The billionaire breakdown – How the richest 25 made their money

Who are the richest people in the world? And how did they amass their fortune? We break down the 25 richest people in the world.

Admit it. We would all love to be a billionaire. They say that money can’t buy happiness, which is probably true, but a nice house and a flashy car certainly can’t hurt. There are more billionaires in the world than ever as technology allows for more innovative products that generate much more wealth than ever before. From Bill Gates to Warren Buffet, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers and Amancio Ortega, the rich just keep getting richer and the worlds pool of billionaires keeps getting deeper

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people. The index tracks the net worth of the 500 wealthiest people on the planet.

Here, we’ve taken the 25 wealthiest people from the Bloomberg Billionaire Index list to provide a more transparent and accountable representation of the world’s biggest personal fortunes, by pairing them into demographic categories: gender, location, industry and source of wealth.

Not surprisingly, many of the billionaires who made the list have cultivated their fortunes after their budding tech companies took off. These companies would go on to reshape our lives along with the world economy. Founders and CEOs of Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and other tech brands have racked up billions over the years (and even given a lot of it back to charity or startup investing).

Microsoft co-founder and renowned philanthropist Bill Gates tops the list with an estimated net worth of $87.2 billion. After growing Microsoft into the world’s biggest software company and helping to make computers a household item, he then quit as CEO in 2000 and pledged to devote his fortune to his philanthropic activities in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has gradually reduced his ownership in Microsoft to less than 3 percent, with the bulk of his wealth in a private firm.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos comes in at second place, with a net worth of $84.9 billion. He managed to turn the idea of selling books online into one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. Following closely behind in third place is Warren Buffet, with an estimated fortune of $80.6 billion. Widely known as “The Oracle of Omaha” because of his knack for value investing, his company Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 firms including Duracell and Dairy Queen. Amancio Ortega, the Spanish business tycoon best known for owning the Zara fashion label, came in fourth, making him the highest ranking non-American with an estimated fortune of $77.8 billion.

The only women to top the list are Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Alice Waton and Jacqueline Mars. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers inherited the L’Oreal fortune following the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, making the 64-year-old the richest woman on earth. Alice Walton, the American heiress to the fortune of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, makes her the second richest woman on the list, and the daughter of Forrest Edward Mars, Sr., and granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, Jacqueline Mars has a net worth of $32.8 billion making her the third richest woman in the world.

Who else made the list?

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

Owen Gough

Fred Morissette

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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