The Forbes list: who wants to be a billionaire?

Magazine's latest catalogue of the world's super-rich features Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but Mexican Carlos Slim tops the list

From energy drinks made from an acid normally found in the large intestine to a shrimp restaurant inspired by the film Forrest Gump, there are a lot of ways to become a billionaire – 1,226 to be precise. That's how many dollar billionaires there are in the world today – an all-time high, according to Forbes magazine's latest catalogue of the world's super-rich.

Topping the list are the usual suspects: Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim with a $69bn (£43.8bn) fortune, self-confessed geek and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is worth $61bn, and serial investor and "Sage of Omaha" Warren Buffett, who has clocked up $44bn.

Most of the top 10 are household names – such as Bernard Arnault, chairman of handbags-to-champagne group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, and the men behind fashion chains H&M and Zara – but number 10 is more low-key. Karl Albrecht, one of the brothers behind supermarket chain Aldi, shuns the limelight to such a degree that Forbes was unable to include a photo of the man who opened the first Aldi (Albrecht-Discount) in 1961.

Of the 128 new entries this year, 38 owe their fortune to inheritance, including Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the Apple founder, who joins at number 100 with a $9bn fortune.

Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of Prada founder Mario Prada, is back on the list after six years, in at number 139 after the company floated on the Hong Kong stock market last year. She and her husband Patrizio Bertelli are quite the power couple – she's the brand's lead designer and he's the chief executive (and also a billionaire).

The richest Briton is the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who owns most of Belgravia as well as thousands of acres of land in Scotland and Spain. He clocks in at number 78 with $11bn. The 8th Earl of Cadogan, Sir Richard Branson, James Dyson, Philip and Cristina Green and Joe Lewis all make it into the top 300.

Showing that it really is possible to make money out of just about anything, Manoj Bhargava made it into the top 1,000 with a $3 energy drink made from caffeine, B vitamins and taurine, an amino acid and major constituent in bile found in the large intestine. He told Forbes: "It's not the little bottle. It's not the placement. It's the product. You can con people one time, but nobody pays $3 twice."

Another new entry this year is Tilman Fertitta, who has made $1.5bn from a string of US restaurant chains, including one named Bubba Gump Shrimp Company after the fishing firm dreamt up by Forrest Gump and his Vietnam war buddy Bubba.


Rupert Neate

The GuardianTramp

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