2024’s Top 10 Wealthiest People

As we delve into 2024, the landscape of global wealth continues to evolve, shaped by technological advancements, market fluctuations, and innovative business strategies. The world’s wealthiest individuals have not only maintained their fortunes but have seen significant growth in their net worth. 

Based on data from the Real-Time Billionaires List, let’s explore the top 10 richest people in the world as of 2024, examining their sources of wealth, recent developments, and the factors contributing to their financial success.

1. Elon Musk – Net Worth: $205.4 Billion

Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, continues to hold the top spot on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Musk’s net worth has seen remarkable growth, primarily driven by the success of his electric vehicle company, Tesla, and his space exploration venture, SpaceX.

Tesla’s stock has experienced significant volatility but has maintained an overall upward trajectory, bolstered by the increasing global adoption of electric vehicles and the company’s advancements in autonomous driving technology. SpaceX has also contributed substantially to Musk’s wealth, with its groundbreaking achievements in reusable rocket technology and its Starlink satellite internet service.

In addition to his primary ventures, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter (now X) in 2022 has added a new dimension to his business portfolio. Despite initial controversies, Musk has implemented significant changes to the platform, aiming to transform it into a more versatile “everything app”.

Musk’s wealth, however, is not without its challenges. He has faced legal battles, including a Delaware judge’s decision to invalidate his $55 billion Tesla pay package. Despite these setbacks, Musk’s innovative spirit and the continued success of his companies have kept him at the pinnacle of global wealth.

2. Jeff Bezos – Net Worth: $203.2 Billion

According to the Real-Time Billionaires List, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, holds the second position on the list. Bezos’s wealth primarily stems from his 9% stake in Amazon, the e-commerce and cloud computing giant. Amazon’s continued dominance in online retail and its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform has been the primary driver of Bezos’s fortune.

In recent years, Bezos has diversified his investments, focusing on his space exploration company, Blue Origin, and various other ventures through his investment firm, Bezos Expeditions. His acquisition of The Washington Post in 2013 has also proven to be a strategic move in the media landscape.

Bezos’s wealth has fluctuated with Amazon’s stock price, but the company’s strong performance in e-commerce and cloud services has maintained his position among the world’s wealthiest individuals. His recent focus on philanthropy, including the Bezos Earth Fund, demonstrates a shift towards leveraging his wealth for global impact.

3. Bernard Arnault & Family – Net Worth: $200.0 Billion

Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), leads the luxury goods empire that has secured his family’s place among the world’s wealthiest. LVMH’s portfolio of over 70 prestigious brands across fashion, wines and spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewelry has been the cornerstone of Arnault’s fortune.

Under Arnault’s leadership, LVMH has continued to expand its reach in the luxury market through strategic acquisitions and brand development. The company’s ability to navigate the challenges posed by global economic fluctuations and changing consumer preferences has been key to maintaining its market position.

Arnault has also been focusing on succession planning, with several of his children taking on significant roles within the LVMH group. This strategic move aims to ensure the family’s continued influence and the company’s long-term stability.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Net Worth: $176.5 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), has seen his wealth grow significantly in recent years. Meta’s family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, continues to dominate the social media landscape, contributing substantially to Zuckerberg’s net worth.

Zuckerberg’s focus on the “metaverse” concept has led to significant investments in virtual and augmented reality technologies. While these investments have faced scrutiny, they represent Meta’s long-term vision for the future of social interaction and digital experiences.

The company’s ability to monetize its massive user base through advertising and its ventures into e-commerce have been key factors in its financial success. Despite facing regulatory challenges and public scrutiny over privacy concerns, Meta’s stock has shown resilience, reflecting investor confidence in Zuckerberg’s leadership and the company’s future prospects.

5. Larry Ellison – Net Worth: $153.7 Billion

Larry Ellison’s net worth is $153.7 Billion. He is the co-founder, executive chairman, and CTO of Oracle Corporation. Oracle’s strong performance in the enterprise software and cloud computing markets has been the primary driver of Ellison’s wealth.

Ellison’s strategic decisions, including Oracle’s focus on cloud infrastructure and applications, have positioned the company as a major player in the digital transformation of businesses worldwide. The company’s acquisition strategy and its development of AI and machine learning capabilities have further strengthened its market position.

Beyond Oracle, Ellison has made significant investments in various sectors, including real estate and the island of Lanai in Hawaii. His involvement in the America’s Cup yacht racing and other philanthropic efforts have also garnered attention.

6. Larry Page – Net Worth: $135.4 Billion

Larry Page, co-founder of Google and board member of Alphabet Inc., has seen his wealth grow alongside the continued success of Google and its parent company, Alphabet. The company’s dominance in online search, digital advertising, and various other tech sectors has been the primary source of Page’s fortune.

While Page stepped down from his role as CEO of Alphabet in 2019, his significant ownership stake in the company ensures his place among the world’s wealthiest. Alphabet’s ventures into AI, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies have contributed to its strong market performance and, consequently, to Page’s net worth.

Page has also been investing in “flying car” companies and other futuristic technologies, demonstrating his continued interest in innovative and potentially disruptive technologies.

7. Sergey Brin – Net Worth: $129.9 Billion

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google alongside Larry Page, holds a position similar to his partner in the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Brin’s fortune, like Page’s, is primarily tied to his ownership stake in Alphabet Inc.

While no longer involved in day-to-day operations at Alphabet, Brin continues to be a significant shareholder and board member. His wealth has benefited from Alphabet’s strong performance across its various business segments, including Google Search, YouTube, Google Cloud, and its “Other Bets” category, which includes more experimental ventures.

Brin has shown interest in cutting-edge technologies, including augmented reality and blockchain. His philanthropic efforts, particularly in the field of Parkinson’s disease research, have also been notable.

8. Bill Gates – Net Worth: $127.0 Billion

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has maintained his position among the world’s wealthiest despite his significant philanthropic efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. While Microsoft continues to be a major source of Gates’ wealth, his investment portfolio has diversified significantly over the years.

Gates’ investment company, Cascade Investment LLC, holds stakes in various sectors, including energy, hospitality, and real estate. His focus on addressing global challenges through philanthropy, particularly in areas such as global health, education, and climate change, has become a defining aspect of his post-Microsoft career.

Despite pledging to give away the majority of his wealth, Gates’ remaining assets and investment returns have kept him among the top echelons of global wealth. His insights on technology, global health, and climate change continue to be highly influential.

9. Steve Ballmer – Net Worth: $117.1 Billion

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, has seen his wealth grow significantly in recent years. The majority of Ballmer’s fortune comes from his stake in Microsoft, which he led as CEO from 2000 to 2014.

Under Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft expanded its enterprise software business and made significant acquisitions, including Skype. Since leaving Microsoft, Ballmer has focused on his ownership of the Clippers and various philanthropic efforts, including the Ballmer Group, which focuses on improving economic mobility for children and families.

Ballmer’s energetic personality and his investments in sports and community development have made him a notable figure beyond the tech world. His USAFacts initiative, which aims to make government data more accessible and understandable, reflects his continued interest in leveraging data for public benefit.

10. Warren Buffett – Net Worth: $133 Billion

Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” rounds out the top 10 list. As the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has built his fortune through astute investments and acquisitions across various sectors.

Berkshire Hathaway’s diverse portfolio, which includes significant stakes in companies like Apple, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola, has been the primary source of Buffett’s wealth. The conglomerate’s insurance operations, including GEICO, have also been major contributors to its financial success.

Buffett’s value investing philosophy and his ability to identify undervalued companies have been key to his long-term success. Despite his pledge to give away the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes, Buffett’s remaining assets and Berkshire Hathaway’s continued strong performance have maintained his position among the world’s wealthiest individuals.