Leonard Ainsworth — Australia

    2. Mohammed Dewji — Tanzania

    3. Dagmar Dolby — United States

    4. Dong Fangjun — People's Republic of China

    5. Anne Grete Eidsvig and Kjell Inge Røkke — Norway

    6. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou — Monaco, Cyprus

    7. Nick and Leslie Hanauer — United States

    8. Iza and Samo Login — Slovenia

    9. Dean and Marianne Metropoulos — United States

    10. Terry and Susan Ragon — United States

    11. Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons — United States

    12. Robert Frederick Smith — United States

    13. Harry Stine — United States

    14. You Zhonghui — People's Republic of China

    The new additions bring this rarefied philanthropy club's total membership to 168 people from 21 countries.

    With fortunes of $73.5 billion and $95.5 billion, respectively, Buffett and Bill Gates are among the richest and most generous people on earth. The Gates' lifetime giving now exceeds $32 billion, while Buffett's exceeds $25 billion, according to Forbes.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 most generous people in the world

    DON'T MISS: Warren Buffett says these billionaires' letters might be more valuable than their money

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The wealthiest 30 people in the world control a staggering portion of the world economy: $1.23 trillion — more than the annual GDP of Spain, Mexico, or Turkey. 

    That's according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which recently relaunched and expanded online to include 500 billionaires across the globe. The ranking updates daily to provide up-to-the-minute data on the world's wealthiest men and women. You can read about the ranking's full methodology here.

    Business Insider has culled the 30 richest from the ranking as of March 1, when the index relaunched in its expanded format.

    Billionaires need a minimum net worth of at least $22.5 billion to crack the top 30. Eighteen from this group hail from the US and two-thirds are completely self-made, having built some of the world's most powerful companies, including Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Facebook, and Oracle.

    The two biggest gainers in the past year were Wang Wei, who added $22.7 billion to his fortune as the founder and majority owner of China's largest package delivery company, and CEO Jeff Bezos, who boosted his fortune by $21.9 billion thanks to Amazon's strong performance. 

    From tech moguls and retail giants to heirs and heiresses, here are the billionaires with the deepest pockets around the globe.

    Note that Bloomberg does not report the net worth of its founder and owner Michael Bloomberg, who does not appear on this ranking, though other sources peg his fortune at roughly $45 billion

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best places to live in America

    DON'T MISS: The 22 best places to live in America if you want to make a lot of money

    30. Ma Huateng

    Net worth:$22.5 billion

    Age: 45

    Country: China

    Industry: Technology

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

    Software engineer Ma Huateng (aka Pony Ma) 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 over 800 million users; a mobile-commerce product (WeChat Wallet); and an online-gaming community (Tencent Games), the largest in China.

    Ma's wealth has increased by $4.7 billion in the past year.

    29. Phil Knight

    Net worth:$25 billion

    Age: 78

    Country: US

    Industry: Retail

    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. Knight now serves as chairman emeritus of Nike.

    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, whom Nike signed 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 2015 reportedly in excess of $1 billion.

    Knight's wealth has decreased by $1 billion over the last year.

    28. George Soros

    Net worth: $25.2 billion

    Age: 86

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Soros Fund Management

    Born in Budapest, George Soroslived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary during WWII before fleeing to the UK and later settling in the US. Touted as "the man who broke the bank of England," he's best known for the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he launched in 1973 under his Soros Fund Management company. In 1992 he shorted the British pound, a risky move that ended up earning the fund $1 billion in a single day and solidifying Soros' place in the finance world. Quantum Fund also generated annual returns over 30% under Soros' leadership, making it one of the most successful hedge funds of all time.

    Today, Soros remains chairman of Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion in assets, including stakes in prominent companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix. He's also chairman of Open Society, an organization he founded in 1979 that operates as a network of foundations and partners across the globe that promote the values of open society and human rights.

    Soros' wealth decreased by $800 million over the last year.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Warren Buffett

    (Reuters) - An auction for well-heeled fans of Warren Buffett to eat lunch with the billionaire in support of a San Francisco charity that helps the homeless and impoverished got off to a fast start, with bidding quickly hitting seven figures.

    The top bid was $1 million as of 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, and had been made within two minutes of the auction's Sunday night launch.

    Bids often surge near the end of the eBay auction, which concludes on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

    Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, has raised $23.6 million in 17 years of auctions for Glide.

    That included $3,456,789 from last year's winner, a woman who chose to remain anonymous, tying a record set in 2012.

    Other winners have included Ted Weschler, a hedge fund manager who paid $5.25 million to win two auctions and later became one of Buffett's investing deputies at Berkshire.

    Glide uses its $18 million annual budget to provide more than 750,000 free meals, emergency shelter for 8,500 people, 2,600 HIV and Hepatitis C tests and day care and after school programs for nearly 450 children.

    Located in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, Glide was co-founded and is led by the Rev. Cecil Williams, the 87-year-old pastor emeritus of the affiliated Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, and his wife Janice Mirikitani.

    Buffett got involved with Glide after his first wife, Susan, became a volunteer, and continued after her 2004 death. He remarried in 2006.

    warren buffett

    He is also donating virtually all of his wealth to several charities. Forbes magazine on Monday estimated his net worth at $74.9 billion.

    Buffett will dine with the auction winner and up to seven guests at the Smith & Wollensky steak house in Manhattan. He has said all topics are fair game except where he will invest next.

    According to Glide, these bidders won its past auctions:

    2000: Pete Budlong, $25,000

    2001: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $20,000

    2002: Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson, $25,000

    2003: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, $250,100

    2004: Jason Choo, Singapore, $202,100

    2005: Anonymous, $351,100

    2006: Yongping Duan, California, $620,100

    2007: Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier, Harina Kapoor, $650,100

    2008: Zhao Danyang, Pure Heart Asset Management, China, $2,110,100

    2009: Courtenay Wolfe, Salida Capital, Canada, $1,680,300

    2010: Ted Weschler, $2,626,311

    2011: Ted Weschler, $2,626,411

    2012: Anonymous, $3,456,789

    2013: Anonymous, $1,000,100

    2014: Andy Chua, Singapore, $2,166,766

    2015: Zhu Ye, Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, China, $2,345,678

    2016: Anonymous, $3,456,789


    (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

    SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett just confirmed the death of retail as we know it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how LeBron James reacted when he learned Kevin Durant was joining the Warriors

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    musashi yacht

    Billionaires — they're just like us. Well, kind of. 

    Whether it's on a yacht, fancy car, or avant-garde collection of art, the wealthiest people in the world are willing to lay down some serious cash on the things they love. 

    We've rounded up some of the best billionaire toys here. 

    SEE ALSO: We flew to the Hamptons like the 1% with Blade, an 'Uber-for-helicopters' startup — and it was as fabulous as it sounds

    Steve Cohen's 14-foot shark

    Billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen has an art collection that has been valued at as much as $1 billion. In 2004, he paid between $8 million and $12 million for a shark that had been suspended in formaldehyde — a piece called "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" by British artist Damien Hirst. He later paid Hirst for a replacement after the shark (which was once actually alive) began to detiorate.

    Elon Musk's spy submarine

    In 2013, Tesla CEO Elon Musk paid $866,000 at auction for the Lotus Esprit submarine that appeared in the 1977 James Bond flick "The Spy Who Loved Me." He has said he wants to try and make it "transform for real."

    Mikhail Prokhorov's virtual ski machine

    Billionaire Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov owns lots of cool toys (including that sports team he bought for $200 million). But he's also got some unique possessions, including a virtual ski machine. Prokhorov is a known daredevil; he once filmed himself doing stunts on a jetski and had a production company set the movie to music.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    abigail johnson billionaire

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • This map shows the breakdown of male and female billionaires in the world by country.
    • For every one female billionaire, there are 8.4 male billionaires.

    There aren't that many billionaires in the world — only 2,043, to be exact. But the number of women who have achieved this status is even smaller. 

    The following map, created by Lottoland, breaks down Forbes' 2016 ranking of billionaires by country and sex.

    According to the map, there are 8.4 male billionaires in the world for every female billionaire.

    Most of the women on the list are in Europe. Asia boasts the fastest-growing rate of self-made female billionaires, but the overall number decreased by 11.9% in 2016. There's only one country where the only billionaire is female, thanks to investor Isabel dos Santos of Angola.



    Mapped The Male vs Female Billionaire Split_V4

    So what is the "diamond ceiling" keeping more women from reaching these top spots? The New York Times reported that women still encounter sexism at executive levels.

    “I don’t think they’re all actively trying to keep women out,” Julia Pimsleur, the founder of a multimillion-dollar language instruction company called Little Pim, told the New York Times, “but some discrimination still exists.”


    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Solve one of these 5 problems to become a billionaire

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    japan bunker

    A rising number of American billionaires are channeling their inner Bear Grylls, and some are doing it in preparation for an apocalyptic event — be it viral epidemic, nuclear war, or cataclysmic pole shift.

    Reid Hoffman, the cofounder of LinkedIn and a notable investor, told The New Yorker earlier this year he estimates more than 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have bought some level of "apocalypse insurance," like an underground bunker.

    A new article in Forbes suggests the super-rich are making serious land grabs in America's heartland, where the climate is mild and the locations are conducive to survivalism, farming, and living on the land. States like Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming are home to a number of fortified shelters and vacation homes where wealthy billionaires could happily live out their post-doomsday (or retirement) days.

    According to Forbes contributor Jim Dobson, lots of billionaires have private planes "ready to depart at a moment's notice." They also own motorcycles, weaponry, and generators.

    None of the billionaires named by Forbes have said publicly that their vast amounts of land will be used for apocalypse preparations — though they certainly would make good hide-outs.

    John Malone, who made his fortune in cable and communications, is the nation's biggest individual landowner. Malone owns 2.2 million acres across six states including huge swaths of Maine and New Hampshire. The cable king told Forbes in 2011 that he made the land grabs as an investment. He said he loves to fish and occasionally bird-hunt on his properties.

    Media mogul Ted Turner, the second biggest individual landowner in the US, owns 2 million acres across Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota.

    Philip Anschulze, a railroad and oil magnate, locked down 434,000 acres in Wyoming. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has 400,000 acres in Texas. And Stan Kroenke, owner of a massive sports and entertainment holding company, bought 225,000 acres in Montana.

    One of the more surprising real estate tycoons is David Hall, a Mormon engineer, who has been snapping up farmland in Vermont. He wants to build sustainable, high-density communities based on the writings of religious figure Joseph Smith.

    In the event of the end of the world, the world's financial leaders may be the most prepared.

    SEE ALSO: This 15-story underground doomsday shelter for the 1% has luxury homes, guns, and armored trucks

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Look inside the Arctic 'doomsday' seed vault built to protect millions of crops from any disaster

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    When the apocalypse arrives, life goes on. That's the possibility some are preparing for, at least.

    A new article in Forbes suggests the US billionaires are making significant land grabs in America's heartland, where the climate is mild and the locations are conducive to survivalism and living on the land. The Midwest is home to several fortified shelters and vacation homes where the super-rich could happily live out their post-doomsday (or retirement) days.

    Reid Hoffman, the cofounder of LinkedIn and a notable investor, told The New Yorker earlier this year he estimated more than 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires had bought some level of "apocalypse insurance," like a bunker.

    Fortified shelters, built to withstand catastrophic events from viral epidemic to nuclear war, seem to be experiencing a wave of interest in general as hints of a nuclear conflict ramp up.

    Real estate developers are capitalizing on the moment with luxury underground doomsday shelters that cost as much as $3 million. These post-apocalyptic homes, often built on retired military bases or in missile silos, include luxury amenities and safety features like nuclear blast doors, armored trucks, and massive stores of food and water.

    The map below reveals where American billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse.

    BI Graphics_Billionaires land grabs

    SEE ALSO: This 15-story underground doomsday shelter for the super-rich has luxury homes, guns, and armored trucks

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These doomsday shelters for the 1% make up the largest private bunker community on earth

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    john collison planeThe INSIDER Summary:

    • At 26, John Collison is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
    • He and his older brother cofounded Stripe and each hold a fortune worth $1.1 billion.
    • Collison is also a pilot who enjoys flying different models of planes.

    John Collison is the cofounder and president of Stripe, a company that helps internet businesses manage online payments. At age 26, his fortune is worth $1.1 billion, making him the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

    A licensed pilot, Collison can fly different models of planes, but is also partial to motorcycles, bicycles, and early morning mountain hikes.

    Here's how he likes to travel.

    John Collison, 26, and his 28-year-old brother Patrick cofounded Stripe in 2010.

    Each are now worth $1.1 billion, according to Forbes. John is two months younger than Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, also 26, making him the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

    Collison is a licensed multi-engine pilot.

    Instagram Embed:
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    He often flies between his native Ireland and Stripe's headquarters in San Francisco.

    Instagram Embed:
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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff bezos

    Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods may raise antitrust issues, but it indisputably helped founder Jeff Bezos’ bottom line—the surge in Amazon stock increased his wealth by roughly $1.8 billion.

    In fact, the deal has a very good chance of making him the world’s richest man.

    Bezos’ net worth after the Whole Foods buy totals roughly $84.6 billion. That’s only $5 billion less than Microsoft founder (and prolific reader) Bill Gates, who is currently the richest person in the world.

    What’s more, Bezos has a very good chance of overtaking Gates and having the title all to himself.

    He has aggressively expanded Amazon while weathering criticism that he works his employees too hard and won’t allow them to unionize. He’s also boosted his portfolio as the owner of The Washington Post—Amazon includes a six-month digital subscription as one of its benefits for Prime members.

    By contrast, Gates has spent the last 17 years giving his money away. He stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 (though he still owns a two percent stake in the company). Gates and his wife Melinda are now focusing full time on philanthropy through their foundation.

    Gates and Warren Buffett (who has a net worth of $76.8 billion) are also encouraging fellow billionaires to follow their lead through The Giving Pledge, which asks the world’s richest people to give away at least half of their money during their lifetimes. More than 150 people have signed the pledge—including Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg—but Bezos isn’t among them.

    There are signs, however, that Bezos may be turning his interests toward philanthropy. Last week he tweeted out a “request for ideas,” asking his followers to suggest worthwhile charitable organizations.

    “I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now—short term—at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” Bezos wrote.

    Bezos also experimented with advocacy earlier this month when Amazon (along with many other tech companies) resisted President Donald Trump’s exit from the Paris Agreement. He’s still attempting to work with the president, however, as a member of the American Technology Council along with Tim Cook and Peter Thiel.

    SEE ALSO: 6 reasons horrible bosses are a blessing in disguise

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    noah kaganIn business we’re taught more is better:

    • Appeal to tons of different customers
    • Lots of different products
    • Try a bunch of new things

    But is it actually true?

    After combing through data from Forbes billionaires list and identifying trends, I realized diversifying is overrated.

    In other words, the most successful, wealthy people in the world are ultra-focused and specific in their businesses.

    Today, I’m going to show you what you can learn about business from the richest people in the world — and how you can incorporate the same philosophes in your own business.

    What I Learned from the Forbes 400 List

    Warren Buffett. Mark Zuckerberg. Phil Knight.

    Despite growing businesses in different industries, these three billionaires primarily earned their wealth through ONE focused channel or strategy:

    • Warren Buffett is worth $73.2 billion because of Berkshire Hathaway (investing)
    • Mark Zuckerberg is worth $61.7 billion because of Facebook
    • Phil Knight is worth $24.3 billion because of Nike 

    Billionaires became billionaires because they  focus on the essentials

    warren buffettCompare this focused strategy to common Internet advice on building a business: Appeal to lots of people, don’t go too niche, try a lot of different things.

    Many people assume diversity helps maximize a business, but it actually dilutes focus. Instead of doing one thing great… people who diversify too much do many things poorly.

    How Steve Jobs Saved Apple

    Apple started with ONE product, the Apple I, in 1976. 

    As the company grew, the team introduced several new brands to target different markets:

    • Macintosh Quadra for high-end market in 1991
    • Family-focused Macintosh Performa series in 1992
    • Mid-range Macintosh Centris line in 1993 

    These product-lines were selling nearly-identical machines at a different price point. The initial goal was to appeal to different segments. But, the results were dismal. 

    Three product lines in the early 90s — when computers were still not universally accepted — led to confusion because the customer didn’t understand the differences 

    Steve JobsAnd it showed: Apple lost money every year from 1994 to 1997, including a $708 million loss in 1997. Ouch.

    Desperate for help, the company brought back Steve Jobs in 1997. Immediately, Steve started refocusing the brand on just the essentials. 

    In 1997, before Jobs re-joined the company, Apple had 12 different computer models. In 1998, after Jobs rejoined, Apple only had four essential models:

    • Power Macintosh G3
    • Macintosh Server G3
    • PowerBook G3 series
    • iMac G3 

    Apple became ultra-focused, and their profits soared again to $309 million in earnings. Big difference from a $708 million loss in 1997. 

    In Steve Jobs’ own words, focus saved Apple: 

    “People think focus means saying YES to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not always what it means at all. It means saying NO to the hundred other good ideas that there are.” -Steve Jobs

    Another example of focus is when I first started Sumo ONE goal: To help businesses grow.

    When we launched, we only had three tools around email list building. We didn’t complicate it with dozens of different products, options, or configuration settings…

    Just three. Simple. Tools.

    As our user base started growing, we ONLY added tools for two reasons:

    1. A lot of customers asked for specific help
    2. It fit within our mission and focus of helping businesses grow

    Even if a product idea was extremely lucrative, if it didn’t fit within our focus — or our existing customer base didn’t want it — we would ignore it.

    Do What's Already Working

    Many people are spend excessive time and energy focusing on what new ideas, or ways to expand, instead of maximizing what's already working. 

    For example, many entrepreneurs jump between tons of business at once. Sometimes, this works (see Elon Musk). 

    But most of the time the lack of focus makes all your products “meh.” Focus helps you build one amazing, successful product.

    Before you spread yourself too thin or invest resources into creating something, validate your business ideas:

    When you validating your ideas first, you can focus on the biggest wins to grow a business — and ignore the rest. 

    The same principle applies to marketing and growing a business.

    When I just started AppSumo, I tested tons of different marketing strategies: social media, email, content marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and guerilla marketing.

    After testing, I noticed two marketing brought the best results to my business:

    • Content marketing
    • Email marketing

    Today, I pour 90% of my time in content marketing and email marketing.

    I know it’s tough to stick to fewer things, especially when our friends, the media, and advice we read online tells us “more, more more!” The temptation to try “the next big thing” in building or growing a business is high.

    But as the Forbes 400 list of billionaires proves — plus my own experience in growing an 8-figure business — focusing on the essentials is what really works.

    Noah Kagan was the 30th employee at Facebook and 4th at Mint. He has created four multimillion dollar businesses.

    SEE ALSO: A guy who runs an 8-figure business explains how to tell if you should be an employee or an entrepreneur

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Jamie Dimon and trillion dollar Apple

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    Eric Barker is the author of "Barking Up The Wrong Tree." In this video, Barker explains what it takes to be a billionaire, and it isn't a high GPA. The following is a transcript of the video.

    What we see is that the average GPA, college GPA of American millionaires is actually 2.9.

    So Karen Arnold did research at Boston College looking at the success levels of valedictorians. And, In general, high school valedictorians do well but they don't actually reach the highest level of success metrics. They don't become the billionaires. The people who run the world in general.

    And that’s because what the research found was that school teaches you to comply with rules. So valedictorians often go on to be the people who support the system, they become a part of the system, they don’t change the system or overthrow the system.

    And so what we see is that the average GPA, college GPA of American millionaires is actually 2.9. And while valedictorians generally score high in the personality trait of conscientiousness. What you see among the millionaires with their 2.9 GPAs is they’re known for grit.

    Maybe they don't comply with rules that well but they stick with goals over the long term. And that how they do really well. And sometimes they don’t play by the rules, sometimes they do things differently. Because in school rules are very clear in life rules are not so clear.

    So a certain amount of not playing by the rules is advantageous once you get out of a closed system like education.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    one57 from the sky

    A full-floor penthouse in the landmark One57 condo building is headed to the auction block after it was seized under foreclosure, Bloomberg reported.

    This is most likely the largest foreclosure in the history of high-end real estate in New York City, experts say.

    "I don't know of a foreclosure that's larger than that," Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty, told Bloomberg.

    The apartment, which was the eighth-priciest sold in the building, will go to auction on July 19.

    It was purchased for $50.9 million in 2014, with a $35.3 million mortgage loan from Banque Havilland. It was due to be paid in full a year after purchase, but no such payment was made by the shell company the unit was registered under. Havilland is now forcing the auction to recoup the funds it's missing, plus interest, according to court filings.

    One57 is emblematic of New York City's Billionaire's Row, a stretch of 57th Street near Central Park, which in recent years has become a magnet for new condos courting high-priced investment. One57 is considered the most expensive of the new buildings, with record-breaking sales that included a $100.5 million top-floor penthouse.

    This is the second apartment in the building to face foreclosure in the last two months. A unit on the 56th floor, which sold for $21.4 million in July 2015, hit the auction block on June 14. It's unclear if the property has changed hands yet.


    The foreclosures come as another sign that Billionaire's Row is dead as the Manhattan real estate market above $10 million continues to cool.

    A glut of units available with no buyers, combined with an increase of scrutiny on shadowy, identity-hiding corporations by the US Treasury Department, cooled the market considerably last year. With new regulations on capital outflow abroad (especially in China), it's becoming harder for foreign investors to use these apartments as investment properties. Pair that with an uncertain global market, and it's clear why the developers of these unique buildings are feeling the pinch.

    On Billionaire's Row, "it's not just slow — it's come to a complete halt," Dolly Lenz, a real-estate broker catering to super-rich individuals, told the New York Times last year.

    SEE ALSO: The Obamas just shelled out $8.1 million for the DC mansion they've been renting since leaving the White House

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Learning to celebrate failure at a young age led to this billionaire's success

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    Richard Branson flying

    When rich people have free time, they have the means for extravagant hobbies, whether it's collecting classic cars or jet-setting across the globe. But the most common hobby they pursue isn't a gaudy display of wealth — it's philanthropy.

    In a new report from Wealth-X, a market research firm that focuses on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, we get a peek at the top passions, interests, and hobbies of people with $30 million or more in assets.

    Philanthropy proved the most popular hobby, with more than one-third of the world's wealthiest people pursuing charitable activities. This generosity comes as no surprise, though, thanks to the rise in recognition of endeavors such as The Giving Pledge, a promise started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime.

    The second most popular interest among this group is watching, playing, and investing in sports, including tennis, golf, skiing, American football, and most of all, soccer, according to Wealth-X.

    From art and fashion to hunting and fishing, read on to see the 20 most common hobbies and passions of the wealthiest of the wealthy: the world's billionaires — culled from Wealth-X's 2016 billionaire census— as well as the percentage of billionaires who participate in each.

    An earlier version of this post was written by Emmie Martin.

    SEE ALSO: 32 cities around the world where the most rich people live

    DON'T MISS: The 20 colleges that have created the most millionaires and billionaires

    20. Skiing — 7.2%

    19. Watches — 7.7%

    18. Fishing — 7.8%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hope island maine

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Hope Island, a private island off the coast of Maine, is on the market for $8 million.
    • The main residence is 11,000 square feet and has two guest houses.
    • It also comes with barns, a chapel, a boathouse, a tavern, and apartments for staff.

    If you've ever daydreamed about escaping to your own private island after a long week, now's the time to make it a reality. That is, if you've got $8 million to spare.

    Hope Island, according to its real estate listing, is a "magical island kingdom" in Casco Bay, about 20 minutes off the coast of Portland, Maine

    hope island maine

    The main residence is an 11,295-square-foot mansion with two guest houses to host all of your closest friends. There are also barns, a chapel, a boathouse, a tavern, and apartments for the staff so that you're not left tending to all 86 lush acres of land by yourself.

    hope island

    It won't stay on the market for long — realtor John Saint-Amour told ABC News that he's getting 25 to 40 inquiries a day.

    Start saving up.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: People flock to this island to swim with dozens of nurse sharks

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    Wal-Mart family Jim Walton, Alice Walton and Rob Walton

    The Waltons are the richest family in America, but they're pretty discreet about it. 

    The Walmart heirs have a combined wealth of $130 billion, which is more than both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. In fact, they are worth $48 billion more than the second richest family in the US – the Kochs. 

    Despite their fortune, they seem to live a pretty modest life. At least in public. 

    Here's what we do know about how the wealthy family spends its fortune. 



    SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like

    Sam Walton, who died in 1992, opened the first Walmart store in 1962 in Arkansas.

    He was married to Helen Ronson. Together, they had four children: Rob, John, Jim, and Alice.

    The Walton family own 50% of Walmart's total stock between them. 

    This is Samuel Robson "Rob" Walton, the oldest Walton son. He served as chairman of Walmart until 2015.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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