Throughout the year, Bloomberg L.P., a financial software, data and media company from New York City, publishes an update chart of the richest people in the world. With a range of various factors affecting the financial markets, the ranking has been constantly changing. On December 31, the very last day of the year, Bloomberg released the latest version of the chart. If you don’t find yourself among these 25 richest people in the world, keep calm and remember the old saying that money cannot buy happiness.
Forrest Mars Jr., net worth: $26.5 billion
Born in Illinois in 1931, John Mars is a co-owner of Mars Inc., the world´s second largest confectionery. Operating in 75 countries all over the world, the company produces candy (Mars, Milky Way, Snickers, Orbit), pet food (Pedigree, Whiskas) as well as packaged food such (Uncle Ben´s).
Jacqueline Mars, net worth: $26.5 billion
75-year-old Jacqueline Mars is one of just a few women that made it to the list. With her two brothers John and Forrest, she is also a co-owner of Mars Inc. Jacqueline has three children and has been married to David H. Badger (1961-84) and Hank Vogel (1986-94).
Al-Waleed bin Talal, net worth: $27.1 billion
Born in 1955 in Riyadh, Talal (full name Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud) is a Saudi business magnate and the founder of Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based conglomerate that has investments in hotels, real estate and publicly traded securities. Due to his prominence as a businessman, Time labeled the Prince as the “Arabian Warren Buffett.”
Sheldon Adelson, net worth: $28.2 billion
Born in Boston but living in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson is a business magnate, investor and philanthropist. A father of five children, Adelson is the chairman and majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, the world’s largest casino company. He is also known as a major contributor to Republican Party candidates.
Jack Ma, net worth: $28.4 billion
A former English teacher who earned $15 a month, Jack Ma is currently the richest man in China. Ma is the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest collection of e-commerce websites. The first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes, he is also notable for his generous charity projects and conservationist efforts.
Jeff Bezos, net worth: $28.6 billion
50-year-old Bezos is the chairman and largest shareholder of Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer. A former Wall Street computer engineer with a bachelor degree from Princeton University, Bezos also purchased The Washington Post newspaper in 2013 for $250 million.
Sergey Brin, net worth: $29.4 billion
Russian-born American Sergey Brin is the director and co-founder of Google, the world’s largest search-engine operator. Together with his university friend Larry Page, they own about 16 percent of the company that handles more than 5 billion searches a day. Referred to as the “Enlightenment Man” by the Economist, Brin has donated millions to research on Parkinson’s disease.
Li Ka-Shing, net worth: $29.6 billion
Born in 1928, Li is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, philanthropist and the richest person in Asia. From his humble beginnings in China as a teacher’s son, a refugee, and later as a salesman, Li made it to the position of Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings. Currently, he is the world’s largest operator of container terminals and the world’s largest health and beauty retailer.
Stefan Persson, net worth: $29.6 billion
67-year-old Persson is a Swedish billionaire and an avid sportsman. A graduate from University of Stockholm, he is the chairman and main shareholder in fashion company H&M, which was founded by his father Erling Persson in 1947. A father of 3 children, Persson also donated $60 million to build a new center for the Nobel Foundation.
Larry Page, net worth: $29.7 billion
Born in Michigan in 1973, Page is an American business magnate and computer scientist. A holder of master degree in computer science, he is a co-founder and chief executive officer of Google. Page is a supporter of plug-in hybrid electric cars and other alternative energy investments.
Bernard Arnault, net worth: $31.1 billion
Born in 1949, Arnault, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) is the richest man in France. His company, which is the world’s largest maker of luxury goods, had a revenue of $39 billion in 2013. Arnault is also an owner of famous French wineries and impressive art collections which include pieces by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol.
Liliane Bettencourt, net worth: $33 billion
Another French citizen, Bettencourt is a heiress, socialite, businesswoman, philanthropist and currently the richest woman in Europe. This 92-year-old lady owns 33 percent of L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics maker. Bettencourt inherited her father’s stake in 1957 and retains ownership of the fortune, which has been managed by her daughter and two grandsons since 2012.
Mark Zuckerberg, net worth: $34.5 billion
30-year old Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of five co-founders and chief executive officer of Facebook, the world’s largest social-networking company with about 1.3 billion monthly users. In 2010, when Facebook reached the 500 million user mark, Time magazine named Zuckerberg the Person of the Year.
Alice Walton, net worth: $39 billion
Born in 1949, Alice Walton is the youngest child of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and the heiress to his fortune of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – the world’s biggest retailer and largest employer in the U.S. As an avid art lover, she donated her collection of American art to her museum, Crystal Bridges, in 2011.
Rob Walton, net worth: $39.7 billion
70-year-old Rob Walton is the eldest son of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart. A keen collector of vintage cars and racing car driver, Rob Walton has been the chairman of Wal-Mart since his father’s death in 1992. A holder of bachelor degree in business administrative from the University of Arkansas, he is married and has 3 children.
Jim Walton, net worth: $40.8 billion
Born and still living in Arkansas, Jim Walton is the third surviving child of Sam Walton and heir to his fortune. Jim replaced his brother John on the Wal-Mart board after his death in 2005. Apart from being a co-owner of Wal-Mart, he also oversees Arvest Bank and media company Community Publishers.
Christy Walton, net worth: $41.8 billion
With a net worth of almost 42 billion dollars as of December 31, Christy Walton, a widow of John Walton, the second son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was the world´s richest woman in 2014. Christy Walton resides in Wyoming and has one son, Lukas. Her husband, John, died in the crash of an experimental aircraft in 2005.
Ingvar Kamprad, net worth: $45 billion
The founder of Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, Kamprad is another Swedish business magnate that made it into the list. Ikea Group employs more than 150,000 people and operates over 350 stores in 46 countries. From 1976 to 2014, Kamprad lived in Switzerland where he found a tax exile.
Larry Ellison, net worth: $48.8 billion
70-year-old Ellison is the founder and largest shareholder of Oracle, the world’s biggest database company. Born in New York City, raised in Chicago and living in California, Ellison is a collector of Samurai armor and weaponry, an avid tennis player and guitarist. He is known for donating up to 1% of his wealth to charity, in particular after a motorcycle accident he had in the early 1990s.
David Koch, net worth: $50.3 billion
A holder of both bachelor and master degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Koch is an executive vice president and board member of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the United States. Koch is considered one of the most generous American billionaires, funding many cultural as well as medical institutions.
Charles Koch, net worth: $50.3 billion
An elder brother of David, Charles Koch is a co-owner, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries. The brothers each own 42 percent of the company. Similarly to his brother David, Charles also supports a number of organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies or the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Amancio Ortega - net worth: $61.1 billion
Born in 1936, Ortega is a Spanish fashion executive and founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, the world’s largest clothing retailer best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. With his company operating more than 6,200 stores worldwide, Ortega is the richest person in Europe.
Carlos Slim, net worth: $72.6 billion
The chairperson and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil, Slim is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Known as the “Warren Buffett of Mexico“, Slim was ranked as the richest person of the world from 2010 to 2013. With a net worth of 72.6 billion dollars as of December 31, he ended up third in 2014.
Warren Buffet, net worth: $73.8 billion
Nicknamed the “Wizard of Omaha”, 84-year-old Buffet is the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. Buffett is a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away most of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation. He also encourages other billionaires to donate parts of their fortunes.
Bill Gates, net worth: $86.6 billion
There is probably no need to introduce this man but just in case someone doesn’t know where his fortune came from, Gates is co-founder and former long term CEO and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company. He gradually transitioned from his work at Microsoft to work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a large private organization founded by him and his wife to enhance healthcare and reduce poverty in the world.