Every year Forbes compiles various lists of people to let us know who is making what, and to make us jealous. Today the website released their annual Billionaires List.

Many American’s would kill to be on this list, but sometimes having an obscene amount of money doesn’t bring solutions to all problems.

There are countless studies and examples where money does not end up helping individuals the way they initially thought. For example, the curse of the lottery is the concept that those who win big in the lottery end up with less than they started with. There was also the study that showed Americans were happiest when they were making $75,000 no more and no less. One person that has taken this idea to heart is Bill Gates. Although Gates is still extremely well off, the Microsoft Founder decided to donate nearly 50% of his net-worth, $28 billion, into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pushing him out of the number one spot. Had Gates held on to the $28 billion he would have beaten out Helu by $10 billion with a total net worth of $84 billion.

RankNameNet Worth2010 Net Worth2010 RankHow I got that rich.
1Carlos Slim Helu$74 Billion$53.5 Billion1Mexican telecom mogul.
2Bill Gates$56 Billion$53 Billion2Microsoft
3Warren Buffet$50 Billion$47 Billion3Investments
4Bernard Arnault$41 Billion$27.5 Billion7Luxury Goods Outfit
5Larry Ellison$39.5 Billion$28 Billion6Oracle
6Lakshmi Mittal$31.5 Billion$28.7 Billion5Steel
7Amancio Ortega$31 Billion$25 Billion9Publicly traded fashion firm
8Eike Batista$30 Billion$27 Billion8Various Holdings
9Mukesh Ambani$27 Billion$29 Billion4Oil and Gas Conglomerate
10Christy Walton & Family$26.5 Billion$22.5 Billion12Walmart
11Li Ka-shing$26 Billion$21 Billion14Various Holdings
12Karl Albrechtl$25.5 Billion$23.5 Billion10Discount-supermarket Aldi Sud
13Stefon Persson$24.5 Billion$22.4 Billion13Chairman of H&M
14Vladimir Lisin$24 Billion----Novolipetsk Steel
15Liliane Bettencourt$23.5 Billion$20 Billion17L'Oreal
16Sheldon Adelson$23.3 Billion----Casinos
17David Thomson & Family$23 Billion$19 Billion20Thomson Reuters
18Charles Koch$22 Billion$17.524Diversified
19David Koch$22 Billion----Diversified
20Jim Walton$21 Billion$20.7 Billion15Walmart

It is no surprise that Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates take the top spots due to their large wealth. Carlos Slim Helu also passed Gates last year with his $53.4 billion in net worth and made his earnings by privatizing Mexico’s national telephone company. Three individuals were able to crack into the top 20 after failing last year:

  1. Vladimir Lisin: The Russian native worked his way up as a steel worker to eventually get the majority stake in the huge Novolipetsk Steel mill.
  2. Shelden Adelson: After a huge set back due to a credit crisis, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands casinos surged by more than 2,000%, helping him get back on the list.
  3. David Koch: Brother to Charles Koch who is also featured on this list, David has most of his wealth with his 42% stake in the second-largest private company in America.

    RankNameNet Worth2010 Net Worth2010 RankHow I got that rich.8U.S.
    1Carlos Slim Helu$74 Billion$53.5 Billion1Mexican telecom mogul.2India
    2Bill Gates$56 Billion$53 Billion2Microsoft2France
    3Warren Buffet$50 Billion$47 Billion3Investments1Spain
    4Bernard Arnault$41 Billion$27.5 Billion7Luxury Goods Outfit1Hong Kong
    5Larry Ellison$39.5 Billion$28 Billion6Oracle1Brazil
    6Lakshmi Mittal$31.5 Billion$28.7 Billion5Steel1Mexico
    7Amancio Ortega$31 Billion$25 Billion9Publicly traded fashion firm1Germany
    8Eike Batista$30 Billion$27 Billion8Various Holdings1Sweden
    9Mukesh Ambani$27 Billion$29 Billion4Oil and Gas Conglomerate1Russia
    10Christy Walton & Family$26.5 Billion$22.5 Billion12Walmart1Canada
    11Li Ka-shing$26 Billion$21 Billion14Various Holdings
    12Karl Albrechtl$25.5 Billion$23.5 Billion10Discount-supermarket Aldi Sud
    13Stefon Persson$24.5 Billion$22.4 Billion13Chairman of H&M
    14Vladimir Lisin$24 Billion----Novolipetsk Steel
    15Liliane Bettencourt$23.5 Billion$20 Billion17L'Oreal
    16Sheldon Adelson$23.3 Billion----Casinos
    17David Thomson & Family$23 Billion$19 Billion20Thomson Reuters
    18Charles Koch$22 Billion$17.524Diversified
    19David Koch$22 Billion----Diversified
    20Jim Walton$21 Billion$20.7 Billion15Walmart
    Number of BillionairesCountry

    Forbes also puts out an annual list of the 400 richest Americans with big names like Mark Zuckerberg, Christy Walton (of Wal-Mart) and Michael Bloomberg. To see a story on last year’s top earners check out MyBankTracker.com’s Forbes 400 Richest Americans 2010 Summary.

    What are your thoughts any surprises on this list? Let us know in the comments:

     

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