Bill Gates tops a soon-to-be-released list of the world’s top 10 billionaires at $89.3 billion, followed by his friend Warren Buffett at $73.5 billion.
The top 10 billionaires — nine from the United States, one from Spain — have a combined net worth of $582 billion, according to a soon-to-be-released list of the world’s top 10 billionaires by Wealth-X, a financial research firm.
There were 2,473 billionaires in the world, as of Wealth-X’s last count through 2015. That was a 6.4 percent increase in billionaires from the year before.
"But who these billionaires are and what they’re like is more difficult to discern. Many may seem as ordinary as the guy sitting next to you on the train — or in Michael Bloomberg’s case, standing beside you on the subway, when he was mayor of New York. (Mr. Bloomberg is No. 9 on Wealth-X’s list.)," the New York Times explained.
"There are certainly billionaires who want to save the world, like Mr. Gates, Mr. Buffett and Mr. Bloomberg, who have pledged to give their fortunes away. Others in the top 10 are also philanthropic, but they are still focusing on their day jobs, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Alphabet (the parent of Google) — Nos. 4, 5 and 10," the Times said.
"Yet many of the billionaires beyond the top 10 or 20 have a much lower profile," the Times reported.
Meanwhile, just how they got so rich also varies.
Six of the top 10 billionaires made their money in technology. But in Wealth-X’s research, technology ranks sixth overall for the number of billionaires on the list, with 114 around the world, the Times reported.
Finance has created the most billionaires, with 377, or 15 percent of the world’s billionaires. It is followed by industrial conglomerates, with 317, or 13 percent.
And while one may be lucky to have such wealth, the top two billionaires show that it also matters just how you spend it.
Gates has recalled how he and fellow Buffett once had lunch together at McDonald's — and you will not believe how they paid for it.
The Microsoft chairman, in his 2017 annual letter — which this year he and his wife Melissa address to Buffett — asks the legendary "Oracle of Omaha" if he recalled a road trip they went on took.
"Remember the laugh we had when we traveled together to Hong Kong and decided to get lunch at McDonald's?" Gates wrote.
"You offered to pay, dug into your pocket, and pulled out . . . coupons!"
He jokingly called Buffett — the third richest man in the world worth an estimated $75 billion — a "big spender" who values "a good deal."
Meanwhile, Forbes Magazine recently released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans, a record 42 of whom are immigrants from 21 countries.
The 42 have a combined net worth of $250 billion, Forbes reports, and include New York City grocery mogul John Catsimatidis ($3.3 billion, Greece), Tesla founder Elon Musk ($11.6 billion, South Africa) and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum ($8.8 billion, Ukraine), the Washington Post reported.
"Six of the 42 richest immigrants on the Forbes list are from Israel, five are from India, and four each are from Hungary and Taiwan. Moscow native and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose parents brought him to the United States when he was six, leads the immigrant list with an estimated net worth of $37.5 billion," the Post reported.
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