The Top 20 Richest People In The World – And Their Key Lessons

The Top 20 Richest People In The World – And Their Key Lessons

Have you ever wondered who the richest people in the world are?

And have you wondered why they are the richest?

Me too. So I did some research and came up with this list of the richest people in the world, and each person's key lesson responsible for their success.

Some of them have been in the public eye for many years, others seem to have climbed the financial ladder almost overnight.

No matter how long it took for them to build their fortune – most of the billionaires I'm about to discuss have made a huge impact in the world in their areas respectively.

Let's take a closer look at who exactly these top 20 richest people in the world are and what you can learn from them (to hopefully make this list one day).

The Top 20 Richest People In The World & Their Biggest Lessons

Below you will find a recently updated list of the richest people in the world, but with the change of demand and markets, the net worth of these people fluctuates daily.

Forbes' realtime list of billionaires is a great resource if you want to see the current list of the richest people in the world.

#20- Jack Ma

Jack Ma is the co-founder of the world’s five largest e-commerce companies Alibaba Group. At the age of 55, he is currently worth $42.2B.

🔑 Key Lesson

Jack has been respected for decades for his ethics and high moral standards. He strongly believes in putting the customer's trust and needs first, thus only selling high-quality products that comply with the latest trends and technologies.

#19- Julia Koch

Julia Koch suddenly became one of the richest people in the world when her husband David passed away in 2019.

At the age of 56, Julia and her three children inherited 42% of her husband’s stake in Koch Industries, ultimately increasing her worth to an incredible $47.6B.

🔑 Key Lesson

Julias was a great support system for her late husband, putting family first. Nowadays, she emphasizes valuing money and helping the less fortunate.

#18- Charles Koch

Also sitting on a comfortable worth of $47.6B is 84-year-old Charles Koch.

His fortune derives from the above mentioned Koch Industries, America's second-largest private company by revenue.

🔑 Key Lesson

Charles dedicates his success to his father, who made him work and understand the value of time at a young age. He also values work ethics and staying on top of his health.

#17- Ma Huateng

48-year-old Ma Huateng is currently worth $48.3B. He is one of the chairmen and co-founder of Tencent Holdings.

Also known as ‘Pony Ma’, Huateng turned his tech business into one of China’s largest and the world’s fifth most valuable public firms in only two decades, worth no less than $556B.

🔑 Key Lesson

Ma's success strategy is based on motivating competition and a small bounce-bacl-rate. He encourages his employees to not only compete against each other and innovate, but to also share new strategies to create new hot products that sell fast.

#16- Carlos Slim Helu & family

Carlos Slim Helu is one of those billionaires who is not only rich when it comes to money, but especially valuable lessons. He and his family own America Movil, which is Latin America's biggest mobile telecom firm.

Carlos is currently 80 years old and with a net worth of $53.8B Mexico’s richest man- also ranking at #16 of the richest people in the world.

🔑 Key Lesson

Carlo's non-negotiable key to success and in knowing your business inside out and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. He always emphasizes on selling products that will create an immediate change or aid in a person's life.

#15-#13- The Walton family

Rob, Alice, and Jim Walton are the children of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart which is one the the world’s biggest retail companies. They own a big portion of the family-run firm and rank at number 15, 14, and 13 of the richest people in the world.

Rob Walton is the oldest son of Sam Walton and former chairman of Walmart. At the age of 75, he is currently worth $54.8B.

He is surpassed by his sister Alice Walton, 71. She is an avid art curator and philanthropist worth $55B.

Jim Walton is 72 years of age and with $55.1B currently the richest of his siblings. In cooperation with his sister, he funds organisations with millions of dollars to support education.

🔑 Key Lesson

The Walton's key principle was the constant communication with their customers, to serve them in any way possible, and make sure that all needs are met.

#12- Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman on the planet, currently worth an incredible $57.8B. She is the granddaughter of L'Oreal founder Eugène Schueller and shares with her family 33% of the humongous company.

Even though most of her fortune is a result of her inheritance, Francoise is also a passionate author.

🔑 Key Lesson

Although born into a life of luxury, Francoise has always chosen to work hard on her career as both an author and a member of L'Oreal's board of directors and has never let family feuds or personal issues get in the way of her success.

#11- Michael Bloomberg

Philanthropist and co-founder of the technology and mass media focused company Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg ranks #11 of the list of the richest people in the world.

The 78-year-old is currently worth $60.1B, which derive from his 88% shares in his own company.

🔑 Key Lesson

Michael is known for his quick thinking and diligent work ethics. He not only embraces challenges but thrives through them and never lets fear stop or distract him.

This was the first part of our list.

So far, we can see that internal as well as external communication are just as important as persistence, adapting to new technologies as well as a small bounce back rate.

Let’s check out if these core values are different from the ones of the 10 richest people in the world below.

#10- Sergey Brin

At only 46 years old, Sergey Brin is worth $62.1B.

Sergey is the co-founder of Google and just recently resigned from his role as the president of Google’s mother company Alphabet.

🔑 Key Lesson

Sergey’s aspiration is to change the world with new technologies. His core value is to work only with the best of the best, building his and his co-workers work ethics on trust, creativity, and the willingness to not get intimidated by challenges.

#9- Larry Page

The same values can of course be contributed to Larry Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin. The 47-year-old is looking at a current net worth of $64.5B, earning him one of the places in the top ten of the richest people in the world.

Larry recently stepped down from his position as CEO of Alphabet. However, he is still an active board member and controlling shareholder.

🔑 Key Lesson

Page stands for persistence and balancing innovation with business strategies. He is all about innovation and going after the big and crazy ideas that will leave a huge impact. And – just like Brin – hiring the right people is of the utmost importance.

#8- Steve Ballmer

$65.2B is the amount of money Steve Ballmer currently has to his name. The 64-year-old led Microsoft to success during his 14-year career as its CEO.

Ever since Steve resigned from his position in 2014, he has been an active philanthropist. Even though he is constantly donating billions of dollars to good causes, he is still one of the richest people in the world.

🔑 Key Lesson

Steve showed that going with the time and innovating company standards is crucial. Evaluating leadership styles was just as much the key to his success as the role he played in motivating employees to strive for excellence.

#7- Amancio Ortgega

At 84 years of age, Amancio Ortgega has become an absolute tycoon.

Amancio is the pioneer of fast fashion, which has made him one of the richest people in Europe. His fashion empire, including the world-famous brand Zara, has accumulated him a net worth of $67B.

🔑 Key Lesson

Amancio is definitely a people person and focuses his business around his customer's need for innovative products, as well as working alongside his employees, instead of above them.

#6- Larry Ellison

In the late 1970’s, Larry Ellison founded Oracle, which nowadays is one of the biggest global software companies.

As the retired CEO of his firm, Larry is still an important chairman and is estimated to be worth $67.1B, almost giving him a place in the top 5 of the richest people in the world.

🔑 Key Lesson

Larry believes in all things self-made: self-education, taking action yourself, seeking motivation yourself, and following your own goals yourself. You should also create your own vision and stick to your own opinion.

#5- Warren Buffett

90-year-old Warren Buffet is one of the most successful investors on our planet and currently worth $72.5B. He owns over 60 companies in different sectors.

Warren and his wife are heavily involved in humanitarian activities and donate billions to big foundations, trying to make the world a better place.

🔑 Key Lesson

Being an investor, Warren's focus is on staying humble and spending your money wisely. But investing also means educating yourself, taking lessons from every situation and making sure to maintain a good rep!

#4- Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the biggest social network Facebook, is currently ranked at #4 of the richest people in the world.

Mark revolutionized communication in the early 2000s and is currently worth an incredible $85.4B. His ambition is to help others and bring the world together.

🔑 Key Lesson

In all of his speeches, Mark's #1 tip is to fail fast and learn from it. Also, knowing the basics of anything you want to work on is just as essential as adapting your products to the latest innovations as soon as they hit.

#3- Bernard Arnault & family

Bernard Arnault and his family have an accumulated worth of $103.1B which lands them in the third place of the richest people in the world.

The 71-year-old credits his financial expertise to his father. Bernard turned the unique demands of the rich and famous into an empire of luxury brands, incl. Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

🔑 Key Lesson

Bernard is an advocate for not re-inventing the wheel but to rather apply proven strategies. Based on his experience, success is a mix of hard work, the art of staying relevant, creating in-demand products, and valuing employees.

#2- Bill Gates

A close runner-up to the title of the richest man in the world is Bill Gates.

He founded Microsoft in 1975, chairs his own foundation, and is closely involved with humanitarian activities. At currently 65-year-old, Bill has collected a worth of $108.1B.

🔑 Key Lesson

Bill considers taking full responsibility for all your actions to be the #1 key to success. So start early, develop yourself continuously, take consistent action, work with experts, and learn from mistakes.

#1 – Jeff Bezos

Undoubtedly #1 of the richest people in the world is Jeff Bezos, the 56-year-old founder of Amazon.

With an incredible worth of currently $148.8B (update: now actually he passed 200B), Jeff is involved in many other businesses and innovations, such as creating rockets for commercial use.

🔑 Key Lesson

Jeff's most important lesson is to fixate on your goal, but be flexible with your plan on how to get there. Be open to change the method, strategies, and plans as you go along the journey – but never sacrifice the end game goal.


What did you think?

Where there some habits and success strategies that you would like to incorporate into your own routines?

Learning from the richest people in the world is surely a great way to become a successful entrepreneur or move your existing business to the next level.

Overall, we can see that consistency, sticking to your vision, being flexible and innovative in addition to great work ethics are key elements of a successful and sustainable business.

All of these people also understand the value of USP (unique selling proposition). If you want to be one of the richest people in the world, you'll need to provide a lot of value to the world.

And if you really wanna grow, learning from your own mistakes is just as essential.

Remember that failure is part of the process – and that the only true failure lies in giving up!

Which of these people do you look up to the most? Comment below!

Written by
Johannes Larsson
Join the discussion

  • Deep thought provoking read and learn the art of success.
    Read some where long back – Failures are pillars of success.
    Thank you for in-depth analysis.

  • Informative, interesting yet provocative to me. I realize there is no secret sauce to success though we all know the ingradients are roughly the same – hard work, honesty, knowledge etc. Average performances abound. Success is purely accidental. When Mark Z came out with FaceBook, I thought he had gone nuts. That time I thought he does not manufacture/ sell any product – bread, steel, oil.. so he will never make any money. But see where he is today. We can learn tehniques, crafts but not success. Success is accidental. It can come to those who were not worth even thinking about and may elude those whom we thought truely deserved. All said and done, the player who leaves the field has zero chance to score a goal. Those who stay put do have good chance of scoring the goal. So, work till you succeed.

    • “All said and done, the player who leaves the field has zero chance to score a goal. Those who stay put do have good chance of scoring the goal. So, work till you succeed.” – Agreed, Ahupati. We cannot score if we’re not on the pitch.

  • Who I look up to the most? That will be Jeff Bezos. And It’s not because he is the richest man in the world. I have always love Amazon’s customer-centric strategy and the way they scale vertically and quickly.