Want to be really, really wealthy? You can either inherit it or make your own fortune, suggests a perusal of the Forbes world billionaires list. Your chances of wealth almost beyond the bounds of avarice isn't likely to happen working for someone else, even if you're CEO of a major company (not that it hasn't happened to some), and you probably already missed on finding the right parental deep pockets.
Below are the most monetarily successful entrepreneurs in the world. To make the list, not only did someone need pockets deeper than the Mariana Trench, but had to have started the businesses that created their financial state. So while inheriting the family company and expanding it on a global scale might be an indication of great business acumen, it doesn't make someone an entrepreneur in the sense these people are. That omits many from the overall list, including some who worked their way up through various jobs and companies to run a large corporation. But then, the real entrepreneur's life isn't for everyone.
Net worth: $75 billion
Description: Became the world's richest man by co-founding Microsoft. Now he's a global philanthropist.
Net worth: $67 billion
Description: Ever hear of the Spanish-based retail chain Zara? He co-founded it with his ex-wife in 1975. It's part of the greater empire Inditex, which has been taking the industry by innovative storm since.
Net worth: $64.4 billion
Description: The Wizard of Omaha is one of the best investors in the world. He turned Berkshire Hathaway into a conglomerate that invests for the long run in companies with great management.
Carlos Slim Helu
Net worth: $56.3 billion
Description: He made his fortune in Mexican telecom, but also in airlines, sports, retail, and media.
Net worth: $51 billion
Description: Any time you order a book, office goods, consumer electronics, music, or anything else through Amazon.com, you're adding a bit to the pockets of Bezos, who turned online retailing upside down.
Net worth: $47.7 billion
Industry: High tech
Description: No, 31? Really? Yes, really. The CEO of Facebook probably has years ahead of him and he's already changed interpersonal communications and how we use the Internet.
Net worth: $46.3 billion
Description: He dominated the corporate database market with Oracle. However, he's not a technical person. Instead, he's got a salesman's background and outlook. When it doubt, close.
Net worth: $40.9 billion
Description: Better known by many as a former mayor of New York, Bloomberg created a media empire based on providing stock information to investors in real time.
Net worth: $36.3 billion
Description: You know Google and Google knows you. That is what lets the company make so much money in ads, fueling the net worth of co-founder Page.
Net worth: $35.5 billion
Description: Another Google co-founder as well as a brilliant computer scientist.
Jorge Paulo Lemann
Net worth: $28 billion
Industry: Private equity
Description: How often does a former tennis player who made it to Wimbledon become head of a private equity firm? He, along with partners, own big chunks of brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, Restaurant Brands International (including Burger King and Tim Hortons), and H.J. Heinz & Company.
Net worth: $29.5 billion
Description: He had to drop out of school at 12 and start at a plastics trading company at 14. He eventually left, started his own firm, and began investing. (Maybe his last name should have be Ka-ching.)
Net worth: $28.9 billion
Industry: Real estate
Description: He grew up poor in Boston and started his first business at age 12. Over time he had vending machines, sold advertising, developed condos, created Comdex, one of the big electronics trade shows, and eventually built the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Net worth: $24.9 billion
Industry: Financial services
Description: Fleeing Hungary during the Second World War, he put himself through the London School of Economics while working odd jobs, got into banking, and eventually became one of the major hedge fund managers in the world.
Net worth: $26.1 billion
Description: Traveling after business school, the former track athlete traveled around the world and worked his way into meetings with Japanese shoe manufacturers. He and his former track coach started what would become Nike.