The Richest Person in the World Revealed

The richest person in the world might surprise you — as they beat Elon Musk and Bill Gates to the top spot.

Larry Ellison giving a presentation on stage with screen behind him.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan)

Billionaires, like Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, spring to mind when talking about the rich and wealthy but surprisingly, although these famous A-listers have personal fortunes worth billions and are the faces behind big names such as Microsoft (MSFT), Tesla (TSLA) and Twitter, none of them takes the top spot on the 2023 Forbes list of the richest people in the world. 

Americans "dominate the billionaires ranks" with 17 out of the top 25 spots, says Forbes. Other household names that have made it onto the Forbes rich list include Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett, but where do they rank and who is the richest person in the world?

5. Warren Buffett 

Close up of Warren Buffett speaking in mic

(Image credit: Eric Francis)

Warren Buffett makes the rich list with a net worth of $106 billion. Buffett is famous for his investing style, making him one of the richest investors in the world. Some of his famous investments include Coca-Cola (KO), Wells Fargo (WFC) and American Express (AXP). 

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Buffett's investing method is centered around finding undervalued companies with a strong foundation and investing in them for the long term. The companies he opts for all have a competitive advantage to deter competitors from entering the market, and this style of investing has proved to be a success as he has historically generated impressive returns for his investors. 

Textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is one of Buffett's successful investments. After investing in the company in 1962, he took it over and expanded the holding into other industries such as retail, insurance and utilities. 

4. Larry Ellison 

Larry Ellison in front of red background with Oracle sign

(Image credit: Kimberly White)

Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle (ORCL), has a fortune of $170 billion, making him the fourth richest person on the rich list. 

The billionaire founded the computer technology company Oracle in 1977 and has expanded it to specialize in hardware, enterprise software and cloud computing. Ellison's inspiration to start the business came from working on a project with the CIA where he had to create a database. 

3. Jeff Bezos 

Jeff Bezos face close up

(Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth )

In third place comes Jeff Bezos with a net worth of around $114 billion, Forbes reports. Bezos is known for founding Amazon (AMZN) in 1994. From just selling books in the 90s, Amazon has now grown to be the biggest online retailer in the world with a market capitalization of over $1 trillion. 

It all started when Bezos was working on Wall Street and saw a gap in the market for selling products online and its potential. After selling books, he branched out to other products, such as household goods and electronics, and the success came from his business model, focusing on great customer service and low prices. 

The entrepreneur also has other investments, including The Washington Post and Blue Origin. 

2. Elon Musk  

Phone screen of Elon Musk Twitter profile

(Image credit: Matt Cardy)

One result that may not come as a surprise — Elon Musk takes second place with a wealth of around $170 billion, according to Forbes. The entrepreneur has accumulated his wealth from owning companies such as Tesla and SpaceX. More recently, he acquired Twitter for $44 billion in April 2022. 

Tesla is a great example of how Musk's vision transformed the automotive industry by producing electric cars that produce less CO2 than petrol vehicles. His innovation for a sustainable future made Tesla one of the biggest car companies in the world. 

Musk's other venture, SpaceX, was founded in 2002 and aims to make space travel accessible and affordable for all. The company is valued at approximately $137 billion and its value is four times more than it was three years ago, according to Forbes. 

1. Bernard Arnault 

Bernard Arnault with LVMH background


Billionaire, businessman and the chairman and chief executive of LVMH (LVMUY), Bernard Arnault holds the crown as the richest person in the world. According to Forbes, Arnault has a fortune of $211 billion. 

LVMH is the biggest luxury goods company in the world and owns more than 70 high-end brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Fendi. 

Arnault is known for taking struggling brands under his wing and making them profitable. As a result, Arnault's net worth rose by $53 billion since last year and LVMH shares surged 18% due to high demand, according to Forbes. 

The billionaire was born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, a city in northern France, and comes from a wealthy family who owned a construction company. Arnault had a good education and holds a degree in engineering from the École des Mines de Paris.

Putting aside Arnault's business acumen and wealth, he enjoys art and has one of the biggest private art collections in the world. He has donated millions of dollars to charities in his time. 

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Vaishali Varu

Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University, UK. She has worked for her local news outlet, the Leicester Mercury as well as writing personal finance stories for digital publications, The Money Edit, MoneyWeek and GoodToKnow. When she is not writing about money-saving, deals, finance hacks and other personal finance topics, Vaishali likes to travel and she's a foodie.