Top Ten Self-Made Billionaires

Proven Recipe To Become A Billionaire

Do self-made millionaires simply work harder than the rest of us to get where they are? Most people think the rich got lucky. People think their money wasn’t earned by hard work and strategic, calculated thinking, which is not the truth for most people. I need to disappoint you, a study by Datamonitor from 2002 looked at how people become millionaires – although a percentage did inherit or win their fortune, the vast majority earned it themselves.

Disappointingly enough ladies didn’t make it to the top ten, however, some of them were enlisted in the The Forbes World’s Billionaires list. Nevertheless, their wealth has somehow been inherited in one way or another…

Here’s how they (sadly only men among the top self-made billionaires!) amassed their fortunes…

1. Carlos Slim Helu

Net worth: $73 Billion


His story from rags to riches:

Slightly less known than such personas as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Carlos ranks as the world’s richest man for the fourth year in a row. He clocks in billions of dollars from his telecom business. Slim does not hold an executive position at any of the companies he controls, but remains engaged and advises on strategy. He put his sons in charge of the industrial, finance and telecom companies he controls. Carlos is a multi-billionaire with a difference, despite his fortune this 71 years old man lives in a modest six-bedroom house, a mile away from his office. He doesn’t believe in conspicuous consumption and has no interest in flashy yachts or palatial houses around the world. He is of Lebanese origin and like his fellow countrymen believes in living a simple family life.

2.. Bill Gates


His Story from rags to riches:

Well, not quite from rags as Bill’s parents could afford to send him to Harvard from which he later dropped out. Some may argue whether he’s some genetically mutated genius but he did in fact revolutionise IBM’s operating system. Considered the Rocky Balboa of the business world Gates proved that if you’re smart and willing to work hard, you can build an empire!

3. Amancio Ortega


Net worth: $57 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Spain’s Amancio Ortega is a former chairman of Inditex best known for its Zara brand. Ortega also has a real estate portfolio, much of it acquired during the financial downturn. A railway worker’s son, he started as a gofer in a shirt store. With then-wife Rosalia Mera, also a billionaire, he started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room. In December 2012, Spanish media reported that Ortega paid half a million dollars to prevent paparazzi from publishing photos of his daughter Marta and her equestrian husband Sergio Alvarez on their honeymoon in Cambodia and Australia. Marta, who works for Inditex, is reportedly expecting a baby boy.

4. Warren Buffet


Net worth: $53.5 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Warren Buffett struck again announcing a deal to snap up iconic ketchup producer Heinz. Call it back luck but his fortune didn’t prevent him from undergoing a radiation treatment for prostate cancer last summer. He began buying up shares of a struggling textile company called Berkshire Hathaway. Though Buffett has called Berkshire “the dumbest stock” he ever bought, the firm has long since shed its textile assets and today serves as Buffett’s famed investment vehicle.

5. Larry Ellison

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Net worth: $43 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Larry Ellison worked his way up with zero family connections and no inherited wealth. Ellisondidn’t know he was adopted until he was 12. He dropped out of university after his adoptive mother died. (Ellison’s best friend, Steve Jobs, was also adopted). Ellison ended up going from one odd job to another, with just enough to survive on fast food and buy gas. He eventually got a job at Ampex Corporation where he found his calling. Ellison and two co-workers worked on a project that would be the start of the billion-dollar software empire, Oracle. He once joked that he “had all the disadvantages required for success.”

6. Charles Koch


Net worth: $34 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

The world’s sixth-richest person (tied with brother David) built his fortune around refining and chemicals, the right places to be last year amid falling natural-gas prices and recovering demand. However, things didn’t go so well on the political front: Charles, a die-hard libertarian,failed in his quest to unseat President Barack Obama as president.

6. David Koch


Net worth: $34 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Tied with older brother Charles as the world’s sixth-richest person, David runs the chemical equipment side of Koch Industries from his home in New York. More active than Charles in politics, he bet a lot on ejecting Barack Obama from the White House and lost but he isn’t giving up on his project to drive down government spending and increase economic freedom.“We’re not going to roll over and play dead,” he said.

7. Li Ka-shing


Net worth: $31 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Asia’s richest person Li Ka-shing is considered to be one of the most powerful figures on the continent and was named “Asia’s Most Powerful Man”. However, the beginnings were not so easy, after his father’s death he was forced to leave school by the time he was 15 and found a job in a plastics trading company where he labored 16 hours a day. Today he is the chairman of an investment holding company and the world’s largest health and beauty retailer At the age of 84, Li still oversees one of the world’s most far-reaching empires with 260,000 employees in 52 countries.

8. Michael Bloomberg


Net worth: $27 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Bloomberg put himself through Johns Hopkins and Harvard and became a partner at Salomon Brothers. He started his own company which revolutionized the distribution of financial information and made him a billionaire. In 2002, Bloomberg became mayor of New York City. He was re-elected for a second, then a controversial third term. Now well into his final term, Michael Bloomberg has a new mission for his post-political life: eradicating gun violence.

9. Sheldon Adelson


Net worth: $26.5 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Sheldon Adelson became an entrepreneur at an early age. He created several very successful businesses, and developed the computer trade show COMDEX. He went on to build casino resorts in Las Vegas and Asia, and later ventured into politics, generously supporting Republican causes and candidates.

10. Karl Albrecht


Net worth: $21.5 billion

His Story from rags to riches:

Karl Albrecht owns Aldi Sud, a giant German discount supermarket chain, with 4,600 stores in 9 countries, including 1,200 locations in 32 US states. Karl and his late brother Theo began working at their mother’s corner grocery store after World War II and turned it into a large retail chain with low prices and no frills. The brothers split ownership: Karl took the more profitable stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in the UK, Australia and the US.  Karl Albrecht, now 93, resigned from the operational business and stepped down from the Aldi advisory board.

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