The much anticipated annual Forbes list of the richest people in the world debuted recently.
Due to the current economic crisis there were two important updates:
1) The world’s billionaires have an average net worth of US$3 billion down by 23% from last year and
2) There are 793 billionaires in the world down from 1,125 last year.
There is a lot to be learned about life, business and success from the world’s wealthiest. Many are well known and constantly in the media spotlight and some are fiercely private. Many quotes can be found on the web by the more outspoken billionaires. These sound bites give some insight into how they run their business, how they think and how they live their lives. If you read, pick and choose from these billionaire quotes, you will most often find that you learn something that you can apply to your own life or even your business.
Here is a compilation of a few quotes from some of the top 25 richest people in the world.
Hey, I never told anyone to buy my stock! Besides, no one is less happy than I am with the performance of Microsoft stock! I’ve lost tens of billions of dollars this year-if you check, you’ll see that that’s more than most people make in a lifetime!
Bill Gates – 2009 Net Worth: $40 billion – Microsoft Founder
I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.
Warren Buffett – 2009 Net Worth: $37 billion – Investor/Stock Market Guru
I believe that if a businessman knows how to efficiently manage his business, he should be able to manage a foundation efficiently. It’s not a question of giving money away, it’s a question of going somewhere and doing something and making sure the basic costs are paid…I’m channeling resources to try to solve problems as quickly as possible.
Carlos Slim Helu – 2009 Net Worth: $35 billion – Communications Businessman and Investor
A corporation’s primary goal is to make money. Government’s primary role is to take a big chunk of that money and give it to others.
Larry Ellison – 2009 Net Worth: $22.5 billion – Cofounder and CEO of Oracle
I’m a bit tight with money, but so what? I look at the money I’m about to spend on myself and ask myself if IKEA’s customers can afford it.
Ingvar Kamprad – 2009 Net Worth: $22 billion – Founder of IKEA
The typical human life seems to be quite unplanned, undirected, unlived, and unsavored. Only those who consciously think about the adventure of living as a matter of making choices among options, which they have found for themselves, ever establish real self-control and live their lives fully.
Karl Albrecht – 2009 Net Worth: $21.5 billion – Co-Founder of Supermarket Giant Aldi
I think that our fundamental belief is that for us growth is a way of life and we have to grow at all times.
Mukesh Ambani – 2009 Net Worth: $19.5 billion – Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries
Everyone experiences tough times, it is a measure of your determination and dedication how you deal with them and how you can come through them.
Lakshmi Mittal – 2009 Net Worth: $19.3 billion – Owner of the world’s largest steel company ArcelorMittal
As kids, we all worked for the company in one way or another. I got to work behind the candy counter or run the popcorn stand when I was five years old. The business was part of life and it was always included in the dinner conversation. We heard a lot about the debt it took to open new stores and I worried about it. I remember confiding to my girlfriend one time – crying – and saying, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do. My daddy owes so much money and he won’t quit opening stores.”
Alice Walton – 2009 Net Worth: $17.6 billion – Daughter of Walmart Pioneer Sam Walton
I think in business, you have to learn to be patient. Maybe I’m not very patient myself. And I think what I’ve learned the most is be able to wait for something and get it when it’s the right time.
Bernard Arnault – 2009 Net Worth: $16.5 billion – Chairman of LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton)
We are approaching a new age of synthesis. Knowledge cannot be merely a degree or a skill.. it demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress.
Li Ka shing – 2009 Net Worth $16.2 billion – Hutchison Whampoa Chairman
Getting the job done has been the basis for the success my company has achieved.
Michael Bloomberg – 2009 Net Worth $16 billion – Founder of Bloomberg Financial Media Company and New York Mayor
The role of business is to produce goods and services that make people’s lives better. And if you have to get a subsidy — if you have to force other people to support your profit — you’re not doing that. You’re not making them better off; you’re making them worse off.
Charles Koch – 2009 Net Worth $14 billion – Head of Koch Industries
“They’re real life demonstrations of the biblical adage ‘If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach the man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.’”
David Koch – 2009 Net Worth $14 billion – Executive Vice President, Koch Industries
If I’m going to do something, I do it spectacularly or I don’t do it at all.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud – 2009 Net Worth $13.3 billion – Entrepreneur and International Investor
It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path at Dell. There’s always an opportunity to make a difference.
Michael Dell – 2009 Net Worth $12.3 billion – Founder and Chairman of Dell Computers
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