Every year, Forbes magazine releases their list of the richest people in the world. This year, Forbes sent a team of workers to carefully analyze the files of more than 1,000 billionaires. This list is a snapshot of the world’s richest men as of February 12, 2010. Because of the volatility of the stock market, this list can change quite frequently, and may already be out of date.
Without further delay, here are the world’s top 10 richest men as of Feb 12, 2010:
10. Karl Albrecht ($23.5 Billion)
This German visionary entrepreneur founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo. Albrecht is the richest man in his country and the tenth richest man in the world. Even though he made $2 billion dollars in 2009, he fell from his #6 position of last year.
9. Amancio Ortega ($25 Billion)
Ortega is a Spanish fashion designer who has appeared on the top 10 list for a few years running. Last year he was #10, so this represents a slight improvement. He co-founded Inditex Group, and he has lately been busy exporting his Zara stores all over the world.
8. Eike Batista ($27 Billion)
The richest man in Brazil was #61 last year with a net-worth of $7.5 Billion. What a difference a year makes! This college dropout has made his fortune mining iron-ore.
7. Bernard Arnault ($27.5 Billion)
Arnault holds his #7 position from 2009. This French business man owns the world’s largest luxury goods empire. Perhaps you’ve heard of some of his brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
6. Lawrence Ellison ($28 Billion)
This American is the founder of Oracle. Even though he is 5.5 billion dollars richer than last year, he slips from the #4 to the #6 position.
5. Lakshmi Mittal ($28.7 Billion)
Originally from India, Mittal inherited his fortune from his family. That doesn’t mean he’s content to spend it away. He’s been growing it at a rapid pace in the steel industry.
He jumps from the 8th spot to claim #5.
4. Mukesh Ambani ($29 Billion)
Ambani is another Indian who has been diligently growing his inherited fortune, this time in the petrochemical industry. He increased his fortune by almost $10 billion in 2009, catapulting him from #7 to #4.
3. Warren Buffett ($47 Billion)
Even though he dropped from his #2 position of last year, Buffett gained $10 billion dollars in 2009. He made some pretty big bets on General Electric and Goldman Sachs. As he told his investors: “When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.”
2. Bill Gates ($53 Billion)
Gates has held the #1 spot for 14 of the last 15 years (he briefly lost the position in 2008), but this year he drops to #2 despite increasing his fortune by nearly $13 billion in 2009. This was mostly due to his massive stake in Microsoft, whose stock rose more than 50%.
1. Carlos Slim Helu ($53.5 Billion)
The Mexican telecom investor gained a massive $18.5 billion in 2009 to barely edge out Bill Gates and to become the richest man on the planet.
This was largely due to America Movil’s great year, in which Carlos holds a 23 billon dollar stake.