There are interesting observations to be made in looking at the 20 richest people in the world right now. There are 13 Americans on the list. There are 17 men and three women. All of the women on the list either inherited their wealth and/or joined the family business. Only four of the men either inherited their wealth or joined an established family business. Thirteen of the richest people in the world right now are self-made billionaires. It takes a lot of drive, focus, ambition, patience and chutzpah to go from nothing to a billionaire. Of those 13 men, seven of them are American. These are the 20 richest people in the world right now:
20. Michael Bloomberg
Founder, Bloomberg L.P.
Net Worth: $36.5 billion
Michael Bloomberg is the former Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg LP a financial news and media information services company. He is one of the wealthiest men in New York and in America.
19. Larry Page
Net Worth: $36.7 billion
Larry Page is to co-founder and current CEO of Google. He founded Google with Sergey Brin while both were graduate students at Stanford.
18. Liliane Bettencourt
Net Worth: $37 billion
Liliane Bettencourt is the principal shareholder of L'Oreal and one of the richest women in the world. Her father, Eugene Schuller founded L'Oreal. Liliane began working in the family business at the age of 15 mixing products and putting labels on bottles of shampoo and she's had a place in the family business ever since.
17. Alice Walton
Net Worth: $37.1 billion
Alice Walton is an heiress to the Walmart fortune as well as a board member of Amon Carter Museum. She began a career in finance with the First Commerce Corporation in Texas and has held positions with a number of financial firms since then.
16. Jack Ma
Net Worth: $37.1 billion
Jack Ma is a Chinese entrepreneur who founded the commerce website Alibaba.com. Today, Alibaba is the largest commerce site in the world, bigger than eBay and Amazon combined.
15. Bernard Arnault
Net Worth: $37.2 billion
Bernard Arnault is a French billionaire and CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, which is made up of such companies as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Moet & Chandon, and Fendi.
14. S. Robson Walton
Walmart Heir, Chairman
Net Worth: $38.5 billion
Robson Walton is the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He graduated from Columbia University School of Law and became a member of the firm Conner & Winters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1978, he joined Walmart as a senior vice president. He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Walmart two days after his father's death in 1992.
13. Jim Walton
Net Worth: $40 billion
Jim Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He currently sits on the Walmart Board of Directors as well as serves as CEO of their Walton family owned bank Arvest Bank. He is also owner and chairman of Community Publisher's Inc., a newspaper company founded by his father.
12. Christy Walton
Widow of Walmart Heir
Net Worth: $41 billion
Christy Walton is the richest woman in the world. She is the widow of the late John Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. After the death of her husband in 2005, she inherited his $15.7 billion fortune.
11. Ingvar Kamprad
Net Worth: $42.5 billion
Ingvar Kamprad is a Swedish businessman who founded IKEA. He is well known for being exceptionally frugal. The multi-billionaire only flies in economy class and is rumored to be in the habit of recycling tea bags and grabbing salt and pepper from restaurants to take home.
10. Mark Zuckerberg
Net Worth: $43 billion
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook, which he famously started while an undergraduate at Harvard.
9. Wang Jianlin
Founder, Dalian Wanda Group Corporation Limited
Net Worth: $46 billion
Wang Jianlin is one of China's richest people and founder of the Dalian Wanda Group. Founded in 1988 as a residential real estate company, it is now one of China's largest conglomerates with interests in real estate, tourism, hotels, and entertainment.
8. Jeff Bezos
Net Worth: $47 billion
Jeff Bezos is the founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon.com. He single-handedly changed the way the world shops. He wrote the business plan for Amazon while driving across country with his wife to start the business.
7. Larry Ellison
Net Worth: $48 billion
Larry Ellison is the founder and CEO of software giant Oracle. Ellison lives in a $200 million house in Silicon Valley. The mansion is modeled after a 16th century Japanese estate.
6. Charles Koch
Co-Owner, Koch Industries
Net Worth: $50 billion
Charles Koch is an American businessman who is co-owner of Koch Industries alongside his brother David. Charles Koch is also chairman of the board and CEO.
5. David Koch
Co-Owner Koch Industries
Net Worth: $50 billion
David Koch is an American businessman who is co-owner of Koch Industries alongside his brother Charles. David Koch also serves as executive vice president.
4. Carlos Slim Helu
Chairman, Telmex & American Movil
Net Worth: $57 billion
Known as the Warren Buffet of Mexico, Carlos Slim Helu oversees a vast business empire. He has his hands in every sector of the Mexican economy and his holding account for 40% of the listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
3. Warren Buffett
Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
Net Worth: $62 billion
Warren Buffett is the third richest person in the world. He is the most famous and successful investor in the world. In fact, if you had invested $10,000 with Buffett in 1966, you would have $300 million today.
2. Amancio Ortega Gaona
Net Worth: $71 billion
Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish fashion executive who is the founder and owner of global retail store Zara. He is the richest person in Spain and the second richest person in the world.
Net Worth: $76 billion
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft and is one of the people largely credited with igniting the personal computer revolution. He is the richest person in the world.