It is no rocket science that some people have become billionaires after becoming shareholders. Shareholding entails owning a company as determined by the number of shares. The more shares they buy, the more they can influence decision-making within the company. Since shareholders invest in a company, they expect some reward from their investments, inform of dividends. If a company continually makes profits, the shareholders will get high dividend payments. Now that you have understood a little about how some became billionaires, it is time to identify some of the wealthiest, and how they achieved their affluence. Without further ado, here are the top 20 richest billionaires in the world in 2022 and their net worth.
20. John Mars ($32.1 billion)
John is the chairman of Mars, Incorporated, the successful candy company behind brands like Juicy Fruit, Mars, Snickers, Milky Way, and M&Ms. He owns one-third of the company, with the rest owned by his sister and four nieces. In 2021, his company’s revenue was about $80 billion, while the net profit was $40 billion. He gets about $2-3 billion in dividends every year. Additionally, he has made money by selling part of Mars. For instance, he once made $800 million by selling 2% of his company to Berkshire Hathaway.
19. Zhang Yiming ($49.5 billion)
Zhang is best known for being the founder and CEO of ByteDance, a parent Chinese internet technology company behind TikTok. According to Bloomberg, ByteDance is used by more than 1 billion users worldwide, and it generated a revenue of $58 billion in 2021. Besides TikTok, ByteDance also specializes in mobile gaming in China. In 2021, it set up a gaming business unit and acquired gaming studios like Moonton and C4.
18. Michael Dell ($53 billion)
Michael is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies. The idea of Dell Technologies began when he was in college. He dropped out of medical school to start a computer repair business. His $1,000 venture grew into one of the most successful companies that generate plenty of revenue yearly. For instance, according to Macro Trends, the company generated a revenue of $101.197 billion in 2022. Dell Technologies is not the only company responsible for Michael’s affluence. He is also the sole owner of MSD Capital, which exclusively manages his assets and his family’s. MSD Capital is involved in many investment activities like real estate, publicly-traded securities, traditional private equity activities, and special opportunities.
17. Julia Flesher Koch ($55.4 billion)
Julia was the wife of David Koch, who owned 42% of Koch Industries. Following his death, she became one of the major shareholders of Koch Industries. Despite owning a significant portion of Koch Industries, she is known not to interfere in the working of the company. In 2021, she earned $3 billion in dividends from the company. Currently, she is the president of the David H. Koch Foundation. The foundation has donated more than $200 million to various causes in education, science, medical research, and the arts.
16. Alice Walton ($58 billion)
Alice is the daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. She is the heiress of the Walmart fortune and owns a 13% stake in the company. Since the 1990s, she has been earning about $10 billion thanks to the company dividends. With such a stream of wealth, she was able to start her museum called Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Since the museum is sponsored by Walmart, no fee is charged to view the permanent collection galleries. However, there may be an admission fee to view special, temporary exhibitions.
15. Amancio Ortega ($59.7 billion)
Amancio is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, a parent company to clothing retailer companies Zara and Bershka. He gained entry into the clothing world by working as a delivery boy for a men’s shirt store. As time went on, he learned how to make various clothes by hand, and that ignited his passion for fashion. His big break came in 1975 when he co-founded his first Zara store with Rosalia Mera, his wife. By 1983, 9 Zara stores were thriving in shopping districts in Spain. In 1988, he opened his first Zara store outside his country, Portugal. He later opened stores in Paris, New York, Athens, Mexico City, and Malta. Currently, Inditex owns and operates 6,000 stores.
14. Mark Zuckerberg ($61 billion)
Not surprisingly, much of Mark’s wealth can be attributed to his shares in Facebook. According to Sky News, he owns 12.8% of the company, which is valued at more than $660 billion. Facebook primarily makes money by selling advertising space. Mark would earn an annual salary of $770,000 from Facebook but requested to be paid $1 annually in 2013. The reason for this move was so that the company’s profits could increase as much as possible. As the company maximized its profits in the following years, the overall value of Mark’s stock holdings would increase.
13. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers ($71.7 billion)
Françoise is the daughter of Liliane Bettencourt. Liliane was one of the principal shareholders of L’Oréal. After Liliane passed on in 2017, Françoise became the chairlady. Before she became the company’s chairwoman, she had been working as a director since 1997. Currently, she and her family own around 33% of L’Oréal’s stock. The company pays at least $6.3 billion in dividends to her. Besides being involved with L’Oréal, she earns from writing literature on Jewish-Christian relations and Greek Mythology. One of her books, “A look at the Bible,” made her win the Prix des Lauriers Verts.
12. Zhong Shanshan ($71.9 billion)
Zhong is the founder and chairman of Nongfu Spring (a Chinese Bottled Water Company) and the majority owner of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy. He founded Nongfu Spring in 1996, which has since become the largest packaged water manufacturer in China. In 2019, the company had a revenue of $3.4 billion. Besides providing bottled water, the company also provides tea and juice. As for Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, he owns 75% of it and serves as its chairman. The company specializes in manufacturing ELISA kits, quality control materials, and clinical chemical reagents. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the company developed a nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, the company’s shares increased by 2,000%.
11. Carlos Slim ($81.2 billion)
Carlos is a business magnate and investor. His business career began when he was employed as a stock trader in Mexico. By 1965, his private investments had made profits of $400,000. He used the profits to start the stock brokerage, Inversora Bursatil. He purchased Jarritos del Sur and began to lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the conglomerate Grupo Carso. Carlos expanded his business by venturing into numerous industries that produced chemicals, tires, tobacco, aluminum, etc. His influence is, however, felt in the Mexican telecommunications industry. He controls TelCel, America Movil and Telefonos De Mexico. In 2014, he expanded his telecommunications empire overseas by acquiring an Austrian firm, Telekom Austria.
10. Steve Ballmer ($88.4 billion)
Much of Steve’s wealth comes from his 333.3 million Microsoft stock shares. He began to work for Microsoft in 1980 as a business manager. Over the next 20 years, he established a strong professional and personal relationship with Bill Gates. As a result, Bill put Steve in charge of Microsoft divisions in sales and the .NET framework. In 2000, he became the CEO and served for 13 years. Steve had been interested in buying a basketball team since 2008. After two failed attempts to acquire a basketball team, he finally managed to buy the LA Clippers team in 2014 for $2 billion and became its owner.
9. Mukesh Ambani ($89.2 billion)
Mukesh became the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd in 2002, following his father’s death. His father had started the company as a family business. Besides being a shareholder, he is the company’s chairman and managing director. Reliance Industries Ltd has stakes in oil, gas, retail, and petrochemicals. According to Financhill, the company generates over $70 billion in revenue annually. Acquiring companies further made him rich. For instance, he bought Jio, India’s largest 4G network, and acquired 400 million subscribers within a short time.
8. Sergey Brin ($93.8 billion)
Sergey became wealthy after co-founding Google with Larry Page. Today, Google is the most powerful internet company worldwide, with a monopoly in online search and a duopoly (with Facebook) in online advertising. Google has several products that over 1 billion people use, such as YouTube, Maps, Search, and Gmail. Sergey served as Google’s head of technology for ten years and became its president thereafter. Currently, he owns 6% of Alphabet, the parent company of Google and other businesses. He has made his wealth by selling $10 billion worth of shares. Google handles more than 3.5 billion daily searches, which translates to more than $260 billion in annual revenue.
7. Warren Buffett ($100.8 billion)
Warren is often considered by many as a successful investor. His passion for investing began when he was only 11 years old. At that age, he bought six shares of Cities Service at $38 per share. He made some profits and went on to build other businesses. At only 13 years old, he filed his first tax return. After graduating from college, he worked for Buffett-Falk & Co as an investment salesman. With his earnings from this company, he started his own, called Buffett Partnership Ltd. He purchased stock from several companies, including the Washington Post and Coca-Cola. By 1990, he became a billionaire.
6. Larry Ellison ($104.5 billion)
Larry is the co-founder and executive chairman of Oracle Corporation. The idea of Oracle came to him when he read about relational databases in an IBM research paper. This paper proposed that there should be a way of organizing large volumes of data to make the information accessible. In 1977, he co-founded the company with $2,000. Once he resumed leadership of Oracle, the company experienced rapid growth. The company grew because Larry knew how to identify and conquer new markets. Another reason Oracle grew was by acquiring software companies like Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in 2010 and NetSuite for $9.3 billion in 2016.
5. Gautam Adani ($118.3 billion)
Gautam dropped out of university and began a commodities export firm called Adani Group in 1988. A few years later, the company set up its port in Mundra to have a base for its trading operations. Adani Group has three main subsidiaries: Adani Airport Holdings, which focuses on airport operations; Adani Road Transport, which focuses on road development and Adani Wilmar, which focuses on food processing.
4. Bill Gates ($106.6 billion)
Bill co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen. Today, he owns 1.3% of Microsoft and has managed to sell tens of billions of dollars of Microsoft shares over the years. Most of the proceeds from his sales would go to Cascade Investment LLC, the vehicle he uses to invest in hundreds of other companies. Additionally, he has been collecting over $12 billion in dividends from the company since 1986.
3. Jeff Bezos ($146.6 billion)
He is the founder, chief executive officer, president, and chairman of the board of Amazon. In a recent SEC filing, it was revealed that he owned 55 million shares of Amazon. When he launched Amazon in 1997, it was primarily a place to purchase books. These days, the company allows you to sell anything you want, from clothing, appliances to cloud computing services.
2. Bernard Arnault ($156 billion)
Bernard is a French billionaire who earned his fortune as the chairman and chief executive of LVMH. LVMH is a conglomerate that owns several top luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, Sephora, etc. Although the conglomerate owns several brands, he has managed to decentralize them, which helps them be viewed as independent brands. Besides LVMH, he invested in web companies like Zebank, Boo.com, and Libertysurg. He has also invested in a supermarket called Carrefour, owning 10.69% of it.
1. Elon Musk ($255.2 billion)
Elon is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity. He owns roughly 24% of Tesla’s outstanding shares and 43% of shares in SpaceX. His journey to affluence began in 1999 when he co-founded X.com, an online financial services/payments company. When X.com was acquired, it led to the creation of PayPal, which eBay then acquired. At that time, he made between $175 million and $180 million from the deal.
The billionaires we have mentioned prove that there are limitless ways of becoming one. If you wanted to start a business and did not know where to start, you can learn from these billionaires which industries to venture into and become like them.
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Written by Allen Lee
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