The Richest Investors in the World (No. 3 Will Surprise You)

Richest Investors in the WorldWho Are the Richest Stock Investors?

If there’s one lesson to be learned from the wealthiest investors in the world, it’s that there isn’t one definitive way to make your billions. Each of the world’s richest investors has their own distinct style. But there is one thing in common. They all amassed incredible fortunes by relying on instinct, acumen and information gathered by thorough research to become the richest and most successful investors in the world.

The following list comprises investment gurus, hedge fund and money managers, and real estate magnates. Most names might seem familiar, while a couple like to stay out of the spotlight. Most of the richest investors in the world on this list built their fortune on their own, so there’s a chance you might make the list next year, right?

Curious to find out who made the list? Let’s take a look…

10. John Paulson

Net Worth: $11.2 billion
Source of Wealth: Hedge Funds

John Paulson is a hedge fund manager who heads Paulson & Co. He made his fortune betting against subprime mortgages in 2007, earning the firm $15.0 billion in the same year by using credit default swaps. He earned $4.0 billion personally in 2007 and another $4.9 billion in 2010.

Paulson is a contrarian investor who uses his acute ability to go against the crowd and identify profitable opportunities that the market doesn’t see. He is a conservative investor who focuses on buying shares of companies that are takeover targets in the hope that a deal will give shares a boost.

9. Andrew Beal

Net Worth: $11.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Banks and Real Estate

Forbes calls Andrew Beal the Warren Buffett of the banking industry.

He accumulated his wealth in real estate and banking and is the founder and chairman of Beal Bank in Lansing, Michigan. During the financial crisis, Beal cleaned up by purchasing battered commercial and real estate loans.

He also bought bonds of power companies during the 2001 California blackouts and debt back by airlines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

8. Abigail Johnson

Net Worth: $13.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Money Management

Abigail Johnson is the CEO of investment firm Fidelity Investments. Her grandfather founded Fidelity Investments in 1946 and her share of the company is believed to be about 24%. She is the richest woman in finance.

7. James Simons

Net Worth: $14.0 billion
Source of Wealth: Hedge Funds

James Simons is a math genius. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley before taking a gig as a code breaker for the U.S. Department of Defense during the Vietnam War.

In 1982, Simons founded the investment management firm Renaissance Technologies. He started a hedge fund called “Medallion,” which used complex mathematical models to find correlations from which to profit. The fund went on to return about 35% annually for the next 20 years.

6. Ronald Perelman

Net Worth: $14.6 billion
Source of Wealth: Leveraged Buyouts

Through his company MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Ronald Perelman has invested in various companies with interests in groceries, cigars, licorice, makeup, cars, photography, banks, and even comic book publishing.

He learned business fundamentals from his father, who controlled the American Paper Products Corporation. By the time Perelman was 11, he was regularly sitting in on board meetings at his father’s company.

Perelman’s investment philosophy is to purchase a company and then sell off underperforming divisions to reduce the company’s debt and generate a profit. He will either then sell it or keep it around for the cash flow.

5. Ray Dalio

Net Worth: $15.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Hedge Funds

Ray Dalio turned his company, Bridgewater Associates, into the world’s largest hedge fund, with $160 billion in assets. Dalio started investing when he was only 12, when he quickly tripled his $300.00 investment on Northeast Airlines.

His investment philosophy is to not succumb to overconfidence and to limit exposure to high risk. Dalio believes that when building a portfolio of stocks, the optimal number to own is 15 uncorrelated investments, at which risk is reduced by 80%.

4. George Soros

Net Worth: $19.2 billion
Source of Wealth: Hedge Funds

George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management. He is known as “the man who broke the Bank of England.” After short-selling the pound, he netted a profit US$1.0 billion in one day during the Black Wednesday U.K. currency crisis of 1992.

Soros is a short-term speculator, making massive, highly leveraged bets on whether the investment will rise or fall. He believes that investors directly influence market fundamentals and that their irrational behavior leads to buying opportunities.

3. Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal

Net Worth: $21.2 billion
Source of Wealth: Investments

Time magazine has called Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal the “Arabian Warren Buffett.” He is the founder and CEO of Kingdom Holding Company. Bin Talal’s firm makes investments in various sectors, such as financial services, tourism and hospitality, mass media, entertainment, retail, agriculture, technology, and real estate.

To start his business career, bin Talal’s father gave him $15,000, which he invested in construction. He eventually amassed a sizeable fortune.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is a value investor, buying into companies that own leading brands. He maintains a long-term approach to his investments and likes to find value in companies with underperforming assets.

2. Carl Icahn

Net Worth: $23.5 billion
Source of Wealth: Investments

Carl Icahn is an activist shareholder. He is the founder of the diversified holding company Icahn Enterprises.

Icahn is a corporate activist and developed a reputation as a “corporate raider” after his hostile takeover of Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1985. Icahn sold TWA’s assets to repay the debt he used to purchase the company and in 1988, he took the company private, netting a personal profit of $469 million.

Icahn is a contrarian investor, buying companies that no one else wants. He buys companies with a low price-to-earnings ratio and then aggressively purchases a significant share in the corporation. He’s been known to either call for the election of a new board of directors or call for a divestiture of assets in order to deliver more value to shareholders.

1. Warren Buffett

Net Worth: $72.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)

Warren Buffett is the most successful investor in the world. He is the chair, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. He is known for his devotion to value investing and personal frugality. He even still lives in the same house he bought in Omaha, Nebraska for $31,500 in 1958.

Buffett is a value investor. He follows a strategy of discipline, patience, and value and consistently outperforms the market. Every move of his is scrutinized, as he is followed by millions of investors around the world. Buffett likes to buy shares in quality companies that he understands and that are trading at a discount to their intrinsic value. He also holds them for the long term.

Here are a few Buffett quotes that give further insight into his investing style:

  • “Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”
  • “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
  • “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”