The Increasing Wealth Gap

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.

But maybe we don’t even need a million dollars to be considered wealthy. The National Post published a simple quiz to help us decide if we’re rich or not.

There are 5 yes or no questions. Here is my result.

Gee whiz. Well I guess if an internet questionnaire says so then it must be true. 🙂


Random Useless Fact:

David Beckham owns a US $250,000 Patek Philippe watch.


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01/19/2017 1:39 pm

Damn, I only scored a 4 outta 5 on the quiz too… I guess i still have some work to do… Oops let me rephrase, I’ve still got some planning and investing to do 😉 – Cheers

Smart Provisions
Smart Provisions
01/20/2017 11:27 am

Haha to the “Are You Rich” quiz. I answered “Yes” to 3 of the 5 questions and I wasn’t sure about one of them, but I got “You are not considered rich”.

01/21/2017 5:38 pm

Mentioning the Brits. Liquid, do you have any opinion on British stocks since the UK is leaving the European Union. I had previously purchased GSK stocks before the bad news happened. Should I sell or wait until it bounces back? Should stay away from UK stocks? I would love your opinion on it. Thanks.

01/24/2017 7:16 pm

Thanks. I will wait too.