Forbe richest folks in America list came out today. I honestly don’s even know how the article popped up, but as I clicked off one page, there it was, staring me in the face. Taunting. Bill Gates, 18th consecutive year. Richest man in America. Warren Buffet, 2. Larry Ellison, who simply refuses to age gracefully, sitting pretty at 3. Here the funny part: Warren Buffet lost about $6 Billion and is STILL 2. Chalk that up to modest living I suppose. What interesting about this story is the newcomers, the ones to watch, and how even in a time of great economic downturn, the rich do get richer.
In looking at the success of some of these folks, they just had the right idea at the right time. Mark Zuckerberg and his ubiquitous Facebook needs no explanation, just as Sergey Brin and Larry Page are Googlitious (I made that word up) at 15. Others were just plain business savvy, like the Walton of Wal-Mart fame and notable returner Howard Schultz of Starbucks. (I guess people do drink coffee and tea when money is tight.) While these folks aren’s necessarily newcomers (they e been around for a bit), it fascinating to see the stories behind them. For example, I learned today that Forever XXI owner is named Do Won Chang, and he and his wife are born-again Christians. How awesome is that story? Just as cool is Sheldon Adelson, who at 78 is taking the casino business to Asia and making ad paper He up $7B from last year! Casinos. Old School. Even Sean Parker, who helped fuel a lot of my college-aged nostalgia for 80 music has returned to the Billionaire club with Spotify, a popular music subscription service. Haters can hate, but everyone loves a good come-back story.
Ones to watch include Paul Singer, who firm Elliot Associates, manages $17B in assets and has an average 14% return since 1977. That more incredible than Brooklyn Decker lung capacity. As an athlete, I always fond of athletic companies, and Kevin Plank is no different. I can be in an airport and see a man in khaki , loafers, and a beer belly, but wrapped in an Under Armour t-shirt. I’l never understand it. But hey, sales are sales, and Under Armour is everywhere. Elon Musk sells Paypal and then invests in three separate companies, including Tesla and Space X. Jack Dorsey who came up with the original idea behind Twitter, is now Chairman of the Tweets and running Square, which is designed to improve payment from those little iDevices (you know).
So while it exciting to see folks attain success and motivate ourselves to join their ranks, we have to ask, ow do the rich get richer? Well, that a topic for another time, but it fairly simple. If you have an great idea, and you’e as poor as a church mouse, you need investors. That takes time, energy, a great proposal, etc. If it takes off, awesome. Then, for your next idea, you simply make it happen. Or you better your product/service. It business 101 really, but with all the current debt issues in America, it will be interesting to see how the ultra-rich landscape changes over the next four years. As for me, you can donate me money via Paypal, and I’l happily report from the top. Ya know, just so we can get a different perspective.
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