The Forbes rich list of the World's Billionaires was released today and good grief there is a lot of money out there in the universe. I think I'm a baller when I spend $8 on lunch. These guys could spend $8 million on lunch and not feel a dent. The richest man in the world is Mexican telecom mogul, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffet is third, and Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, comes in at 782nd. My name (and yours, unless you're Mark Zuckerberg reading this, in which case, helloooo) are predictably missing.
It's fascinating to look at the list and think about what $74 billion dollars in the bank might feel like. It's also interesting to look at the list and think about why these men (and a few women) got to be this wealthy.
What stood out to me from the list was the diversity of industries these billionaires work in, or in most cases, own. Automotive, Construction and Engineering, Fashion, Technology, Health Care, Gaming, Real Estate ... the industries go on and on.
It seems like these billionaires where either smart enough to follow their dream in an industry they love, or smart enough to invest in someone smart enough to follow their dream in an industry they love.
I like fashion, beer, writing, and sports. I wouldn't have necessarily thought that I could make a billion dollars in any of those industries, but evidently I wasn't thinking big enough. Billionaires #4, 7, 13, and 15 are all fashion related (Bernard Arnault of LVMH, Amancio Ortega of Zara, Stefan Persson of H&M and Liliane Bettencourt L'Oreal respectively). Anheuser-Busch investor and the Heineken family come in at #124 and #158 on the word's richest list. J.K. Rowling rolls in at 1,040th place with a cool $1 billion in net worth, and NFL franchise owners Jerry Jones (Cowboys) and Dan Snyder (Redskins) are both made the cut at #595 and #1,057th.
It appears that the secret to earning over a billion big ones is to chase your passion. But if I'm not able to make a boat load of dollars in fashion, writing, beer, or sports, I might be able to get there by marrying someone in the Walmart family -- they've got six people on the list. Hearst family is an option, too.
What do you think of the list?
Photo via yomanimus/Flickr