Does the the wealth gap really exist? I know they say 'the rich keep getting richer', but is that really the case?
Let's look at it this way: what would you consider as 'being rich'? If having a million in the bank does it for you, welcome to the world of 'high net worth individuals' (HNWs). There are currently 17 million millionaires around the world, with 10 million residing in America alone. But even their wealth will be sneered at by the 1,826 billionaires dotted across the globe.
Everyone knows the Waltons, owners of Wal-Mart, are America's richest family. Their 54% stake in the company is reportedly worth $149 billion. After them, the next richest family is the Koch family, worth 'only' $86 billion. Can you see the wealth 'inequality', even at that level?
For a recent list of the wealthiest American families, Forbes had to cap the American list at 200! The collective wealth of these 200 families is $1.3 trillion! If you can't grasp that, think about it this way: if you spent $1 million PER day since Jesus was born, you wouldn't have spent $1 trillion by now!
But we can dream, right? Let's dream bigger for a minute, how does one get to that level? Well, the answer may lie in your genes, or more specifically, the family you come from. You see, the relative wealth of the wealthiest families has barely changed over the past century. They generally keep the wealth in the family, passing the bulk of it to their heirs when they die.
Well, except you're Bill Gates, who is planning to leave only $10 million to each of his three children. The rest of his $66 billion fortune will be given to charity. Or you're Conrad Hilton III, who got so incensed with the 'embarrassing behavior' of his grandchildren that he SLASHED their inheritance. Leaving them only 3% of his $ 2.5 billion fortune, he's donating the rest to charity. While Paris makes money from endorsements, losing a $47.5 million inheritance has got to hurt.
While some heirs live life in the spotlight (*coughs* RKOBH *coughs*), others are making that trust fund money work for them. Combining the knowledge from their expensive education, with the financial help from their families, they are making big moves. many of them have seen their trust funds multiply into billions. Trust me, there is a difference between making a few million and banking in billions.
Here are 15 of these money-smart heirs who have multiplied their wealth into the billions.
15 Lynsi Snyder
With a net worth of $1.1 billion, the heiress to the In-and-Out Burger empire is currently the second youngest American female billionaire. After surviving two kidnapping attempts, the 32 year old has become reclusive and is rarely seen on the town. Despite this, she still manages to indulge in her two of her passions; drag racing and philanthropy.
14 Aerin Lauder
In a case of the apple not falling far from the tree, Lauder used her pedigree and knowledge as the granddaughter of Estée Lauder to build her own business. She is the style and image director for Estée Lauder, but also runs AERIN, her line of cosmetic, fashion and furniture. The business savvy woman has a net worth of $1.1 billion.
13 Bianca Rinehart
The first granddaughter of mining magnate, Lang Hancock, started out as her mother's personal assistant in 1999. Since then, the Macquarie University grad has moved to executive management and marketing committees for the firm's exploration arm. Due to a recent court ruling, Bianca is set to come into her share of their $4 billion trust.
12 Perenna Kei
In 2014, 24 year old Kei was named the youngest billionaire in the world. Heir to many of her family's businesses including real estate giant, Logan Property Holdings, Kei is reported to be worth $1.3 billion. The University of London graduate is also known to have gone by different identities at different times. Some say it's an attempt to conceal her wealth and avoid publicity; others say it's for tax reasons. Kei is currently a non-executive director at Logan Holdings.
11 Anton Kathrein, Jr
This 29 year old is the scion to the Kathrein-Werke AG antenna and electronic components dynasty. Founded by Anton’s grandfather in 1919, his father managed the company until his death in 2012. Young Anton became the third generation of his family to helm the affairs of the Kathrein brand. The young man is reported to be worth $1.35 billion, and is married with children.
10 Serra Sabanci
40 year old Serra is a third generation member of the Sabanci empire, and is reportedly worth $1.3 billion. The heiress has multiple degrees in Economics from the University of Portsmouth and İstanbul Bilgi University. She is a member of the board of the far-reaching Sabanci Holdings and like some of the other billionaires, she is rarely in the limelight.
9 Julio Mario Santo Domingo III
When Colombian beer mogul, Julio Mario Santo Domingo died in 2011, he left his grandson, Julio III, one-sixth of his fortune. Today, the 29 year old is worth $1.97 billion and is a popular EDM DJ in New York. He's single and lives in a $4 million apartment; he also performs with the music collective, Sheik 'n' Beik.
8 Adrian Cheng
The 33-year heir to the Chow Tai Fook jewelry chain and New World property empire, has made a name for himself, away from the family fortune. Having been a Wall Street banker, Cheng switched careers and became a serious art collector. He still maintains his position as general manager of New World and as an executive director of the at Chow Tai Fook. Cheng is said to be worth around $2.1 billion.
7 Marie Besnier-Beauvalot
As heirs to the French dairy giant Lactalis, Marie and her siblings control 83% of the company. Their wildly popular brands of President brie and other products generate revenues of over $16 billion annually. Keeping the wealth in the family, the 35 year old was appointed as the Chairman-Supervisory Board, Bsa SA, and is reported to be worth $2.5 billion.
The heiress avoids the press and is rarely seen out on the town.
6 Fuli Zong
Zong is heir to the $11.6 billion Hangzhou Wahaha Group, the largest beverage producer in China. After graduation from Pepperdine University in 2004, Zong joined her father's Wahaha Group in 2005. Since then, she has made her mark in the company by spearheading the establishment of many of the group's subsidiaries. The 33 year old currently controls about 80% of the company and is worth $2.7billion.What do you think of our list of young, smart billionaires?
5 Tom Persson
This 30 year old is the youngest grandchild of H&M founder, Erling Persson.Tom's father and brother, Stefan and Karl-Johan, work as the chairman and CEO respectively. Thanks to a large, varied investment portfolio, Stefan Persson is reported to be Sweden's richest person. Tom is a graduate of London's Met Film School and is worth $2.9 billion.
4 Delphine Arnault
Like many of the entries on this list, the heir to the LVMH fashion house, isn't waiting around for her inheritance. The 40 year old has sat on the management Board (the only woman) of the group for over a decade. She has also held senior positions at Céline and Moët Hennessy. She also recently became a member of the board of directors for 20th Century Fox. Her numerous business interests have raised her net worth to around $4 billion.
3 Eduardo Saverin
The grandson of the founder of Brazilian kidswear shop, Tip Top, is probably most famous for his falling out with Mark Zuckerberg. He is one of the co-founders of Facebook and held a position there till Zuckerberg tried to oust him in 2005. Suing Zuckerberg netted him an undisclosed sum. Reports say that while in Harvard, he took advantage of lax Brazilian laws and made $300,000 via insider trading. His net worth these days is around $5.5 billion.
2 Scott Duncan
The youngest heir to the Duncan energy pipeline empire, 32 year old Scott, is another person who shys away from publicity. Even the running of the family business is left in his sister, Randa's hands, as the non-executive Chairman of the family business. His father, Dan Duncan, who kept a very low profile, left a sizable inheritance to all his kids when he passed. Combining his inheritance with smart investment choices, Scott is reportedly currently worth $7 billion. Speaking of reclusive heirs, Scott seems to be toeing his father's footsteps. The Internet seems to hav ebeen scrubbed of any pictures of the young heir.
1 Yang Huiyan
With a net worth of $8.2 billion, this 34 year old woman is the fifth wealthiest person in China. The second daughter of property tycoon, Yang Guoqiang, had 70% of the company shares transferred to her in 2007. The Ohio State University grad is married and employed as the vice chairman of the board's governance committee.