Life isn’t fair. Some earn their billions; others are born into them.
Most of the world’s youngest billionaires fall in the latter category, but not Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.
The 31-year-old hoodie clad programming prodigy is without a doubt a standout self-made billionaire, striking it beyond rich with a social media game-changer that forever transformed how humans communicate – one billion of us and counting.
The Facebook co-founder and CEO once again claims the top spot on Singapore-based consultancy Wealth-X’s annual list of the wealthiest individuals younger than 35, released in August. Two of his co-founders – one of whom joined the cocksure techie in dropping out of Harvard to work on Facebook full time – also made the list.
Three of Facebook’s original five founders aren’t the only power tech trio on the roundup. Airbnb’s founding trio – Brian Chesky, 33, Nathan Blecharczyk, 32, and Joe Gebbia, 33 – also grace the mindbogglingly wealthy who’s who.
The youngest mogul to make the list is Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, only a tender 25 and sitting on a colossal fortune of an estimated R19 billion. Must be nice.
For a look at Wealth-X’s top 10 young billionaires, check out the envy-inducing roundup below.
Company: Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)
Estimated net worth: R27 billion
Swedish heartthrob Thomas Persson is living the luxe life thanks to a popular cheap chic retailer you know as H&M. While its image is hot, young and current, the story of the Swedish company behind the brand dates back to 1968, when Persson’s grandfather merged two European apparel shops by the names of Hennes and Mauritz Widforss. Now you know.
The billionaire bachelor’s father is Sweden’s richest person, and his brother, sister and aunt are all billionaires, too. When Persson’s not busy globetrotting, gracing glitzy red carpets and painting the town red, the London Met Film School grad dabbles in film production.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s bowtie-wearing co-founder and chief product officer, founded three businesses before launching Airbnb with his former Rhode Island School of Design classmate Brian Chesky.
An avid inventor, he designed and patented a buttox-shaped portable seat cushion called CritBuns. He also founded two now-defunct graphic design-focused web ventures.
The avid mid-century modern architecture fan helped drive Airbnb deeper into the business travel market this year, expanding to new markets in Cuba and Africa.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Back in 2007, Brian Chesky and his roommate Joe Gebbia were too broke to pay rent on their San Francisco apartment.
To avoid getting booted by their landlord, the enterprising industrial designers decided to rent out three air mattresses on their floor for $80 bucks a piece. The sharing economy forefathers hobbled together a basic website advertising their crash pad for rent and the rest – a few setbacks along the way included – is history.
Eight years and a none-too-shabby leg up from Y Combinator later, the scrappy little Internet start-up that almost never was puts an estimated 800,000 people up every night in some two million listings in 190 countries, reigning supreme in the coveted Silicon Valley unicorn club.
Chesky said his mom thought the premise of Airbnb – letting strangers sleep at your pad when you’re out of town – was “the worst idea ever.” Who’s skeptical now, Deborah Chesky? Not only does your son have the health insurance you wanted him to have, he also has more money than he knows what to do with.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Airbnb isn’t Nathan Blecharczyk’s first major entrepreneurial endeavour. The Harvard computer science grad founded a pioneering Internet marketing business while still in high school that served clients in 20 countries. Before co-founding Airbnb in 2008 and overseeing the R250 billion-dollar online accommodations rental hub’s tech strategy as CTO, he worked in various software engineer posts at Microsoft, Batiq and OPNET Technologies.
Estimated net worth: R45 billion
Like Mark Zuckerberg, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of an Ivy League university during her sophomore year to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
At age 19, the ambitious chemical engineering major quit Stanford and bootstrapped Theranos, a revolutionary Palo Alto, Calif.-based blood diagnostics start-up, mainly with money her parents saved for her college education.
The now-$9 billion company, poised to upend the $73 billion dollar diagnostics industry, was recently rocked by an explosive Wall Street Journal exposé.
The tell-all alleges that Theranos has struggled with and neglected to use its proprietary fingertip-prick blood test technology. Holmes has hit back at the criticism, saying the company is awaiting FDA approval it will “absolutely” get.
Company: Enterprise Product Partners
Estimated net worth: R50 billion
Scott Duncan is living proof that you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley tech wizard to be in the billionaire club these days. The golden spooner inherited his father’s astronomically successful energy pipeline company in 2010, alongside his three sisters. And you bet they’re billionaires, too.
The Houston-based big game hunter may have grown up rich, but his entrepreneur father, Dan Duncan, hailed from humble beginnings. The son of an impoverished farmer, he launched Enterprise with R100 000 and two propane trucks. From there, he slowly, steadily amassed a monumental oil and gas fortune that his children reap the benefits of today.
Net worth: R53 billion
Brazil-born Eduardo Saverin met Mark Zuckerberg during his junior year at Harvard and quickly became best friends with him.
The Facebook co-founder – and first investor and chief financial officer – was famously jilted by Zuckerberg just after the social network took off.
Brutally screwed out of his original 30 percent stake in the company, the serial angel investor sued Zuckerberg, eventually settling out of court for an undisclosed amount. We will likely never know how much Zuck forked over, as Saverin, like the Winklevoss twins, was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal.
The accomplished economist and serial angel investor is now on the board of directors of 99.co, a Singapore-based real estate buying and selling platform. Had Saverin kept his original stake in Facebook, he’d now be worth somewhere near $34 billion. What a pity.
Company: Country Garden Holdings
Estimated net worth: R59 billion
China native Yang Huiyan received much of her real estate magnate father’s fortune when he transferred his property development company, Country Garden Holdings, to her in 2007.
The momentous change of hands made her the youngest female billionaire in the world at the time. The reportedly low-key Ohio State University grad is now believed to be the richest woman in Asia.
Estimated net worth: R93 billion
Dustin Moskovitz, nicknamed “Destroyer” during his four-year founding run at Facebook, lucked out as one of Mark Zuckerberg’s dormitory roommates at Harvard.
Facebook’s first chief technology officer also dropped out of the Ivy League institution after moving to Palo Alto, Calif., to springboard the social behemoth to the next level. The self-taught coder, who learned to program specifically to launch Facebook, later left the company to co-found Asana, an app that enables coworkers to collaborate without email.
Estimated net worth: R461 billion
Mark Zuckerberg, aka “Slayer” to his former frat bros, launched “thefacebook.com” from his Harvard dorm room on Feb. 4, 2004.
He was just 19 at the time and “didn’t know much about business back then.” Two years before that instant-hit stroke of genius, when he was still in high school, the coding wunderkind turned down a R10 million offer from Microsoft.
Along with AOL, Bill Gates’ software company wanted to scoop up Zuckerberg’s Synapse Media Player, an innovative music streaming app he invented. Zuck was wise and held out.
Later, MTV wanted to buy Facebook for R750 million. Again, he didn’t budge. After all, that’s chump change to the high roller now.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know
Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.
Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.
In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.
Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.
According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.
Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side
If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.
Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?
Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.
If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.
Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges
Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?
Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.
What is financial democracy, exactly?
It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.
Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.
For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.
In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.
That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.
We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.
Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.
Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.
There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.
In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.
The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.
How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?
- Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
- Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
- Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.
Your financial democracy business plan
Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.
That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.
What does such an exchange look like?
It has fintech capabilities. So:
It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.
It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.
It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.
It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.
It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.
It operates a principles-based regime. So:
It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.
It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.
It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.
It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:
Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.
The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling
Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.
Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.
As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?