Interesting Facts About Billionaires

What are the common traits and qualities of billionaires? Note that we are talking here of billionaires, not just millionaires. Billionaires hold most of the world’s riches. They are taipans and tycoons of their respective businesses.

I was browsing an article in Yahoo Finance and I found these interesting facts about billionaires. I thought that it’s worth to share with you as you may find some of these qualities interesting and odd.

The study was conducted on Forbes 400 richest American billionaires. The following were some of the results:

Parents Had Math-Related Careers. The ability to analyze and understand numbers is one of the qualities to become a billionaire! Often, mathematical ability is hereditary. It is worth to note that some of the most common professional careers of the parents of these billionaires have something to do with math – engineer, accountant, and small-business owner.

Personally, I am happy with this result because of the fact that I am a graduate of BS Mathematics. I am a former math competitor during my high school days. It is really important that people who want to achieve financial freedom should know how to read numbers because numbers don’t lie.

Born in the season of Fall. More American billionaires and near billionaires were born in the season of fall than in any other season. Of the 380 self-made billionaires in the past 3 years in Forbes’ list, 42 were born in September more than in any other month. Unfortunately, I was not born in the month of September and in the season of Fall.

College Drop Out. According to the study, out of the 274 self-made billionaire tycoons on Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, 14% either never started or never completed college education. Some of these billionaires were Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Michael Dell of Dell, Larry Ellison of Oracle, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Truly, with this fact, education is not a hindrance to achieve wealth and become a billionaire. I think what really matters is that you have a great idea that should be implemented, put it into action, and protect it with any legal means.

Derive their wealth from Finance. In contrast, most billionaires who make up one of the highest educated group have some form of degree in finance. It is worth to note that roughly 70% of those with MBA degrees obtained their master degrees from one of the three Ivy League Schools: Harvard, Columbia or the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

If I had the chance and the funds to pursue further studies, I would definitely pursue it in one of these schools. Finance has been one of my most favorite subject ever since I started my journey to financial freedom.

Have a Career Stint at Goldman Sachs. Most billionaires had a career stint at investment bank Goldman Sachs which was a prime credential in achieving success on Wall Street. Of the 61 billionaires in their list who derived their wealth in finance, at least six had a stint at Goldman Sachs either in investment banking, trading or asset management divisions. Note that the company’s crown jewel was its “risk arbitrage” division which launched the careers of some billionaires.

Personally, ever since I was employed in an asset management company handling distressed investments of the former 4th largest investment bank, I got interested on investment banking and asset management. It gave me a lot of knowledge in handling distressed investments such as non-performing loans and foreclosed idle properties. Hopefully, in the long run, I would again have a career stint in an investment bank.

I agree that this was one of the most profitable career. However, it should be noted that subprime mortgages which originated in investment banks were one of the primary causes of recession.

Have Major Failures. Several billionaires in Forbes 400 suffered bitter professional setbacks early in their careers that heightened their fear of failure. With this, failure is truly a recipe in achieving success. I believe no one became successful without having some failures. Failures teach us lessons so that we can avoid committing the same mistakes again.

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Tyrone is a passionate financial literacy advocate. He started this blog on November 2008 when he watched The Secret which talked about Law of Attraction because he wanted to become a millionaire and wanted to know how a millionaire acts. At the age of 26, he achieved his first million. To find out more about him, click here or follow him at Instagram

12 responses on “Interesting Facts About Billionaires

  1. Parents Had Math-Related Careers. – Moms was Nurse and Dade was a Rolling Stone

    Born in the season of Fall – I was born in the spring

    College Drop Out. I have an AS does that count?

    Derive their wealth from Finance – Worked At Suntrust, but my bank account got closed…

    Have a Career Stint at Goldman Sachs – Does Suntrust Count?

    Have Major Failures – Okay this is about the only thing that I have. Alot of MAJOR FAILURES, story of my life…

    So since I got 1 out of 6, how are my chances?

  2. Hi Tyronne,

    I think the aspect of experiencing major failures is the most important defining factor of billionaires. These are the people who did things very very differently… and because of that, they probably fail in very very different unimaginable ways.

  3. These are indeed interesting facts. Okay, I’ll make sure to find a husband who loves Math as I do and make sure that my next kid is born at the season of fall and encourage him to drop out of college.. oh wait – there isn’t any fall season in the Philippines – how’s that? :-p

    • Nice one Gem! Hehe… As far as I know, there were only three (3) persons here in our country who were included as dollar billionaires in Forbes. And these were Henry Sy, the Zobel de Ayalas, and Lucio Tan.

      I guess we need to marry one of their childrens to have higher chances of becoming a billionaire. 🙂

    • Oh dear! Thanks for reminding me. I ought to catch one of those rich kids hehe. Anyway, I’m not limited to marrying Filipinos, right? And I should not limit my choices to billionaires – millionaires are just fine with me. :-p

  4. It’s important to say that people that were born in Summer have their brains burned out and people who were born in Winter have their brains frozen. There’s your explanation :).

  5. Most billionaires did not have a great idea, those are just the billionaires we’re all familiar with. Most did it by a lot of wheeling and dealing.

  6. I like your blog. 🙂

    Got a lot of reading to do.

    I already have a degree BS Computer Science but I am thinking of taking another one. One that can help me on financial freedom. At first I was thinking about Accountancy but I realize I don’t have much time. And grades are too high for this course, I’m not that really good at Math.

    Is banking and finance a good course?

    What can you suggest?


    More powers on your blog.

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