Jan 192017

Meet the World’s Wealthiest

Charity group Oxfam recently reported that the world’s 8 richest people have as much combined wealth as the poorest 50% of the world’s population.

Here is the list of the 8 richest individuals, in order of net worth:

  1. Bill Gates: America founder of Microsoft (net worth: $75 billion)
  2. Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex which owns the Zara fashion chain (net worth: $67 billion)
  3. Warren Buffett: American CEO and largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth: $60.8 billion)
  4. Carlos Slim: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion)
  5. Jeff Bezos: American founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion)
  6. Mark Zuckerberg: American chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook (net worth: $44.6 billion)
  7. Larry Ellison: American co-founder and CEO of Oracle  (net worth: $43.6 billion)
  8. Michael Bloomberg: American founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion)

The level of extreme wealth has become more concentrated over time. In the previous year, it took the net worth of 62 individuals to match the poorest 50% in the world. Here’s a look at the trend over time.

The middle class is feeling squeezed in many parts of the world. From 2000 to 2014 the number of households in the U.S. considered to be middle class fell significantly. A study from Pew Research shows that a majority of Americans no longer lives in the middle class. Median income of U.S. households in 2014 was 8% less than in 1999, according to Pew. For context, a 3 people household making $42,000 would be considered middle class.

One similarity shared by most multi-billionaires today is a focus on philanthropy. 🙂 Bill Gates would already be worth 12 figures today if he hadn’t given so much to charity already. He has been estimated to save over 6 million lives with his efforts to eradicate Malaria, end Polio, and help third-world countries grow rice. Warren Buffett wants to donate 99% of his wealth to charitable causes. Hundreds of other billionaires have signed up for the Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage the rich to give away most of their money.

We all want to make money. But once we reach a certain level of financial success and become independently wealth, we have to think about how to use our excess wealth in the most meaningful manner possible. Helping other people in need is probably one of the best ways to achieve this. 🙂

I would be inclined to donate more money too if I were rich. I have already decided that if I ever win $1 million from the lottery, I will donate a quarter of it to charity because I am so generous. 😉
I still have to decide how I want to spend the remaining $999,999.75 though. 😄 j/k.

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Oct 162015


The annual world’s wealth report by Credit Suisse financial group was recently released. For the first time in history, the top 1% of the world’s richest now owns 50% of all the wealth. And I bet they’re working hard to get the rest, lol. 😀 Here are some of the highlights I found interesting from the report. Wealth is defined as the value of net assets including property and stock market investments. Everything is in $US unless otherwise specified.

At a Glance

  • In total, global households have $250 trillion (an amount equal to 100 times JP Morgan’s assets.)
  • There are 34 million millionaires in the world. They make up 0.7% of the world’s adult population.
  • Wealth inequality was actually falling before the financial crisis but has increased every year since 2008. Median wealth has stagnated in the U.S. while the country created 903 new millionaires between 2014 and 2015.
  • 71% of the world’s population (3.4 billion adults) have less than $10,000.
  • Global wealth could reach $345 trillion by mid-2020, 38% above its mid-2015 level.


The Upper Class

  • There are 123,800 people in the world with a net worth exceeding $50 million. Of these, 44,900 are worth at least $100 million, and 4,500 have assets above $500 million. 😯
  • There are 984,000 millionaires in Canada.
  • Canada has a disproportionate number of millionaires as Canadians represent 0.6% of the global population but make up 3% of the world’s 1% wealthiest.
  • Having $68,800 would secure you a place in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest.
  • The top 1% have at least $759,900.
  • Millionaires from just about every country saw their collective wealth decline last year, but the main factor was the rise of the U.S. dollar, which made wealth denominated in other currencies look comparatively smaller.

Here’s the full press release from Credit Suisse.

This year’s report focuses on the middle classes, as defined by personal wealth rather than profession. It says 14% of adults worldwide are middle class, with $50,000 to $500,000 of assets. From 2008 onwards, wealth growth has not allowed the middle-class to keep pace with population growth. Furthermore, the distribution of wealth gains has shifted in favor of those at higher wealth levels. So if you want to benefit from this trend, or at least make your financial life easier, simply get your net worth above the middle-class range. 🙂

Random Useless Fact:

Mosquito bite? Press a hot spoon onto the spot. The heat will destroy the protein that caused the reaction and the itching will stop.