Are Today’s Billionaires Born or Self-Made?

Every nation must have someone who is the wealthiest, and everyone who vies for this honor is faced with the same daunting question:


You’ve likely heard that wealth comes from hard work, but unfortunately to make it to the top spot that’s only true if you’re working hard at growing your own wealth.

Of those richest people in each nation, 52% were born in the right family, as shown in the map below.


What about Australia?

Forbes says these are Australia’s wealthiest people:

  1. Gina Rinehart (net worth $11.7 billion) – inherited
  2. Harry Triguboff (net worth $5.6 billion)- self made
  3. Frank Lowy (net worth $5 billion)- self made
  4. James Packer (net worth $4.7 billion) – inherited
  5. Ivan Glasenberg (net worth $4.4 billion) – self made
  6. John Gandel (net worth $3.6 billion)- self made
  7. Anthony Pratt (net worth $3.5 billion) – inherited

 Now don’t get me wrong

When I say their fortune has been inherited I’m not downplaying their own personal accomplishments.

I’m just suggesting life’s a little easier if you get a head start, isn’t it?

But there’s plenty of room for self made millionaires…

By wealth, the top three people richest within their nation are all self made:

Bill Gates in the US ($79.4 billion), Amancio Ortega of Spain ($78.7 billion, and Carlos Slim in Mexico ($62.8 billion).

This far outstripps the largest inherited wealth on the map (Liliane Bettencourt of France at $43.3 billion).

Source of map:

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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