Here are the current net worth rankings in 2021 for the list of the top twenty richest people in the world as of January. In looking at this list it is clear that founding and building a business while keeping a large amount of equity ownership in the company is the path to big wealth. Nothing creates net worth on a larger scale than the leverage of building a business that can be taken public. Surprising that no one is on the top 20 list through real estate investments, but it does not create the same level of opportunity of scale. Steve Balmer is the only employee on this list as he was able to use his position as Microsoft employee #30 and CEO to get a large amount of equity in Microsoft early in its growth cycle. Other members of this list were founders or related to those who did. 

  1. Jeff Bezos $188.4 Billion, Amazon Founder, USA
  2. Elon Musk $186.6 Billion, Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla Founder, USA
  3. Bernard Arnault & family $147.5 Billion, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO, France
  4. Bill Gates $120 Billion, Microsoft Founder, USA
  5. Mark Zuckerberg $99.5 Billion, Facebook Founder, USA 
  6. Zhong Shanshan $88.8 Billion chairs Nongfu Spring Water, controls Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, China
  7. Larry Ellison $88.3 Billion, Oracle Founder, USA
  8. Warren Buffett $86.4 Billion, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, USA
  9. Larry Page $80.1 Billion, Co-founder of Google, USA
  10. Steve Ballmer $78.1 Billion, Former CEO of Microsoft, USA
  11. Sergey Brin $77.8 Billion, Co-founder of Google, USA
  12. Mukesh Ambani $72.6 Billion, Father founded Reliance Industries, India
  13. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family $70.8 Billion, Granddaughter of L’Oreal’s founder, France
  14. Amancio Ortega $70.3 Billion, Founder of Zara fashion chain, Spain
  15. Alice Walton $68.3 Billion Father founded Wal*Mart, USA
  16. Jim Walton $67.1 Billion, Father founded Wal*Mart, USA
  17. Rob Walton $66.7 Billion, Father founded Wal*Mart, USA
  18. Ma Huateng $66.1 Billion Cofounded Tencent, China
  19. Jack Ma $61.6 Billion, Founder of Alibaba, China 
  20. Colin Huang $58.6 Billion Founder and CEO of Pinduoduo, China. 

By Steve Burns

After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve began investing in 1993 and trading his accounts in 1995. It was love at first trade. After more than 30 successful years in the markets, Steve now dedicates his time to helping traders improve their psychology and profitability. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 4,000 original articles, online courses, and best-selling books covering various topics.