Most of the richest people on the Forbes 400 are over 65 years old! Yea, old guys win! Some of the Forbes 400 inherited their money such as the Waltons (Walmart), others made their money early such as Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook), Sergey Brin, Larry Page (Google) or Bill Gates (Microsoft). Dietrich Mateschitz founded Red Bull in his late 40’s and was a billionaire at 59 years old.
Here are a few statistics you may be interested in: Average net worth of the Forbes 400 is $3.17 billion, only 274 were self-made, 74 inherited their entire fortune, 52 inherited some portion of their fortune, only 42 are women, and 83 live in California. There only eight (8) billionaires below the age of forty years old. Why is all this relevant? There are very few people on this exclusive list and you probably won’t make it in the foreseeable future.
Technology and the internet are the best way to become rich. Some of the other industries represented include finance, sports, or hedge fund managers where age matters less. Maybe one of the most interesting facts for many of these people is they failed at least once before they succeeded. Failure is expected! Successful and wealthy people have confidence, tenacity and drive to succeed! That may be a lesson for everyone!
Interesting Billionaire Traits
When you think about wealth at this level, you don’t think about their mistakes. If the average new worth of someone on the Forbes 400 list is $3.17 billion, even a big mistake doesn’t matter. Many of their mistakes occurred in the beginning when they were small. Hard to believe that these billionaires started out small, many of whom started in their garage. Companies like Apple and Hewlett Packard (HP) were started by just a couple people in their garage.
The billionaires were willing to take calculated risks. As I wrote in a recent article called “Lean In”, you cannot let fear stop you. They think big! They may have started small, but they always knew they would build a large successful company. Do you think they like what they are doing? They found their passion and it drives them to success. Competitiveness is another important trait. They have to be the best not necessarily the biggest.
They set goals and created a plan to accomplish them. When you are rich and successful, you would expect to be confident, have high self esteem and focused on results. They were always like that before they succeeded. They saw opportunities when others did not. In some ways it is like the stock market buying when everyone is selling. Last, debt does not scare them; they know how to use debt to their advantage.
Not everyone who works hard will become a billionaire never mind a millionaire. Some may say you would be happy with a lot less. Rich people never think that way. They view their net worth as a score card. Why don’t they stop at $10-20 million? Isn’t that enough? How much can you spend on cars, houses, vacations, dinners out and jewelry? Rich people don’t look at it that way! They are not working hard for what they can spend, but out of competitiveness.
What drives you? How many of these traits do you have? You don’t have to be a billionaire to be rich or happy, but you can learn how to act like a rich person! Find your passion! It isn’t as hard or elusive as you think. What are you good at? What are your interests? Get the training, education and skills you need. Ask someone who is doing it, and experiment yourself, and put in the time and effort to succeed. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”- Confucius. Old guys win!
Photo by: graphicitinarary