Want to join the Billionaire Network? Get your Entrepreneur on!


Keeping up with the Joneses much? If you are wondering how you can join the billionaire network, start with the entrepreneurs.

According to the second annual Billionaire Census, released by Wealth-X , a Singapore-based firm that compiles research on the ultra wealthy, and financial services giant UBS, your best shot of becoming a billionaire is to become an entrepreneur.

Contrary to popular belief, in most instances, achieving billionaire status requires more than just inheritance; 81 percent of billionaires made the majority of their fortunes themselves, the report says. Taken together, the world’s billionaires are worth $7.3 trillion — which is more than the market capitalization of all the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the New York Stock Exchange.

Billionaire snapshot:

  • The typical billionaire has a net worth of $3.1 billion.
  • The typical billionaire is 63 years old.
  • The typical billionaire has nearly half of his or her wealth in ownership of privately held businesses.
  • The typical billionaire is entrepreneurial in nature and have found their wealth in finance, investment and IT.
  • The typical billionaire owns four properties worth some $94 million altogether.

Want to break it down further? According to the survey, there are a record 2,325 billionaires in the world today, up 7 percent from the previous year. Their total wealth increased 12 percent in the same period to $7.3 trillion, which is equal to 4 percent of global wealth. Men account for 2,039 of billionaires worldwide (or more than four in five) and $6.4 trillion of their combined wealth.

Billionaires also have what the Wealth-X/UBS report charmingly refers to as a “billionaire network.” The typical billionaire has “business or personal relationships with another nine UHNW [ultra high net worth] individuals, three of which are billionaires,” it notes. That means the typical billionaire has a friend circle worth an estimated $16 billion. The “must-go” events on their social calendar, according to the report, include sporting events (particularly the U.S. Masters and PGA Championship), the Davos World Economic Forum, and various elite art shows (a good deal of which are sponsored by UBS).

Should you wish to track down a billionaire, you’re best off looking in New York, home to 103 billionaires. In terms of regions, Europe still has the largest number of billionaires and tiny little Liechtenstein boasts the highest number of billionaires per capita, at five.

The Billionaire Census is nearly a hundred pages long and jammed with facts, demographics and figures, but for a snapshot of where these billionaires are living, what they are doing with their money and how they keep their money stowed, take a look at the video, generated by Wealth-X and UBS, embedded below, that summarizes a lot of the demographic and geographical facts.

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