So here’s something that I came across this morning:

from poor to billionaire

If you’d like to fact check, have a look at the Bloomberg Billionaires page. Things I learned interactively this morning:

  • As of yesterday, the Total Net Wealth of the 200 richest people (according to Bloomberg) is about $3 trillion.
  • Of those 200 people, 135 of them are “self-made”, and 65 inherited their wealth.

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  • Self-made billionaires are definitely richer than the heirs of those self-made billionaires that are no longer with us.

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  • Also, as of yesterday, 10 of the richest 10 people were all “self-made”.
  • As were 16 of the richest 20 people.

As far as I can tell, the biggest thing that they all have in common (apart from being really rich) is being really fortunate. Either born in the right place at the right time, or born into the legacy of someone who was once born at the right place at the right time.

And as I said last week, I completely disagree with the line “You can go from very small to VERY BIG, if you sweat enough”.

Most people sweat. Some people sweat more lucratively than others.

And if you were to graph the effort-reward ratio of work, I think that you’ll find that the really rich are just statistical outliers.

Rolling Alpha posts about finance, economics, and sometimes stuff that is only quite loosely related. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, or like my page on Facebook at Or both.