In examining the Forbes’ list of the wealthiest, one is astonished by the concentration of so much wealth in so few hands. Such excessive inequality is indeed bothersome: because not only it is an ethical outrage but also it is undercutting growth and creating one of the most significant hurdles to ending poverty.
Observe the “humble beginnings” of many on the Forbes lists. Much of the self-made fortunes are ascribable to vibrant entrepreneurial capitalism. Few become billionaires by exploiting others … most get rich through millions of happy customers.
Intersting Trivia About the Forbes’ Billionaires List
- Of the Forbes’ billionaires, John Paul DeJoria, Richard Branson, and Leonardo Del Vecchio never attended college. Ross Perot attended community college.
- Many individuals going to great lengths to keep their finances discreet. Public companies are required to disclose information. Private companies can be trickier. Forbes calculates net worth by trying to determine the value of every asset and use only what they can prove. They also always give the billionaire a chance to provide input.
- There are possibly many billionaires that aren’t on the list, whether due to secrecy or lack of evidence. It’s hard to amass that much money and hide its source or where it’s parked without drawing attention.
Secrets of the Self-Made Billionaires
- President Donald Trump’s contrarian advice: “Screw ’em back. If someone screws you, nail them to the wall.”
- Telecommunications mogul Kenny Troutt‘s hardest lesson he had to learn: “Money does not buy happiness.”
- Media proprietor and investor Mortimer Zuckerman‘s greatest guilty pleasure: “There used to be guilt associated with most of my pleasures and now there is none.”
- Media proprietor and investor Mortimer Zuckerman on the correct amount to leave to children: “Enough to support them, but not enough to leave them without ambition.”
- Banker Sanford Weill‘s hardest lesson he had to learn: “Recognizing a problem and addressing it right away before it becomes a bigger problem.”
- Sports promoter O. Bruton Smith‘s contrarian advice: “Hard work overcomes a lot of incompetence. You can talk about trying to be highly qualified with an MBA and all of that, but hard work seems to overcome so many negatives in life.”
- Investor and money manager Ken Fisher‘s hardest lesson he had to learn: “That others usually don’t see me as I see myself.”
- Retail entrepreneur John Catsimatidis‘s hardest lesson he had to learn: “Some people may just not like you for no reason at all.”
- American attorney Joseph Jamail Jr.‘s contrarian advice: “Don’t trust politicians who are convinced they have the answer and who say “trust me.””
- Sports team owner Michael Heisley‘s greatest guilty pleasure: “Stealing an hour or two to be completely alone and not reachable.”
- Sports team owner Michael Heisley‘s hardest lesson he had to learn: “Wealth is one of the most corrupting influences in my life.”