Who is the richest man in the world? For the third year in a row, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu is the richest man in the world with a net worth of $68.5 billion (as of June 18th, 2012). Not only is Carlos Slim the richest man in the world currently, he is also the 22nd richest person who has ever lived in human history! That impressive and prestigious list puts Helu among wealthy legends such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Sam Walton. Of all the people on the list of richest people who ever lived, Carlos Helu, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the only three living members. Keep reading to find out how he made it so big and how Carlos spends his billions…
Carlos first passed Bill Gates to take the title of richest man in the world in 2010, when his $53.5 billion net worth beat Gates' $53 billion net worth by a mere $500 million. Since then, Carlos has maintained the top slot through his ever expanding conglomerate Grupo Carso. Grupo Carso has interests in a wide variety of Latin American industries including telecommunications, construction, retail, insurance, mining and many more. Carlos owns hundreds of different businesses ranging from the Mexican arm of Sears, a tobacco company, banks, telephone companies, part of an airline and even 6.4% of The New York Times! His phone company Telmex controls 90 percent of Mexican land lines and his cellular company Telcel controls 80% of Mexico's cell phone calls. Most of Carlos' major successes has come by acquiring mismanaged and crumbling state-owned companies in Mexico, then privatizing and turning them into efficient powerhouses.
Interestingly, despite having more money than anyone else on earth, Carlos Slim Helu lives in a relatively modest six bedroom house in Mexico City. He does not own a luxurious yacht, he drives himself everywhere, he wears a very basic watch and dresses in moderately priced Italian suits. He did, however, splurge recently when he purchased a $45 million for a New York City townhouse directly across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also owns a $1 billion art collection including many Van Goughs, Renoirs and Rodins. Carlos Slim Helu's car is a $300,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur. He also owns a fleet of Mercedes and various SUVs for his security. All of the vehicles are equipped with the most advanced bullet proof glass and defensive features.
Not bad for a guy with modest tastes and $68 billion in the bank. What kind of car and house would you buy if you were the richest man in the world? Let us know in the comments!