Who are the richest people in the world? Money, wealth, power and prestige: they all have it and plenty left over to burn. These billionaires' great, great grandchildren will never worry about money in this lifetime or the next. The 10 men who comprise this list come from very different backgrounds and social status. However, as different as they all may be, the one thing they have in common is an unrelenting drive to succeed.
Carlos Slim Helu is the world's richest man. He's a Mexican Telecommunications Tycoon with $53.5 billion dollars in the bank. His strategy to "buy companies cheap, turn them around and then ruthlessly drive the competition out of the market" has really paid off. Helu has increased in wealth by $18.5 billion dollars in 12 months. His shares of American Movil were up 35% in a year. American Movil is the largest mobile operator in Latin America which contributes to more than half of Helu's wealth. He's also interested in construction and energy infrastructure.
Bill Gates is an American businessman, philanthropist and chairman of Microsoft Corporation, best known for revolutionizing the personal computer industry. This software visionary is the second richest man in the world with a net worth of $53 billion dollars. He has increased his fortune $13 billion dollars from a year ago, as his shares of Microsoft rose 50% percent in 12 months. However, most of his fortune is held outside of Microsoft, due to his personal investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
79-year-old, American widower Warren Buffett is the third richest man in the world. The one-time newspaper delivery boy became a successful stock market trader, businessman and philanthropist. His net worth is $47 billion dollars, and he is up $10 billion dollars in the past 12 months, with 95% of his net worth is in Berkshire Hathaway stocks.
Mukesh Ambani is an Indian business tycoon. He owns India's most valuable company: Reliance Industries. He is the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries with his personal stake valued at 47%. His net worth is valued at $29B, making him the fourth richest man in the world.
Lakshmi Mittal is a British Indian steel tycoon, who is the owner of the world's largest steel company ArcelorMittal. His net worth is up $9 billion dollars from last year, giving him a total net worth of $28.7 billion dollars. He started in the family steel business, buying up local steel mills in India. Mittal eventually branched out on his own, buying a network of steel producers around the globe.
An American entrepreneur, Lawrence "Larry" Ellison is the co-founder and CEO of business software company Oracle Corp. The sixth richest man has a net worth of $28 billion dollars. His shares are up 70% in the past 12 months. The database giant has bought 57 companies in the past 5 years. He owns 52% stake in software company NetSuite with shares worth over $480 million dollars.
The seventh richest man in the world, Bernard Arnault, has a net worth of $27.5 billion dollars. The 61-year-old French businessman is the chairman and CEO of LVMH. The world's largest fashion and luxury goods company has over 100 luxury brands under its belt, including Louis Vuitton, Donna Karan and Moet Hennessy. He has recently begun to build upscale Shanghai commercial properties. This real estate venture has the potential to place him even higher up on Forbes billionaire list.
The most impressive man on our list is Eike Batista, the eighth richest man in the world with a net worth of $27 billion dollars. The 53-year-old Brazilian mining and oil man is the year's biggest financial gainer, managing to increase his net worth by $19 billion dollars. He owns close to $20 billion dollars in one holding, his oil and gas exploration outfit OGX. Batista also owns various private companies ranging from investments to real estate.
Amanico Ortega started his career as a gopher in various shirt shops in Spain, and has become the ninth richest man in the world. Ortega is a self made fashion entrepreneur who founded the Inditex Group Fashion Company – the parent company to many retail chain stores. He also has personal investments in gas, tourism, banks and real estate. The quiet, no-frills man has a net worth of $25 billion dollars.
Karl Albrecht, the tenth richest man in the world, started the multi-national discount supermarket chain called Aldi. Albrecht transformed his mother's little corner grocery store into a multi-billion dollar business. Today, there are over 1000 discount stores all across the U.S. This reclusive man has a net worth is 23.5 billion dollars.