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Richest people in the world

  • Richest people in the world

    It's true that the rich are different from you and me. Not only do they have more money, but many hail from remarkably colorful backgrounds, with fierce passions and oddball interests. Some have emerged from extraordinarily humble beginnings, emigrating from impoverished countries or growing up in a tenement or an orphanage. To learn about the wealthiest people in the world, Stacker compiled net worth data from Forbes as of Aug. 27, 2020.

    Many of the people on this list used their smarts and creativity to build giant technology empires, invent sophisticated online tools, transform tiny businesses into global conglomerates, expand a single shop into a global retail chain, or turn a small investment into a fortune. Others were handed their wealth by their birth, given massive unearned holdings in automobile manufacturing, luxury goods, shipping lines, tobacco, chocolates, and cheese production.

    Among the top 100 richest, a noticeable number made their fortunes in China, via commercial real estate, cutting-edge pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, vats of soy sauce, or pig breeding. Others played their cards right in high finance with prescient investments and lucrative hedge funds, while still others pulled their wealth from the earth, extracting oil, gas, gold, and nickel.

    It's not uncommon for the richest people in the world to be reclusive, shuttling from one luxurious home to another by private jet, protected by walls of security and windows of dark tinted glass. Others bask in the spotlight, looking for their next high-profile conquest or sharing lessons of their experiences with avid audiences.

    Keep reading to learn more about the richest people in the world and how they made their fortunes.

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  • #100. Joseph Lau

    - Net worth: $16.6 billion
    - Source of wealth: real estate
    - Age: 69
    - Country/territory: Hong Kong

    Joseph Lau was chairman of property developer Chinese Estates, and his wealth lies in Hong Kong's real estate. A major art collector, he bought a "Mao" painting by Andy Warhol for $17.4 million and a work by Paul Gauguin for $39.2 million. In 2015 he purchased a 12-carat diamond at Sotheby's for $49 million. He was convicted in 2014 in Macau of bribery and money laundering, but has avoided prison because Macau and Hong Kong do not have an extradition treaty.

  • #99. Sun Piaoyang

    - Net worth: $16.7 billion
    - Source of wealth: pharmaceuticals
    - Age: 62
    - Country/territory: China

    Sun Piaoyang made his fortune transforming China's Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine into a giant producer of anti-infection and anti-cancer medicines. He announced in January he would step down as chairman. He became head of the biopharma company three decades ago, has an impressive academic background, and is credited with being an innovator in medicine.

  • #98. Radhakishan Damani and family

    - Net worth: $16.7 billion
    - Source of wealth: retail, investments
    - Age: 66
    - Country/territory: India

    Radhakishan Damani founded Avenue Supermarts, which controls the giant food and grocery chain DMart, with more than 200 stores throughout India. Damani, who has a reputation for savvy stock investments, is known for being extremely private, not giving interviews or attending public events. He also is known for his trademark outfit of a white shirt and white pants.

  • #97. Goh Cheng Liang

    - Net worth: $16.9 billion
    - Source of wealth: paints
    - Age: 93
    - Country/territory: Singapore

    Goh Cheng Liang's wealth lies in his stake in Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings, one of the world's biggest paint manufacturers. He started out producing paint in Singapore before partnering with Nippon in 1962. He has owned several yachts, all named White Rabbit, the latest of which has 14 guest cabins and room for a staff of 36.

  • #96. Ray Dalio

    - Net worth: $16.9 billion
    - Source of wealth: hedge funds
    - Age: 71
    - Country/territory: United States

    Ray Dalio in 1975 in New York founded Bridgewater Associates, which has become the largest hedge fund in the world. He has written several books that lay out his principles on such topics as work, goals, and leadership. He also is a practitioner and advocate of Transcendental Meditation, and meditation courses are available to Bridgewater employees.

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  • #95. Li Xiting

    - Net worth: $17.1 billion
    - Source of wealth: medical devices
    - Age: 70
    - Country/territory: Singapore

    Singapore's Li Xiting is a co-founder and chief executive of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, which makes medical devices and equipment. He was reported to have added several billion dollars to his worth this year owing to the global demand for ventilators, a key to treatment of COVID-19. Mindray's other products include defibrillators, imaging devices, and anesthesia machines. Li grew up in rural China, studied physics, became a visiting scholar at the University of Paris-Sud, and worked for a Chinese medical equipment company before co-founding Mindray in 1991.


  • #94. Robin Zeng

    - Net worth: $17.2 billion
    - Source of wealth: batteries
    - Age: 52
    - Country/territory: Hong Kong

    Robin Zeng founded Contemporary Amperex Technology, a giant global manufacturer of electric batteries. Its clients include Bosch, Jaguar, Honda, Volvo, Toyota, and Volkswagen. The company is headquartered in Ningde, a coastal city that is Zeng's hometown in China's Fujian Province.

  • #93. Richard Qiangdong Liu

    - Net worth: $17.2 billion
    - Source of wealth: e-commerce
    - Age: 46
    - Country/territory: China

    Richard Qiangdong Liu, in 1998, founded, a retail e-commerce giant. Liu is known to recount that he grew up so poor his family could only afford meat once or twice a year and that local villagers raised $70 for him to attend college. He also has been known to don a company uniform and help make bicycle deliveries once a year. In 2018, a Minnesota college student accused him of rape. He was arrested but quickly released, and no charges were filed. The woman later was subjected to a widespread online shame campaign.


  • #92. Stefan Quandt

    - Net worth: $17.2 billion
    - Source of wealth: BMW
    - Age: 54
    - Country/territory: Germany

    Stefan Quandt is the largest shareholder of German luxury carmaker BMW—wealth he inherited from his father, Herbert Quandt, who rescued the company from bankruptcy and takeover in 1959. He is a deputy chairperson on BMW's board and has separate businesses in homeopathic medicine, logistics, and solar energy.

  • #91. Li Yongxin and family

    - Net worth: $17.2 billion
    - Source of wealth: education
    - Age: 44
    - Country/territory: China

    Li Yongxin went into the education business in 1999 and co-founded Offcn Education Technology, a Chinese company that offers applicants training for civil service exams. It trains some 2.3 million students a year in more than 300 cities in China.

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