I’m reading Warren Buffets new book Snowball. It’s well written and interesting. Buffet is someone that I’ve always liked. Knowing more about his story made me curious about the nature of the super rich. After reading more on the Forbes Billionaire List I wanted to see how the top billionaires add up throughout the world.
Primarily I wanted to see the difference between self made and inherited wealth. Inherited wealth always seems like a cheap way to be included on this list. Those people that inherited their wealth didn’t have to work as hard for their money. As I looked through the pictures and read the stories of each billionaire it became evident that those billionaires that inherited their money are less attractive than those that had to earn it. I know that is really shallow but go take a look for yourself. You’ll likely come to the same conclusion.
The other thing that stood out to me is that the only women on the list inherited their fortunes, none of them earned their fortunes. Take that as you will but the fact remains. In the future this may change. 60 years ago segregation and all kinds of social prejudice ran rampant. Only time will tell if this will change.
Lastly, I looked for any correlation between countries that fostered entrepreneurs (thus having more self-made billionaires) and the average income per capita. Using PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) as a guide to the average person’s wealth I found some interesting factors.
1)The middle east had more self made billionaires that what I would have expected.
2)The USA, Hong Kong, and the Middle East have about the same ratio of self made to inherited fortunes.
3)Europe and India both have similar ratios.
4)Russia surprised me by even making the list. Changing from a communist to a free market government would make any inheritance impossible. As the couple generations pass their ratio should change.