Many of the world’s richest people are rich simply because they were born that way. The Queen of England, for example, didn’t work to make billions – she inherited them and her advisors maintain and increase her wealth.
These 10 people, however, are the ones that buck the trend of inherited wealth. Each of them has created something, in their own lifetime, of such incredible value that they have become rich beyond most people’s wildest dreams.
They are the 10 richest self-made billionaires in the world today and many of them are contributing incredible amounts of their wealth to charity too.
#10 SERGEY BRIN – $37 BILLION
Our list begins with Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google and the 10th wealthiest self-made billionaire of all time. He was the mastermind behind the recent restructuring of Google which saw the development of the Alphabet holding brand.
He spends most of his time focused on “moonshot” ideas, which are designed to change the world for good and generate huge amounts of revenue.
He’s done well in America and the world, particularly when you consider that he’s also an immigrant. He moved to the U.S. from Russia as a small child, and has demonstrated the reality of the American dream very ably indeed.
#9 LARRY PAGE – $38.5 BILLION
Larry Page graduated Stanford with a PhD in 1998. He then founded Google, which is currently owned by Alphabet, which is also Larry’s company.
Google is one of the biggest companies in the world with a valuation of over $0.5 trillion dollars! Larry works on dozens of technology projects from the driverless car to human longevity research.
He’s not known for being a big spender, but what he does like to spend money on is eco-friendly toys. He owns an eco-mansion in Palo Alto which operates on geothermal energy and uses rainwater for its water supply.
#8 INGVAR KAMPRAD – $39.3 BILLION
Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad got involved in furniture at a young age and coming up to his 90th birthday his IKEA chain has made him nearly $40 billion to date.
You’d be amazed to learn that IKEA is an independent company and has never floated on the stock market, and that means Ingvar still has considerable influence over the company even if he’s no longer there every day.
He is famous for living cheap and flies economy rather than business. However, that doesn’t mean he’s mean. He’s given more than $300 million to good causes in his lifetime.
#7 MICHAEL BLOOMBERG – $42.1 BILLION
Michael Bloomberg’s career began in banking with Salomon Brothers. After 15 years of working in banks, he left to set up a data firm selling data to financial houses.
He’s never looked back as the service became one of the most successful of all time and earns $9 billion a year from users on Wall Street alone.
He has left the company and returned to it after working as New York City’s mayor for three terms. He’s also apparently considering running for president and may have been inspired by Donald Trump’s victory to do just that next time round.
#6 MARK ZUCKERBERG – $42.8 BILLION
Barely into his thirties and in the top 6 self-made billionaires in the world is Mark Zuckerberg, whose biggest contribution to date is the founding of Facebook. He’s the youngest of the 50 richest people on earth.
The company is valued at nearly $300 billion, but Mark’s share of that is a more modest $42.8 billion.
He’s trying to do good works, but unlike the other billionaires on the list involved in philanthropy, his good causes are investments rather than donations. So when he says he’ll give 99% of his money to charity – he wants it back again, too.
#5 LARRY ELLISON – $45.3 BILLION
The Oracle founder Larry Ellison has come a long way since he founded the company back in 1977. Their first contract was to build the Oracle database for the CIA.
Now, the company is the world’s second largest software house. You won’t believe it, but Ellison’s annual salary since 2010 has been $1. However, that doesn’t mean his shares aren’t growing substantially in value year on year.
Like many of the billionaires on this list, he’s a generous man. He’ll be leaving at least half of his fortune to charity and spends money on disease and aging research.
#4 JEFF BEZOS – $56.6 BILLION
Amazon is the world’s most used internet retailer and there’s almost nothing that the company doesn’t sell. So it’s no surprise that founder Jeff Bezos has made a serious fortune from the venture.
Sadly, Amazon has a reputation for being an unpleasant place to work and the company is regularly criticized for the way it treats workers.
However, Bezos also does good work and has been privately funding a company that is developing a blood test to test for cancer without invasive surgery. He is also an investor in Blue Origin, one of the many privately owned space agencies in the world today.
#3 WARREN BUFFET – $60.7 BILLION
Warren Buffet is one of the best-known billionaires in the world. He’s a self-made man who began the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway which has made a fortune investing in fairly traditional stocks with long-term value such as Coca-Cola and Dairy Queen.
Surprisingly, for a man who regularly lectures on finance, Harvard Business School turned him down and he studied at Columbia Business School to get his start in securities.
Today, he’s significantly poorer than he once was, because he’s given away $20 billion to charity. He intends to give even more away in his will.
#2 AMANCIO ORTEGA – $66.8 BILLION
Not necessarily a household name in the United Sates, Amancio Ortega is the richest man to hail from Spain and the second richest in the world. He has a nice rags to riches story too.
He began working in a retail store at 14 delivering dresses. He worked his way up the ladder until he could afford to begin his own store. Now his company Inditex is one of the world’s leading fashion retailers with Zara being the largest brand it controls.
Amancio is said to be very down to earth and lives a modest lifestyle. He’s well known for using the office cafeteria to share lunch with the people who work for him.
#1 BILL GATES – $87.4 BILLION
The Microsoft founder has been at number one several times in his life, but his wealth rises and falls with the value of Microsoft. Bill Gates is currently considered to be worth around $87.4 billion.
He’s also giving every last penny of that away to charity. His wife Melinda convinced him to set up the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and donate his fortune to it.
The charity tackles the kind of big issues that governments should tackle but often don’t. Such as searching for a cure to malaria or ensuring everyone in the world can access banking.