Released: The World’s Richest People


carlos-slim-heluForbes is out with the latest edition of its annual ranking of the world’s richest people. So who is the richest person in the world? That would be Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu, who also topped the Forbes global rich list a year ago. Slim’s net worth is $74 billion, according to Forbes, a fortune he amassed from his telecom and other business interests.Rounding out the Richie Rich top five:

#2: Bill Gates

#3: Warren Buffett

#4 Bernard Arnault, the head of European luxury goods company LVMH.

#5: Larry Ellison of Oracle

Check out the full Forbes report here.

Here are the top 10:

1. Carlos Slim (Mexico) – $74 billion, telecommunications

Slim, 71, first showed a business talent as a 10-year-old selling drinks and snacks to his family. After studying engineering, he founded a real estate company and worked as a trader on the Mexican stock exchange. Cigar-smoking Slim is known for a “Midas touch” in acquiring struggling firms and turning them into cash cows.

His enormous wealth contrasts starkly with his frugal lifestyle. He has lived in the same house for about 40 years and drives an aging Mercedes Benz, although it is armored and trailed by bodyguards.

He has become involved in combating poverty, illiteracy and poor healthcare in Latin America and promotes sports projects for the poor, but has never voiced plans to give away large chunks of his wealth to charity.

2. Bill Gates (USA) – $56 billion, Microsoft

Sensing the start of a personal computer revolution, Gates, 55, dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to start Microsoft and pursue a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Microsoft went public in 1986 and by the next year, the soaring stock made Gates, at age 31, the youngest self-made billionaire.

In 2008 he stepped down from what is now the world’s largest software firm to work at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has given $28 billion to it.

Together with his wife Melinda and Warren Buffett, he has also convinced 57 U.S. billionaires to sign up to the Giving Pledge and publicly vow to give away at least 50 percent of their fortune during their lifetime or upon their death.

3. Warren Buffett (USA) – $50 billion, Berkshire Hathaway

Buffett, 80, has run his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate since 1965. Its interests run from railroads to ice cream.

In 2006 he pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. So far he has given $8 billion to the Gates Foundation.

4. Bernard Arnault (France) – $41 billion, LVMH

Arnault, 62, a friend of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was educated at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and joined his father’s construction company at 25. He earned the reputation of a ruthless corporate raider after pushing out shareholder rivals when he started building the LVMH group in the 1990s with the Louis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy brands.

It is now the world’s biggest luxury goods group. His image as a predator stuck to him afterward when he fought in vain to acquire Gucci in 1999 and 2000. Then this week he snapped up Roman jeweler Bulgari for $5.18 billion.

5. Larry Ellison (USA) – $39.5 billion, Oracle Corp

Ellison, the flamboyant Oracle founder and CEO, is known for his free, public outbursts against rivals such as German software maker SAP AG. The executive, supposedly a model for the “Iron Man” movie character Tony Stark, late last year attacked Hewlett Packard and its board for the abrupt and – he said – unfair sacking of longtime friend Mark Hurd. Ellison then hired him.

Ellison, who won yachting’s America’s Cup last year, is considered one of the “old guard” of Silicon Valley.

6. Lakshmi Mittal (India) – $31.1 billion, steel

London-based steel tycoon Mittal, 60, runs ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel manufacturer.

Mittal’s firm is largely funding a $29 million spiraling red tower, designed by Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty, that will soar over London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 games.

In 2005 he spent $10 million to promote sporting talent and encourage potential Olympians in his homeland after he was disappointed by India’s lone medal at the Athens Games.

7. Amancio Ortega (Spain) – $31 billion, retail

Amancio Ortega, 74, started his clothing business in the 1960s making dressing gowns in his garage in La Coruna. His company Inditex owns the Zara fashion house and is now the world’s biggest clothing retailer. Ortega closely guards his privacy and does not give media interviews. He announced in January that he plans to step down as chairman of the company.

8. Eike Batista (Brazil) – $30 billion, mining, oil

A half-German college dropout who for years struggled to emerge from the shadow of his well-known father, Batista has long said he wants nothing less than to be Brazil’s and the world’s richest person. Everything about the 53-year-old – from the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car he keeps as decoration in his parlor to the “X” in the name of all his companies that represents wealth multiplication – screams of unashamed ambition.

9. Mukesh Ambani (India) – $27 billion, petrochemicals, oil and gas

A chemical engineer by training, Mukesh, 53, dropped out of an MBA from Stanford University and joined Reliance in 1981.

10. Christy Walton & family (USA) – $26.5 billion, Wal-Mart

Christy Walton is the widow of John Walton, who was the son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Sam Walton built the global Wal-Mart empire from a single dime store in Arkansas. It is now the world’s largest retailer.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. They left me out. I guess Forbes doesn’t know about all of the (real) billionaires. I have the RBSO and His beautiful Torah and Mitzvos and all that comes with living a Torah life, coupled with a loving family and my health. I think I’m right up there on top …….. but don’t come banging on my doors cos I ain’t got any (real) money.

  2. I am one of the richest in the world but, I don’t want to publicize who I am because I don’t want anyone trying to get what I have. Actually, I am rich because of the maxim in Pirkei Avos – aizehu ashir hasomeach b’chelko. I am rich because I am happy with what I have.