While sitting here this morning randomly surfing around some netbook ratings and reviews after considering picking up one of Alienware’s m11x gaming monsters (I know, it’s not really a netbook, per se, but it has the form factor of one which is very appealing to me), I noticed a news headline that said, “new richest man in the world!” Normally, I wouldn’t have cared about that, but seeing it as I’m a Microsoft fan, I knew who *WAS* number 1, so my interest was piqued. The “billionaire’s club,” as I’ll call it, seems to shift a bit every year in Forbes, but they all generally keep the same company overall. However, Bill Gates has remained the top dog on the list for some 14 years or so (with some fluctuations here and there, I believe, but none-the-less)… that is until now.

 

At the helm of “richest person in the world,” edging Bill out by a measly .5 billion (or 500 million — or, in other words, “chump change” when you’re worth in excess of 50 billion), is Carlos Slim Helu. Who the heck is that? Yeah, I wondered the same thing. From the article I’m sourcing:

 

Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil (AMX), Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires

Slim’s fortune has swelled to an estimated $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months. Shares of America Movil, of which Slim owns a $23 billion stake, were up 35% in a year.

That massive hoard of scratch puts him ahead of Microsoft (MSFT) cofounder Bill Gates, who had held the title of world’s richest 14 of the past 15 years.

Gates, now worth $53 billion, is ranked second in the world. He is up $13 billion from a year ago as shares of Microsoft rose 50% in 12 months. Gates’ holdings in his personal investment vehicle Cascade (CAE) also soared with the rest of the markets.

 

So, what is Bill Gates to do now that he’s not technically the richest man in the world? If I’m not mistaking, Mr. Gates probably couldn’t care less about his all-too-familiar “richest man in the world” title. He’s clearly focusing his worth on issues that will benefit the world and those who are suffering within it. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out Bill’s blog — notably, the “Infrequently Asked Questions” section which contains some really great questions you’ll certainly want to read Bill’s opinion of.

 

Bill Gates: No longer the richest man in the world. So what? What has Mr. Helu done for the world lately?

 

Source: Yahoo! Finance

 

-Stephen Chapman

http://msftkitchen.com

4 Comments

  1. I have to say that this article is a good eye opener to what some people actually do with their money. Although I wouldn’t mind having what you have called the chump change, I could easily retire on his chump change.

  2. In another 3 months, Bill will be world’s no 1 again. He doesn’t like to lose. Hasn’t the world already observed that trait in him.

  3. That’s some pretty nice “chump change!” But you make a good point about going beyond your title and addressing real issues that come with that kind of power and responsibility. Think Bill will be back on top within the year?

  4. Nothing to be surprised about.

    Slim has monopolized telecommunications around Mexico and central america. Here, he controls the largest provider called Teléfonos de México (Mexican Telephones).

    I doubt Gates will ever be able to attain that position again as long as this entire country is literally controlled by Slim. Every piece of information, telecomm lines, recent buildings and many other primary services belong to him.

    Slim has indeed funded many organizations that seek the wellbeing of many mexicans but those efforts are minimal compared to his net worth.

    Ah…my poor México. Even tho it serves as a noble country with tons of natural resources, it’s still colonized territory of those who ravage it.

    I hope you’re fine, Stephen.

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