Billionaires play a huge role in shaping the global economy, politics and philanthropy. Forbes has put the number of billionaires in the world in 2022 at 2,668. The richest among them is (LVMH) co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Bernard Arnault, who became the world’s richest person in 2022.
The individuals on this list belong to an even more exclusive club and have even more power. Many are the founders of technology giants, with most of their wealth still invested in the companies they started.
However, these billionaires can still borrow against that asset to avoid (or eliminate for heirs) taxes on unrealized capital gains by selling the stock in the process. Multi-billionaires can also take advantage of tax deductions to offset under-reported income, with some on this list paying no income tax in recent years.
With so much of their wealth in publicly traded stocks, the net worth of the richest can fluctuate with market valuations. For example, Musk sees an increase in his net worth in 2021 due to an increase in Tesla’s share price.
Tesla shares are up nearly 50% in 2021. And like a pendulum, his net worth is set to fall in 2022 due to declining share prices in Tesla, of which he owns 15%. Musk also had to sell many of his shares in Tesla in order to acquire Twitter. As a result, in December 2022, he became the second richest person in the world after Bernard Arnault.
Similarly, Meta Platforms (META) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of the top 10 in February 2022 after the company’s share price plunged following a disappointing earnings report. In December 2022, Zuckerberg’s net worth was said to be $43.7 billion.
Below are the 10 wealthiest people on the planet, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of that date. Unless otherwise stated, all figures are as of December 13, 2022.
Top 10 Richest Personalities in the World
Let explore the list of all Top 10 Richest Personalities in the World.
1. Bernard Arnault
- CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
- Net Worth: $172.9 billion
- Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($132 billion total)
- Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($25 billion public asset) and $10.3 billion in cash
Bernard Arnault is the first personality of top 10 Richest People in the World.
French Bernard National Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. LVMH brands include Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora.
Most of Arnault’s wealth comes from his substantial stake in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that controls 41.2% of LVMH. His shares in Christian Dior SE, as well as an additional 6.2% in LVMH, are held through Groupe Familial Arnault, a holding company owned by his family.
An engineer by training, Arnault first showed his business acumen while working for his father’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, acquiring the company in 1971.
He spun off Ferret-Sévinel into a real estate company named Ferret Inc. in 1979.
Arnault remained in the chair of Ferinal until he acquired and restructured the luxury goods maker financier Agache in 1984, eventually selling off all of its holdings except Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché.
He was invited to invest in LVMH in 1987 and two years later became the company’s majority shareholder, chairman of the board and CEO.
2. Elon Musk
- Co-Founder and CEO: Tesla
- Net Worth: $168.5 billion
- Tesla ownership stake: 15% ($63.6 billion)
- Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($46.9 billion personal wealth), The Boring Company ($3.33 billion personal wealth), Twitter ($20.2 billion personal wealth)
Elon Musk is the second richest man in the world. He was born in South Africa and attended a university in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics. Two days after enrolling in the graduate physics program at Stanford University, Musk postponed the appearance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services.
He reinvested a portion of the proceeds from this startup to form X.com, an online payment system that was sold to eBay and eventually became PayPal Holdings (PYPL).
In 2004, Musk became the lead funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company.
In addition to its line of electric automobiles, Tesla produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and solar power systems through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. Musk is also the CEO and chief engineer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the developer of space launch rockets.
In 2020, Tesla shares soared 740% to propel Musk up the wealth rankings. In December 2020, Tesla became the largest company to join the S&P 500.
In January 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world – a title he held until December 2022, when his net worth fell due to a drop in Tesla’s share price.
Musk asked his Twitter audience on November 6, 2021 whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, raising the issue as a response to criticism of unrealized capital gains as a means to avoid taxes. He proceeded to sell $16.4 billion worth of shares over the remainder of 2021.
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, cited a media report that Musk paid no income tax for 2018 to argue for the adoption of the estate tax.
Musk responded on Twitter, “And if you opened your eyes for two seconds, you’d realize I paid more taxes this year than any American in history.”
Musk continues to rise in global wealth rankings in 2021 thanks to a jump in Tesla shares and a private transaction that boosted SpaceX’s reported valuation. His net worth will reach a high of $340 billion in November 2021
In April 2022, Musk began a campaign to take Twitter private, culminating in a $44 billion purchase. Musk plans to close the deal for $21 billion of his capital.
In the run-up to the purchase announcement, Musk sold 9.6 million Tesla shares, worth approximately $8.5 billion.
In July 2022, Musk decided to back out of the Twitter buyout. Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk to force the buyout. Musk opposed the company, but then reversed course and announced that he was open to buying Twitter.
The deal officially closes in October 2022, giving him a roughly 80% stake in the company.
3. Gautam Adani
- Residence: Gurgaon, India
- Founder and Chairman: Adani Group
- Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Adani Transmission Ownership
- Stake: 75% each ($72.45 billion)
- Other assets: 66% of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone ($12.2 billion public asset), 61% of Adani Green Energy ($22.6 billion public asset), 37% of Adani Total Gas ($18.1 billion public asset)
Gautam Adani is the thisrd richest man in the world.
In March 2022, Gautam Adani, the founder of the Adani Group, has overtaken Mukesh Ambani to become the richest person in Asia.
Through its ownership of the Adani Group, Adani has major stakes in six major Indian companies, including Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Adani Transmission with a 75% stake, as well as Adani Ports and a 66% stake in the Special Economic Zone,61 .
Involved. % stake in Adani Green Energy, and 37% stake in Adani Total Gas.
Adani entered the power generation market in 2009 with Adani Power.
Adani established Adani Enterprises in 1988 to import and export goods. In 1994, his company was given approval to develop a port facility at Mundra Port, which is now India’s largest private port.
Adani dropped out of college midway and first worked in the diamond trade. Adani is now the largest port operator, thermal coal producer and coal trader in India.
In 2020, he bought a 74% stake in the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, the second busiest airport in India.
The billionaire was kidnapped for ransom in 1997. Adani was also at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai during the 2008 terrorist attack.
4. Bill Gates
- Co-founder: Microsoft (MSFT)
- Microsoft ownership stake: 1.3% ($26 billion)
- Other assets: $55 billion in cash and billions in other companies
Bill Gates is the fourth richest man in the world.
While attending Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates went to work with his childhood friend Paul Allen to develop new software for the original microcomputer.
Following the success of this project, Gates dropped out of Harvard during his junior year and founded Microsoft with Allen.
The world’s largest software company, Microsoft, also manufactures a range of personal computers, provides email services through its Exchange Server, and sells video game systems and related game devices. It has recently invested heavily in cloud services.
Gates shifted from the company’s CEO to the role of chairman of the board in 2008. He joined the board of Berkshire Hathaway in 2004. He resigned from both the boards on March 13, 2020.
Cascade Investments LLC holds most of Bill Gates’ net worth. Cascade is a privately held investment vehicle that owns a variety of stocks including Canadian National Railway (CNR), Deere (DE) and Republic Services (RSG), as well as private investments in real estate and energy.
5. Jeff Bezos
- Founder and Executive Chairman: Amazon (AMZN)
- Amazon ownership stake: 10% ($89.9 billion)
- Other Assets: Blue Origin ($9.15 billion personal fortune), The Washington Post ($250 million personal fortune), and $14.5 billion in cash
Jeff Bezos is the fifth richest man in the world.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos hired hedge fund veteran D.E. Shortly after resigning from Shaw, he founded Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle. He originally pitched the idea of an online bookstore to his former boss, David E. Shaw, who was not interested.
Although Amazon originally started selling books, it has since turned into a one-stop shop for everything under the sun and is expected to overtake Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2024.
Amazon’s pattern of continued diversification is evident in some of its unexpected expansions, including its acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 and its entry into the pharmacy business that same year.
In 2019, Bezos owned 16% of Amazon before transferring 4% to his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott as part of their divorce proceedings.
In 2020, Amazon’s share price jumped 76% due to increased demand for online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of the e-commerce giant, becoming its executive chairman.
Bezos originally took Amazon public in 1997 and in 1999 became the first person since Bill Gates to achieve a net worth of over $100 billion.
Bezos’ other projects include the aerospace company Blue Origin, The Washington Post (which he bought in 2013), and 10,000 Ear Clock – also known as Long Now.
On July 20, 2021, Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and Dutch student Oliver Damon completed Blue Origin’s first successful crewed flight, reaching an altitude of more than 66 miles before landing safely.
In the same month, Bezos’s wealth reached $ 211 billion.
6. Warren Buffett
- CEO: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)
- Berkshire Hathaway’s ownership stake: 14% ($107 billion)
- Other assets: $1.10 billion in cash
Warren Buffett is the sixth most richest man in the world.
The most famous living value investor, Warren Buffett, filed his first tax return in 1944 at age 14, declaring earnings from his boyhood paper route.
He first bought shares in a textile company called Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, becoming the majority shareholder by 1965.
Buffett expanded the company’s holdings in 1967 to include insurance and other investments.
Widely known as the Oracle of Omaha, Buffett is a buy-and-hold investor who made his fortune by acquiring undervalued companies.
More recently, Berkshire Hathaway has invested in large, well-known companies. Its portfolio of wholly owned subsidiaries includes insurance, energy distribution and railroads as well as consumer products.
Buffett is a notable bitcoin skeptic.
Buffett has devoted most of his wealth to philanthropy. Between 2006 and 2020, he gave away $41 billion—mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his children’s charities.
Buffett started the Giving Pledge in 2010 with Bill Gates.
Buffett, now 92, still serves as CEO, but he indicated in 2021 that his successor could be Gregory Abel, who heads Berkshire’s non-insurance operations.
7. Larry Ellison
- Co-Founder, President and CTO: Oracle (ORCL)
- Oracle ownership stake: 40%+ ($68.3 billion)
- Other assets: Tesla equity ($7.56 billion in public assets), $17.2 billion in cash
Larry Ellison is the seventh richest man in the world, was born in New York City to a 19-year-old single mother.
After dropping out of the University of Chicago in 1966, Ellison moved to California and worked as a computer programmer.
In 1973, he joined the electronics company Ampex, where he met future partners Ed Oates and Bob Minor.
Three years later, Ellison moved to Precision Instruments, serving as the company’s vice president of research and development.
In 1977, Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories with Oates and Minor. Two years later, the company released Oracle, the first commercial relational database program to use Structured Query Language.
The database program proved so popular that in 1982 SDL changed its name to Oracle Systems Corporation. Ellison left the CEO role at Oracle in 2014 after 37 years. He joined Tesla’s board in December 2018 and steps down in June 2022.
Oracle is the world’s second largest software company, providing a variety of cloud computing programs as well as Java and Linux code and the Oracle Exadata computing platform.
Oracle has acquired several large companies, including human resource management systems provider PeopleSoft in 2005, customer relationship management application provider Siebel in 2006, enterprise infrastructure software provider BEA Systems in 2008, and hardware-and-software developer Sun Microsystems in 2009.
In December 2021, Oracle agreed to buy medical records software provider Cerner (CERN) for $28.3 billion in cash.
Alison, long known for his extravagant spending, has invested heavily in luxury real estate over the past decade.
Perhaps his most impressive acquisition was the $300 million purchase of almost the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012, where the billionaire has been living since 2020.
Alison has built a hydroponics farm and a luxury spa on the island.
Ellison focuses his philanthropy on medical research.
In 2016, he gave $200 million to the University of Southern California for a new cancer research center.
Allison endorses the Oracle Team USA sailing team, which won the America’s Cup racing series in 2010 and 2013.
8. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani is the 8th richest man in the world.
Mukesh Ambani is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, the world’s largest oil refiner and one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The group was founded by Ambani’s father Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 as a textile company and is now one of the major sectors of India’s economy. Reliance’s operations include oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining, retail and media.
Nearly half of Ambani’s wealth is derived from his stake in Reliance, which accounts for 42% of the public company.
He owns Antilia, a real estate complex in Mumbai worth $410 million. Ambani also owns Mumbai Indians, a professional cricket team.
In 2016, Ambani launched a pan-India 4G phone network, connecting over 420 million customers, and plans to launch 5G services.
9. Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer is world’s ninth richest man.
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 after Bill Gates convinced him to drop out of Stanford University’s MBA program.
He was the 30th employee of Microsoft. Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.
He held the position until leaving office in 2014. Ballmer oversaw Microsoft’s 2011 purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion.
Ballmer owns an estimated 4% of Microsoft, making him the software giant’s largest individual shareholder.
In 2014, shortly after stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion.
Ballmer shared the same dorm and shared the same floor with Bill Gates while both attended Harvard University.
The brotherly relationship between the two became strained when Ballmer began pushing the tech company into hardware like the Surface tablet and Windows Mobile phone during his tenure as CEO.
10. Larry Page
Larry Page is the tenth richest man in the world.
Like many of the tech billionaires on this list, Larry Page paved his way to fame and fortune in a college dorm room.
While attending Stanford University in 1995, Page and his friend Sergey Brin had the idea to improve Internet data extraction. The two devised a new search engine technique that they named Backrub, based on its ability to assess a page’s links.
From there, Page and Brin went on to found Google in 1998, with Page serving as the company’s CEO until 2001, and again between 2011 and 2019.
Google is the world’s leading Internet search engine, responsible for over 92% of global search requests.
In 2006, the company purchased YouTube, the top platform for user-submitted videos.
After acquiring Android in 2005, Google released the Android mobile phone operating system in 2008. Google was reorganized in 2015, becoming a holding company, a subsidiary of Alphabet.
Page was one of the early investors in Planetary Resources, a space exploration and asteroid-mining company. Founded in 2009, the company was acquired by blockchain firm ConsenSys in 2018 amid funding problems.
He has also shown interest in flying car companies, investing in both Kitty Hawk and OpenAir.
Google shares soared nearly 50% as Page and Brin topped the list of billionaires in 2021. In March 2020, Page’s net worth declined from $52 billion to the current $86.9 billion.
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