Michael Dell Net Worth: 5 Facts You Should Know

Michael Dell

Michael Dell’s net worth is $21.5 billion; however, that wealth mostly doesn’t come from his namesake computer company he founded when he was 19 years old.

The following are five facts about Michael Dell’s wealth and how he made it…

1. He Has a Net Worth of $21.5 Billion

Michael Dell—the founder, chairman, and CEO of the computer company Dell Inc., the world’s third-largest computer hardware manufacturer by shipments—has a net worth of $21.5 billion and is ranked the 35th richest man in the world. (Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes; http://www.forbes.com/profile/michael-dell/?list=billionaires, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

However, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index puts the 51-year-old American entrepreneur’s fortune at $16.3 billion and ranks him the 46th wealthiest person on the planet. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

2. He Made His First $1K at Age 12

Born in Houston, Texas to an orthodontist father and a stockbroker mother, Michael Dell made his first $1,000 by selling stamps at age 12. He also sold newspaper subscriptions for the now-defunct Houston Post. (Source: “Biography of Michael Dell,” BusinessWeek, January 31, 2007.)

3. He Dropped Out of College

Michael Dell knew that he wanted to go into business very early in life. He eventually dropped out of college, where he had been pursuing a medical degree, in order to run his computer repair business. It seems as though he might the right choice. (Source: “Michael Dell Net Worth,” Celebrity Net Worth; http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/ceos/michael-dell-net-worth/, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

4. He Started Dell Inc. in His Texas Dorm Room at Age 19

Dell started the now computer giant in his Texas dorm room in 1984, when he was just 19 years old, with $1,000. Dell began selling upgraded personal computers and components to customers on and off campus from that dorm room. Four years later, his company went public with a market capitalization of $85.0 million. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

In 1992, Dell became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. (Source: “Biography of Michael Dell,” BusinessWeek, January 31, 2007.)

By the time Dell took his company private in 2013, it was worth $25.0 billion.

5. Much of His Fortune Does Not Come in Dell Inc.

Much of Michael Dell’s net worth comes from his interest in his closely held investment company MSD Capital, which he created in 1998 to oversee his family’s growing fortune. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

Aside from owning a large stake in Dell Inc. (reportedly 75%), MSD Capital also owns interests in real estate, private equity, stocks, bonds, and more. MSD Capital manages $16.0 billion in assets, of which roughly $12.0 billion comes from Michael Dell’s personal fortune. (Source: “Michael Dell Net Worth,” Celebrity Net Worth, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

Michael Dell’s Net Worth by Year

Year Net Worth
2016 $21.5 billion
2015 $19.2 billion
2014 $17.7 billion
2013 $15.3 billion

Data source: Forbes