They don’t drive Ferraris or Lamborghinis, they don’t buy tens of millions of dollars worth of mansions, many of them look like ordinary pensioners, but they own untold riches worth billions of dollars. Our story will be about Bezos, Green, Buffett, Slim and other modest billionaires.
Not all rich people like to bathe in luxury, there are modest billionaires who dress in ordinary jeans and turn the steering wheel of the same car for several decades. They spend money only on the most necessary things, among which great attention is paid to charity.
Modest of this World: Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett
The richest man on the planet, Jeff Bezos, is known as the owner of the 114 billion fortune (as of early May 2023), which brings him the brainchild of the Internet giant Amazon.
Bezos does not mind spending huge amounts of money on charity. Among the “wards” were such educational institutions as Princeton University (annual assistance of $15 million) and the University of Washington ($15 million).
Forbes placed Warren Buffett, with a net worth of $80.8 billion, third in its ranking. Other publications do not cease to be surprised by the modest needs of the billionaire.
For example, Buffett is known to have bought his home in Nebraska for only $31,500. He is also the owner of a modest Cadillac. High society does not see him very often at their receptions – Warren prefers a simple bridge to them.
The main investor of the planet
Since 2006, Buffett has pledged to give away all of his shares to charitable organizations for the rest of his life. By the way, 170 billionaires from all over the world have already joined his example. The year 2017 struck when the businessman donated $82.5 billion for the same purpose.
Fathers of IT: Zuckerberg and Green
The style of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is known to many – he is almost always dressed in simple jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals and sneakers on his feet. Zuckerberg, with a personal fortune of $69.6 billion, can’t stand expensive, pretentious costumes.
Mark looks like the kid next door
From Zuckerberg’s personal possessions, his $30,000 car and real estate (houses in San Francisco and Palo Alto) with a total value of $40 million are known. Another major acquisition of Mark was the Hawaiian island. But the purpose of the purchase was only to preserve the pristine nature.
Sergey Brin, Google’s dad, became famous for his modesty and unpretentiousness with $59.5 billion. According to close people, he behaves very modestly: he lives in a three-room apartment, and uses a Toyota Prius with an environmentally friendly hybrid engine as a vehicle.
Even at conferences, Sergei is always modestly dressed.
Brin doesn’t like going to fancy restaurants. His favorite is Katya’s Russian Tea Room in San Francisco.
The Man Who Doesn’t Rest
The long-liver of the top lines of Forbes Spaniard Amancio Ortega is the owner of a chain of stores in 88 countries. But at the same time, he himself prefers to wear suits of budget brands, lives in an ordinary apartment and dines with employees in ordinary cafeterias. And all this, despite the state of 58.4 billion dollars.
The founder of a chain of clothing stores always chooses simple and unfussy outfits.
The owner of ZARA admits that he works so much that he simply has no time to rest.
Other interesting examples
The richest Mexican, Carlos Slim, is a man with a fortune of $49.9 billion. He is known as the owner of America Movil, the largest mobile communications company in Latin America, and two hundred other companies. In life outside of business, Carlos lives in a house he bought a long time ago and does not like to be at pretentious events. Instead, he prefers to spend time with his children and grandchildren. By the way, the widower never married the “young doll” after the death of his wife, as most people with a “fat” wallet would do.
It is impossible not to remember the late Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the IKEA chain. The Swedish billionaire died in early 2018 with a $58.7 billion fortune. This person until the end remained an opponent of exposing status for show.
Kamprad drove a 1993 Volvo and always bought economy class tickets when he traveled. But he was not a miser – “Ikea’s dad” donated half of his fortune to the development of the sparsely populated Swedish province of Norrland.
Interestingly, Ingvar Kamprad taught his own employees to use their resources prudently, for example, to use writing paper on both sides.
The example of another Norwegian billionaire, Nicholas Byrggruen, is noteworthy. Today he is… a homeless man. After 45 years, Nicholas came to the conclusion that everything material in this world is decay. After that, the billionaire sold his luxury real estate and is content with staying in inexpensive hotels (approx. ed. Bürggruen finally bought a mansion in 2016, and even before this significant event, I would not dare to call a homeless person – a person living in five-star hotels).
Employees see their boss infrequently: he travels a lot, and visits the office only occasionally.
Billionaires from the shadows
Chuck Feeney is called a billionaire without a billion. He created the famous Duty Free Shoppers chain of stores for many travelers. However, for the past thirty years, Chuck has been doing everything to spend the capital of $ 7.5 billion for the benefit of those in need.
The businessman founded The Atlantic Philanthropies, a charitable foundation that has already invested $6.2 billion in education, health care, science, and maintenance of nursing homes around the world.
Chuck Feeney has his own plan for 2023 – it is by this period that he plans to spend all his capital on helping those in need.
Tim Cook is today the CEO of Apple with a clearly good salary. Nobody knows the size of his fortune. However, despite this, he lives in an apartment that he bought back in 2010 for $1.9 million.
“Money is not a motivator for me,” Cook admits in her book Inside Apple. “I want to remember where I came from, and modesty only helps me in this.”
Most of Russia’s billionaires got rich by exporting natural resources. However, ordinary citizens can also claim wealth in the bowels of their native land. In this regard, the example of Norway is indicative, where the wages of the leaders of such monopolies are lower, and contributions to the National Welfare Fund are larger. And at the same time, the country has an order of magnitude fewer inhabitants.
However, there are still examples. Luxury antivirus – that’s what you can call Evgeny Kaspersky, whose fortune of $ 1.3 billion allows him to get a residence permit in the Forbes rating. It is known about him that a few years ago he lived in an ordinary two-room apartment in Mitino and moved in a simple VAZ.
Now, among the status acquisitions, a Moscow apartment and a new BMW have appeared. That’s all – the CEO of Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly admitted that he does not like luxury in everyday life, prefers simple jeans and wears the most ordinary watches. And he never thought about the cost of the clothes he wore.
Instead of an afterword
A little tar in a barrel of honey. Talk about the modesty of some billionaires has been interspersed more than once with facts about their stinginess. A similar conversation touched upon the owner of the astronomical fortune Jeff Bezos. For example, US Senator Sanders Burney openly shamed the “moneybags” for the fact that employees at the Amazon warehouse receive such miserable wages that the state pays them additional poverty benefits.
The above examples of “humble” are not the only ones. Among these people are John Caudwell, Jim Walton, Charlie Ergen, Azim Premji and others. Every year there are more and more modest inhabitants of the Forbes rating. It seems that this is becoming a good trend abroad. It remains to be hoped that such a good “fashion” will become fundamental in our open spaces.
To this topic: Modest Russian billionaires: did you think we don’t have them?