The ultra-rich who make this exclusive list have net worths in the tens and hundreds of billions and made their vast wealth predominantly through the ownership of corporations in sectors like tech, investments, consumer goods, and more. The magnitude of these personal fortunes is difficult to fathom for most. To provide some perspective, $1 billion equates to 1,000 million dollars. Their business empires and deals have made a worldwide impact over many decades.
The ranking of the richest changes year to year, even month to month. However, these are the world’s richest men at the beginning of 2024, based on credible evaluations of their assets.
- Elon Musk remains firmly the world’s richest man by a large margin, with an approximate net worth of $200 billion.
- Long-time wealthy figures like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet stay in the top 10 richest alongside ultra-wealthy newcomers like Ambani.
- Massive valuations of public tech companies like Tesla, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle led to huge billionaire fortunes like Musk, Gates, Page, Brin and Ellison.
- Sudden leaps or dips among the rankings occur regularly, as exhibited by Jeff Bezos falling from #1 richest to #2 in 2022.
- Owning sizeable portions of corporations that experience substantial growth often translates to becoming one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.
Top 10 Richest Men in the World at the Start of 2024:
|Net Worth (Jan 2024)
|Source of Wealth
|Software – Oracle
|Petrochemicals, Oil & Gas
“Elon Musk: The World’s Richest Person by Far”
With an estimated current net worth of around $200 billion, Elon Musk will be by far the world’s richest man in 2024.
The South African businessman owes the vast majority of his immense fortune to his ownership stakes in revolutionary electric vehicle maker Tesla and private space firm SpaceX. As CEO of both companies, he has become the richest person in the modern era through leading innovation in automotive and space technology.
Other Tech Titans on the Top 10 List
In addition to Musk, tech moguls like former CEOs of Microsoft Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison are mainstays among the exclusive top 10 richest men.
Their stakes in the world’s most popular software and search companies that they founded or led generated the billions that they possess today. Gates, for example, still owns over 1% of Microsoft’s shares, which translates to a value of around $26 billion alone as of early 2024.
Old and New Money
The top 10 list features newer money like Musk along with decades-long fixtures like Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett. Buffet has consistently ranked among the world’s richest for over half a century through his savvy investments and the leadership of his sprawling holding company. Bernard Arnault, the 73-year-old French businessman behind luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, also continues to see his fortune swell from the enduring popularity of his brands like Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
Meanwhile, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani broke into the top 10 in 2022 through the meteoric rise in fortune he saw from Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms over the past several years. His wealth grew by over $41 billion in 2021 alone.
While Musk has a firm grip on the #1 spot and Gates and Buffett have had long stays near the top, fortunes can change in a flash too.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a prime example. He was ranked #1 on the richest person list through 2021 into early 2022, until Musk’s wealth suddenly ballooned to claim the top spot. And even with an estimated $110 billion net worth in early 2024, Bezos has over $90 billion less than Musk today.
Markets, investments, government policies, profits, and scandals are among the many factors that cause turbulence among even the highest echelons of wealth. But these 10 businessmen have built some of the most lucrative and resilient empires in the world today.
The extraordinary wealth possessed by these men is almost incomprehensible for average people. But they built—and in some cases, continue to build—companies that impacted technologies, industries, and ways of life for billions around the world.
By having the business acumen, grit, timing, and innovation to either start or vastly expand corporations like Tesla, Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon, these 10 men have accrued personal fortunes of unique and dizzying proportions.
The volatility of markets ensures that the exact rankings will continue to shift. But these ultra-rich figures persist as members of an elite billionaire class that sees their net worths rise and fall by tens of billions of dollars with business decisions, economic forces, and public perception.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is the richest man in the world in 2024?
According to current evaluations of their assets, Elon Musk is the world’s richest man as of early 2024, with an estimated net worth of around $200 billion.
Who are some of the mainstays among the top 10 richest?
A: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison have consistently ranked among the world’s richest for years and remain in the top 10 today.
How did people like Steve Ballmer and Mukesh Ambani become so wealthy?
Ballmer was an early employee at Microsoft who eventually became CEO, accumulating extensive shares now worth over $80 billion. Ambani is the chairman of Reliance Industries in India and saw his fortune boom in recent years as the valuation of that conglomerate grew substantially.