jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Saturday 17th October 2020

Top billionaires: who are the richest people in the world?

31 new people have joined the billionaires’ club during the pandemic

There is a silver lining to the Covid crisis for the world’s wealthiest people, whose fortunes have swollen throughout the pandemic.

Many of the world’s billionaires have “doubled down on risk in choppy financial markets and profited from the tech boom”, the Financial Times says. That leaves them with a record collective wealth of $10.2tn (£7.91tn), topping the previous high set in 2017.

The data, compiled by the Swiss bank UBS, also found that 31 new people have joined the billionaires’ club. The total number of billionaires worldwide now rising to 2,189, up from 2,158 in 2017.

All is not totally rosy for the world’s super rich, though.

“The report comes at a time when growing economic inequality in the US, the UK and some other leading economies, has put the role of the rich – and, especially, of high-profile billionaires – in the spotlight,” . The FT adds, with critics attacking “regulatory regimes” that allow market dominance and “low tax rates imposed on capital in… the US and the UK”.

So amid the new billionaire haul, who is the richest of them all?

World’s richest people

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (as of 7 August)

  1. Jeff Bezos, $190bn

The former hedge fund manager turned online book seller started Amazon in his garage in 1994. Bezos has invested heavily in space technology and also owns The Washington Post newspaper.

  1. Bill Gates, $120bn

A permanent fixture at the top end of rich list for the past 20 years, the Microsoft founder has sold or given away much of his stake in the company – he owns just 1% of Microsoft – and now focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.

  1. Mark Zuckerberg, $100bn

Zuckerberg famously started Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19 and now is among the top five richest men in the world.

  1. Bernard Arnault & family, $81.4bn

Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees an empire of more than 60 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

  1. Mukesh Ambani, $80.3bn

Indian Ambani has a 42% controlling stake in Reliance Industries, which is the owner of the world’s largest oil refining complex. He is also the owner of property worth more than $400m.

  1. Steve Ballmer, $77.7bn

The American was the former CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014. He is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise.

  1. Warren Buffett, $77.5bn

Now in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, known as the “Oracle of Omagh” is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Gates he has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.

  1. Larry Page, $71.6bn

Internet entrepreneur Page is one of the co-founders of Google. He stepped down as CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. in December 2019 but remains a board member.

  1. Elon Musk, $70.2bn

Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX and also the CEO of Tesla.

  1. Sergey Brin, $69.4bn

Along with Larry Page, Brin was a co-founder of Google. Until December 2019 he was president of Alphabet Inc.

What about the UK?

James Ratcliffe, the founder, chairman and majority owner of chemical powerhouse Ineos Group, is the richest person in the UK, according to Forbes.

Ratcliffe was raised in a Manchester council house and has climbed the chemical corporate ladder to amass a personal worth of $13.9bn.

Shortly behind him in the UK are the billionaire Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja brothers, who control the Hinduja Group conglomerate, and are worth $12.4bn combined.

The Hinduja Group is a family business originally founded in Mumbai in 1914, and now “has interests around the world including in oil and gas, banking, IT and property”, the BBC added.

The richest woman in the UK is Denise Coates, the founder and joint chief executive of online gambling company Bet365. She is worth $7.7bn, making her the 220th richest person in the world.

Who is the richest person of all time?

Bezos has been declared not only the wealthiest person alive – but of all time.

But while his estimated fortune is technically the largest ever accrued by one individual, this does not take into account inflation or a number of other factors, including how wealth is actually measured.

With a fortune of around $400bn, Mansu Musa 1 of Mail, the first king of Timbuktu, may not be a household name, but by most estimates is the richest person who ever lived.

Deriving his wealth from his country’s vast salt and gold deposits, which at one time accounted for half the world’s supply, Musa ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire in the early 14th century. He constructed hundreds of mosques across the continent, many of which survive to this day.

With a fortune estimated at between $300-$400bn in today’s money, Tsar Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (Nicolas II) of Russia was deposed and subsequently executed by the Bolsheviks in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.

The Independent notes that, following his canonisation by the Russian Orthodox Church, he is also the richest saint in history.

Excluding kings, princes and those who inherited their wealth, the list of the world’s richest-ever men – and they are always men – is dominated by the so-called robber barons of 19th and early 20th century America.

Often cited as the richest person who ever lived, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller was the first person to have a net worth of over $1bn in the money of the time.

At the time of this death his estate was worth an estimated $340bn in today’s money, almost 2% of total US economic output.

With an estimated fortune of $310bn in today’s money, steel magnate and Rockefeller contemporary Andrew Carnegie sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480m in 1901, and later made his name with his philanthropic donations.

Automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who perfected the production line and has become a by-word for American entrepreneurship, had a fortune of around $199bn at the time of his death in 1947.





“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”

— Kurt Vonnegut


Happiness is…not being the richest person in the world.


I knew a guy who was going to open a pastry shop. But he couldn’t raise the dough.


Love is…always having someone to smooch.


A time to be rich…A time to be poor.


I am so grateful for the NHS!



Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about a father-and-son rag-and-bone business. They live at Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd’s Bush, London. Four series were broadcast by the BBC from 4 January 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974. The theme tune, “Old Ned”, was composed by Ron Grainer. The series was voted 15th in a 2004 poll by the BBC to find Britain’s Best Sitcom. It was remade in the United States as Sanford and Son, in Sweden as Albert & Herbert, in the Netherlands as Stiefbeen en zoon, in Portugal as Camilo & Filho, and in South Africa as Snetherswaite and Son. Two film adaptations of the series were released in cinemas, Steptoe and Son (1972) and Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973).


The series focused on the inter-generational conflict of father and son. Albert Steptoe, a “dirty old man”, is an elderly rag-and-bone man, set in his grimy and grasping ways. By contrast, his son Harold is filled with social aspirations and pretensions. The show contained elements of drama and tragedy, as Harold was continually prevented from achieving his ambitions.


In 2000, the show was ranked number 44 on the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute. In a 2001 Channel 4 poll Albert was ranked 39th on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.

No. of series         8

No. of episodes    57


Housewives. When washing clothes, pop a couple of teabags in the washer instead of soap powder, milk where the fabric conditioner should go and put it on a boil wash. Hey presto, when the clothes are washed you can enjoy a nice cup of tea.


Friday 16/10/2020 DAY 195 – 12 Times – 120 Feet  Cum Total – 23,400 Feet – (Goal 29,035 Ft)





©2020 Phil M Robinson