According to The Wealth-X Billionaire Census 2019, there are around 2,604 billionaires in the world. Over a quarter of these ultra-high-net-worth individuals live in the U.S. “North America was the only region to record an increase in billionaire population,” the report states. With so many contenders to the top spot, who is the richest billionaire in the world?
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It's important to note that the exact figure of their wealth can't be known and estimations often change with the rise and fall in stocks and shares. But let's explore the wealth of three of the richest people on the planet today.
#3 Bernard Arnault
French businessman Bernard Arnault is the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, (commonly known as LVMH), the largest luxury goods company in the world. The company owns some of the most famous brands on the planet, such as Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Marc Jacobs, Dior and Bulgari. His foresight and business acumen has been credited with revitalizing French couture in the 1990s.
Source of wealth: LVMH (Luxury goods retail)
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#2 Bill Gates
American software developer Gates is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. Under his guidance and development, Microsoft would become the world's largest personal computer software company. On the back of the success of his company, Gates has been included in every Forbes billionaire list since its debut in 1987 when he was stated as then having a net worth of $1.25 billion. Gates has either sold or given away a large portion of his stake in Microsoft, leaving him with just 1 percent of shares, but has invested in a mix of stocks and other assets. He still remains a Microsoft board member.
Source of wealth: Microsoft (computer software and consumer electronics)
Current net worth estimate: $113 billion
#1 Jeff Bezos
Bezos is the founder, chief executive officer and president of Amazon. He founded the business in 1994 in his garage in Seattle, selling books and later electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys and jewelry. Since then, the company has gone on to become a global operation and a titan of e-commerce, logistics and streaming service, to name but a few ventures. Along with Amazon, Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company.
Source of wealth: Amazon (internet and catalog retail)