Wealth Management Lessons from the Billionaires’ Club

By Karuna Kasbawala

When Forbes put out its latest list of the 500 wealthiest people around the world, the individuals selected had a collective net worth of $4.7 trillion. While you may not be in a position to ask for their advice on where to bring your private jet for maintenance, there is plenty for the average person to learn about wealth management from the people who do it better than anyone else.

Below are the five individuals that topped Forbes’ list, as well as a wealth management lesson you can apply in your own life.

Bill Gates: Gates is an annual contender for the richest person in the world. But his path to success wasn’t always clear. After enrolling in Harvard in 1973, he dropped out of school two years later to start a company you’ve probably heard of before—Microsoft. While earning a college degree can have a tremendous impact on your earning potential, don’t make the mistake of thinking it is the only way you can become successful.

Carlos Slim Helu: While lesser known than Bill Gates, Carlos Helu’s net worth is nearly identical. How has he done so well? The key was starting early. At 12 he was investing in bonds, stock and learning how to do book-keeping and read financial sheets from his father. If you have young children, don’t shy away from teaching them the importance of wealth management. Click here for additional resources to getting your kids educated about banking today.

Warren Buffett: Buffett owes much of his fortune to his ownership of Berkshire Hathaway. Much of the corporation’s work revolves around real estate, but Buffett himself is not a customer. He still lives in the home in Omaha, Nebraska that he purchased 60 years ago for just $31,500. Take a look at your own life—are there more cost-effective and practical ways to handle your assets?

Amancio Ortega: As the founder and chairman of Inditex—a famous fashion company in Europe—Ortega knows that when it comes to accumulating wealth, every step you take is important. As a young teenager in Spain, Ortega started working as a shop hand for a shirt maker in his town. He perfected his craft for years before finally launching his own line of bathrobes and opening his own business. Amancio Ortega’s success proves that all work has value. Even if you’re at the bottom of the ladder now, the hard work you put in can pay dividends down the road.

Larry Ellison: Larry Ellison is a testament to the notion that giving up hope should never be an option. Even though he is a successful Silicon Valley magnate today, Ellison was not exposed to computer sciences early in his life like other high-earning tech innovators. In fact, he was only introduced to computer design during his second attempt at higher education.

You don’t need billions of dollars to have a high quality of life. But if you’re like most, having a little extra money in your savings account wouldn’t hurt either. The wealthiest people in the world all had to earn their first dollar at one point, just like everybody else. It is their discipline, hard work and humility that helped them keep the momentum moving forward. Find more ways to manage your wealth at our online Learning Center by clicking here.