Boss gives herself an enormous $466m payday

DENISE  Coates is richer than the prime minister of England and even Sir Richard Branson himself.

And last year, she paid herself a whopping £265 ($A466) million slice out of her company’s £525 ($A923) million profit.

According to Metro, the billionaire boss of online gambling company Bet365 was earning the equivalent of almost £726,000 ($A1.2 million) per day in 2017.

Denise Coates is one of the highest paid executives in the world.

Denise Coates is richer than Richard Branson. Picture: Alex Severn/Bet365/PA

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How the World’s 25 Richest People Arrived at the Top of the Money Tree

In a global economy that roars continuously forward at lightning speed, fortunes can potentially be made and lost in the span of a day. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest individuals. While many of the names in the top ten have become as iconic in their own right as the tech companies that propelled them to wealth and fame, there is always room for a few surprises. In addition to their business acumen and accomplishments, many of the men on the list are also active philanthropists. And if the thought of all that wealth feels intimidating and out of reach, consider the fact that the ten richest people on Bloomberg’s billionaire index are all self-made, many with humble and unremarkable beginnings.

Note that the specific rankings change frequently with stock price moves.

1…Jeff Bezos (Total net worth $99.6B)

Jeff Bezos has become synonymous with his company, Amazon, the online book retailer turned global e-commerce juggernaut he founded in Seattle in 1994. Mr. Bezos still runs Amazon, ranked the world’s fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. In addition to retail and tech, Amazon has also ventured into the streaming game, with a number of original shows in development.

When Amazon’s stock price surges up, Bezos edges out Bill Gates and moves into the pole position on Bloomberg’s Index.  When Amazon’s stock eases up, Bezos tends to slip into the second position.

Famous Quote:

There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.

– Jeff Bezos

Nationality: American

Born: January 12, 1964 (age 53) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Spouse: MacKenzie Tuttle

Children: 4

2…Bill Gates (Total net worth $89.9B)

It might come as a surprise that Bill Gates, who has dominated “world’s richest” lists for well over a decade and usually tops the index at number one, is currently is second place. But note that he’s neck-and-neck with Jeff Bezos, so depending on the day and the stock market, he still toggles between #1 and #2.

As co-founder of Microsoft, Mr. Gates still holds a 2.4 percent stake in the company, along with a portfolio of diversified assets through a number of publicly traded companies across multiple business sectors, including Canada’s biggest railroad operator. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Giving Pledge, Mr. Gates has pledged a large portion of his fortune to help solve some of the world’s most pressing public health problems.

Famous Quote:

“The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of. Amazing developments in communications, collaboration and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice people who would never have been heard of.”

– Bill Gates

Nationality: American

Born: October 28, 1955 (age 62) in Seattle, Washington, USA

Spouse: Melinda Gates

Children: 3

3…Warren Buffett (Total net worth $83.1B)

Warren “the Oracle of Omaha” Buffett’s origin story is as American as the proverbial apple pie. Known as one of the most successful and prolific investors of all time, Mr. Buffett famously began his professional career as a paperboy and rode an enviable work ethic all the way to the top of the finance world, culminating with his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. Fun fact: Berkshire Hathaway was originally a textile manufacturer, which eventually came to be the umbrella for 60+ companies under management.

Famous Quote:

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

– Warren Buffett

Nationality: American

Born: August 30, 1930 (age 87), in Omaha, NE, USA

Spouse: Astrid Menks

Children: 3

4…Amancio Ortega (Total net worth $76.2B)

The tech sector may account for the largest slice of the pie, but the third richest billionaire in the world and number one in Europe is the head of retail giant Inditex Ventures, most famous for the Zara fast-fashion clothing chain. A quintessential “rags-to-riches” success story, Amancio Ortega rose from a humble working class background in Spain to run a multinational retail empire, where he continues to work to this day at the age of 80.

Famous Quote:

“In the street, I only want to be recognised by my family, my friends and people I work with.”

– Amancio Ortega

Nationality: Spanish

Born: 28 March 1936 (age 81) in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain

Spouse: Flora Pérez Marcote

Children: 3

5…Mark Zuckerberg (Total net worth $73.1B)

Like most of the famous tech entrepreneurs on the list, Mark Zuckerberg needs no introduction. Like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg famously left Harvard early to work on the social network that would come to change the world and influence everything from politics and media to interpersonal communications. As co-founder and current Chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg is the youngest member of the list.

Famous Quote:

“The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

Nationality: American

Born: May 14, 1984 (age 33) in White Plains, New York, USA

Spouse: Priscilla Chan

Children: 2

6…Carlos Slim (Total net worth $62.1B)

Best known for his stake in Latin American telecom company America Movil, Carlos Slim also has holdings in a number of international companies across various sectors in Mexico, as well as recognizable American companies like The New York Times and Philip Morris.

Famous Quote:

“The better off you are, the more responsibility you have for helping others. Just as it’s important to run companies well, with a close eye to the bottom line, you have to use your entrepreneurial experience to make corporate philanthropy effective.”

– Carlos Slim

Nationality: Mexican

Born: January 28, 1940 (age 77) in Mexico City, Mexico

Spouse: Soumaya Domit

Children: 5

7…Bernard Arnault (Total net worth $61.6B)

The other European on the list also made his fortune in the retail sector. As chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault controls the world’s biggest luxury goods house, which in addition to the beloved Louis Vuitton brand also includes high profile brands like Tag Heuer and Dom Perignon champagne.

Famous Quote:

“If you deeply appreciate and love what creative people do and how they think, which is usually in unpredictable and irrational ways, then you can start to understand them. And finally, you can see inside their minds and DNA.”

– Bernard Arnault

Nationality: French

Born: 5 March 1949 (age 68) in Roubaix, France

Spouse: Hélène Mercier

Children: 5

8…Larry Ellison (Total net worth $54.4B)

Larry Ellison made his name (and fortune) as the founder of legendary database company Oracle. While his roughly 25 percent stake in Oracle may account for a large portion of his wealth, Mr. Ellison also holds a diversified portfolio with investments across a number of industries, namely real estate and professional sports (including a sailing team and the tennis tournament at Indian Wells in California).

Famous Quote:

“There’s a wonderful saying that’s dead wrong. ‘Why did you climb the mountain?’ ‘I climbed the mountain because it was there.’ That’s utter nonsense…You climbed the mountain because you were there, and you were curious if you could do it. You wondered what it would be like.”

– Larry Ellison

Nationality: American

Born: August 17, 1944 (age 73) in Manhattan, New York, U.S.

Spouse: NA (multiple divorces)

Children: 2

9…Larry Page (Total net worth $51.5B)

With his partner Sergey Brin (no. 10), Larry Page claimed his place in history and helped to change the world as the co-founder of Google. As CEO of Google’s holding company (Alphabet), Larry Page controls the world’s largest search engine operator.

Famous Quote:

“For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better”

– Larry Page

Nationality: American

Born: March 26, 1973 (age 44) in East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Spouse: Lucinda Page

Children: 2

10…Ingvar Kamprad (Total net worth $50.6B)

Claim to Fame: He’s the founder of IKEA, a Swedish retail company specialising in furniture.

Famous Quote:

“Happiness is not reaching your goal. Happiness is being on the way.”

– Ingvar Kamprad

Nationality: Swedish

Born: March 30, 1926 (age 91) in Pjätteryd, Sweden

Spouse: Kerstin Wadling

Children: 4

11…Sergey Brin (Total net worth $50.2B)

As co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin is a member of the elite group of tech titans that got their start in a San Francisco area garage. President of Alphabet, Mr. Brin has also had a hand in Google’s innovative offshoot Google X, where the company’s many geniuses are hard at work on various “moon shots,” working to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. In addition to his role in inventions like Google Glass, Sergey Brin went a little off-brand in 2007 to executive produce the movie “Broken Arrow” with his co-founder Larry Page.

Famous Quote:

“Obviously, everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”

– Sergey Brin

Nationality: American (Soviet until 1979)

Born: August 21, 1973 (age 44) in Moscow, Soviet Union

Spouse: Anne Wojcicki

Children: 2

12…David H. Koch (Total net worth $47.8B)

Claim to Fame: He and his brother Charles are major donors to political advocacy groups and campaigns, almost entirely Republican.

Famous Quote:

“I’m basically a libertarian, and I’m a conservative on economic matters, and I’m a social liberal.”

– David Koch

Nationality: American

Born: May 3, 1940 (age 77) in Wichita, Kansas.

Spouse: Julia Flesher

Children: 3

13…Charles Koch (Total net worth $47.8B)

Claim to Fame: He and his brother David are major donors to political advocacy groups and campaigns, almost entirely Republican.

Famous Quote:

“The role of business in society is to help people improve their lives by providing products and services they value more highly than their alternatives, and to do so while consuming fewer resources.”

– Charles Koch

Nationality: American

Born: November 1, 1935 (age 82) in Wichita, Kansas.

Spouse: Liz Koch

Children: 2


14…S. Rob Walton (Total net worth $46.2B)

Claim to Fame: Rob served as Chairman of Walmart from 1992 to 2015.

Famous Quote:

“I learned from my dad that change and experimentation are constants and important. You have to keep trying new things.”

– Rob Walton

Nationality: American

Born: October 28, 1944 (age 73) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Spouse: Carolyn Funk (divorced)

Children: 3

15…Jack Ma (Total net worth $46.2B)

Claim to Fame: Jack is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group.

Famous Quote:

“I don’t want to be liked. I want to be respected.”

– Jack Ma

Nationality: Chinese

Born: September 10, 1964 (age 53) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Spouse: Cathy Zh?ng Y?ng

Children: 2

16…Jim Walton (Total net worth $45.6B)

Claim to Fame: Jim is the youngest son of Sam Walton, the founder of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.

Nationality: American

Born: June 7, 1948 (age 69) in Newport, Arkansas.

Spouse: Lynne McNabb

Children: 4

17…Alice Walton (Total net worth $44.9B)

Claim to Fame: Alice is the wealthiest woman in the world!  She is the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

Famous Quote:

“One of the great responsibilities that I have is to manage my assets wisely, so that they create value.”

– Alice Walton

Nationality: American

Born: October 7, 1949 (age 68) in Newport, Arkansas

Spouse: Divorced

18…Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (Total net worth $44.3B)

Claim to Fame: Francoise is a board member of L’Oréal

Nationality: French

Born: June 7, 1948 (age 69) in Newport, Arkansas.

Spouse: Jean-Pierre Meyers

Children: 2

19…Pony Ma (Total net worth $40.2B)

Claim to Fame: Pony Ma is the founder, chairman and CEO of Tencent.

Famous Quote:

“The leader of the market today may not necessarily be the leader tomorrow. ”

– Pony Ma

Nationality: Chinese

Born: October 29, 1971 (age 46) in Chaoyang District, Shantou, Guangdong, China.

20…Mukesh Ambani (Total net worth $39.8B)

Claim to Fame: Mukesh refines petrochemicals.  He also owns the Indian Premier League franchise the Mumbai Indians.

Famous Quote:

“It is important to achieve our goals, but not at any cost.”

– Mukesh Ambani

Nationality: Indian

Born: April 19, 1957 (age 60) in Aden, Colony of Aden

Spouse: Nita Ambani

Children: 3

21…Sheldon Adelson (Total net worth $35.5B)

Claim to Fame: Sheldon is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

Famous Quote:

“Achievement is the motivation of entrepreneurs.”

– Sheldon Adelson

Nationality: American

Born: August 4, 1933 (age 84) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Spouse: Miriam Ochsorn

Children: 5

22…Hui Ka Yan (Total net worth $34.5B)

Claim to Fame: Hui Ka Yan is the Founder and Chairman of the Evergrande Real Estate Group

Nationality: Chinese

Born: 1958 in Taikang County, Zhoukou, Henan, China.

Children: 2

23…Steve Balmer (Total net worth $34.2B)

Claim to Fame: Steve was the CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, and is now the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

Famous Quote:

“I loved every minute of my time at Microsoft, but I had always envisioned having another phase of life just because I thought that would be interesting. It had never been my plan to work until I literally didn’t want to do anything and then hang it up.”

– Steve Balmer

Nationality: American

Born: March 24, 1956 (age 61) in Detroit, Michigan.

Spouse: Connie Snyder

Children: 3

24…Li Ka-Shing (Total net worth $33.7B)

Claim to Fame: He’s now one of Asia’s most generous philanthropists.

Nationality: Chinese

Born: July 29, 1928 (age 89) in Chaozhou, Guangdong, China.

Spouse: Chong Yuet Ming

Children: 2

25…Jacqueline Mars (Total net worth $33.4B)

Claim to Fame: Heiress and granddaughter of the founder of the American candy company Mars, Incorporated.

Nationality: American

Born: October 10, 1939 (age 78)

Children: 3

Henry Sapiecha

 

19 billionaires who were once very dirt poor

The “rags-to-riches” trope may be a cliché, but it’s one that’s definitely grounded in reality. Through extraordinary grit and perseverance, individuals across many nations have beaten the odds and achieved their own rags-to-riches stories.

Here are 19 people who started off life poor and went on to become billionaires.

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1. Howard SchultzStarbucks' Howard Schultz image www.profitcentre.net

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, now worth $US2.9 billion ($3.8 billion), grew up in a housing complex for the poor

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz grew up in a housing complex for the poor.

Net worth: $US2.9 billion ($3.8 billion)

In an interview with the Mirror, Schultz says: “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks.

“I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how, I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible.

“I may have a suit and tie on now, but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like.”

Schultz ended up winning a football scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan and went to work for Xerox after graduation. Shortly after, he took over a coffee shop called Starbucks, which at the time had only 60 shops.

Schultz became the company’s CEO in 1987 and grew the coffee chain to more than 16,000 outlets worldwide.

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2. Oprah Winfrey

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Born into poverty, Oprah Winfrey became the first African American TV correspondent in Nashville. Photo: Don Arnold

Net worth: $US2.9 billion

Winfrey was born into a poor family in Mississippi, but this didn’t stop her from winning a scholarship to Tennessee State University and becoming the first African American TV correspondent in the state at the age of 19.

In 1983, Winfrey moved to Chicago to work for an AM talk show which would later be called The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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3. Mohed Altrad

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Montpellier rugby club president and Entrepreneur of the Year Mohed Altrad survived on one meal a day when he moved to France.

Net worth: $US1.03 billion

Born into a nomadic tribe in the Syrian dessert to a poor mother who was raped by his father and died when he was young, Altrad was raised by his grandmother. She banned him from attending school in Raqqa, the city that is now the capital of ISIS.

Altrad attended school anyway. When he moved to France to attend university he knew no French and lived off of one meal a day.

Still, he earned a PhD in computer science, worked for some leading French companies and eventually bought a failing scaffolding company, which he transformed into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of scaffolding and cement mixers, Altrad Group.

He has previously been named French Entrepreneur of the Year and World Entrepreneur of the Year.

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4. Kenny Troutt

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Kenny Troutt, the founder of Excel Communications, paid his way through college by selling life insurance.

Net worth: $US1.41 billion

Troutt grew up with a bartender dad and paid for his own tuition at Southern Illinois University by selling life insurance.

He made most of his money from phone company Excel Communications, which he founded in 1988 and took public in 1996. Two years later, Troutt merged his company with Teleglobe in a $US3.5 billion deal.

He’s now retired and invests heavily in racehorses.

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5. Roman Abramovich

Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club Roman Abramovich image www.profitcentre.net

Russian business tycoon and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich was born into poverty and orphaned at age two.

Net worth: $US8.4 billion

Abramovich was born into poverty in southern Russia. After being orphaned at age two, he was raised by an uncle and his family in a subarctic region of northern Russia.

While a student at the Moscow Auto Transport Institute in 1987, he started a small company producing plastic toys, which helped him eventually found an oil business and make a name for himself within the oil industry.

Later, as sole leader of the Sibneft company, he completed a merger that made it the fourth biggest oil company in the world. The company was sold to state-run gas titan Gazprom in 2005 for for $US13 billion.

He acquired the Chelsea Football Club in 2003 and owns the world’s largest yacht, which cost him almost $US400 million in 2010.

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6. Ken Langone

Kenneth Langone, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NYU Langone Medical Center, helps SIRIUS Satellite Radio and the NYU Langone Medical Center launch the 'Doctor Radio' channel, Tuesday, June 17, 2008, in New York. 'Doctor Radio' is a national radio channel hosted by physicians from a new studio at the NYU Langone Medical Center and will feature daily shows and reports on general health, plastic surgery, psychiatry, weight loss, pregnancy, pediatrics and much more. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Kenneth Langone, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NYU Langone Medical Center, helps SIRIUS Satellite Radio and the NYU Langone Medical Center launch the ‘Doctor Radio’ channel, Tuesday, June 17, 2008, in New York. ‘Doctor Radio’ is a national radio channel hosted by physicians from a new studio at the NYU Langone Medical Center and will feature daily shows and reports on general health, plastic surgery, psychiatry, weight loss, pregnancy, pediatrics and much more. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Investor Ken Langone’s parents worked as a plumber and cafeteria worker.

Net worth: $US2.8 billion

To help pay for Langone’s school at Bucknell University, he worked odd jobs and his parents mortgaged their home.

In 1968, Langone worked with Ross Perot to take Electronic Data Systems public. (It was later acquired by HP.) Just two years later, he partnered with Bernard Marcus to start Home Depot, which also went public in 1981.

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7. John Paul DeJoria

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John Paul DeJoria, the man behind a hair-care empire and Patron Tequila, once lived in a foster home and his car.

Net worth: $US3.1 billion

Before the age of 10, DeJoria, a first generation American, sold Christmas cards and newspapers to help support his family. He was eventually sent to live in a foster home and even spent some time in a gang before joining the military.

With a $US700 loan, DeJoria created John Paul Mitchell Systems and sold the shampoo door-to-door while living in his car. He later started Patron Tequila and now invests in other industries.

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8. Shahid Khan

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At one time, businessman Shahid Khan washed dishes for $US1.20 an hour.

Net worth: $US6.7 billion

He’s now one of the richest people in the world, but when Khan came to the US from Pakistan, he worked as a dishwasher while attending the University of Illinois.

Khan now owns Flex-N-Gate, one of the largest private companies in the US, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and Premier League soccer club Fulham.

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9. Do Won Chang

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Forever 21 founder Do Won Chang worked as a janitor, gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop when he first moved to America.

Net worth: $US2.8 billion

The husband-and-wife team — Do Won Chang and Jin Sook — behind Forever 21 didn’t always have it so easy. After moving to America from Korea in 1981, Do Won had to work three jobs at the same time to make ends meet. They opened their first clothing store in 1984.

Forever 21 is now an international, 480-store empire that rakes in about $US3 billion in sales a year

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10. Ralph Lauren

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Ralph Lauren was once a clerk at Brooks Brothers.

Net worth: $US5.8 billion

Lauren graduated high school in the Bronx, New York, but later dropped out of college to join the army.

It was while working as a clerk at Brooks Brothers that Lauren questioned whether men were ready for wider and brighter designs in ties. The year he decided to make his dream a reality, 1967, Lauren sold $US500,000 of ties. He started Polo the next year.

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11. Lakshmi Mittal

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Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal came from modest beginnings in India.

Net worth: $US13.3 billion

A 2009 BBC article says the ArcelorMittal CEO and chairman, who was born in 1950 to a poor family in the Indian state of Rajasthan, “established the foundations of his fortune over two decades by doing much of his business in the steel industry equivalent of a discount warehouse”.

Today, Mittal runs the world’s largest steel-making company and is a multibillionaire.

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12. Francois Pinault

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Luxury goods mogul Francois Pinault quit high school in 1974 after being bullied for being poor.

Net worth: $US14.6 billion

Pinault is now the face of fashion conglomerate Kering (formerly PPR), but at one time, he had to quit high school because he was teased so harshly for being poor.

As a businessman, Pinault is known for his “predator” tactic, which includes buying smaller firms for a fraction of the cost when the market crashes. He eventually started PPR, which owns high-end fashion houses including Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Today, he owns Christie’s, the world’s top art business.

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13. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio, now worth $US16.4 billion image www.profitcentre.net

Leonardo Del Vecchio grew up in an orphanage and later worked in a factory where he lost part of his finger.

Net worth: $US16.4 billion

Del Vecchio was one of five children who was eventually sent to an orphanage because his widowed mother couldn’t care for him. He would later work in a factory making moulds of car parts and eyeglass frames.

At the age of 23, Del Vecchio opened his own molding shop, which expanded to become the world’s largest maker of sunglasses and prescription eyewear with brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.

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14. George Soros

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Legendary trader George Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and arrived in London as an impoverished college student.

Net worth: $US24.9 billion

In his early teens, Soros posed as the godson of an employee of the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture to stay safe from the Nazi occupation of Hungary.

In 1947, Soros escaped the country to live with his relatives in London. He put himself through the London School of Economics working as a waiter and railway porter.

After graduating, Soros worked at a souvenir shop before getting a job as a banker in New York City. In 1992, his famous bet against the British pound made him a billion dollars.

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15. Li Ka-shing

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After his father died, business magnate Li Ka-shing had to quit school to help support his family.

Net worth: $US31.1 billion

Ka-shing fled mainland China for Hong Kong in the 1940s, but his father died when he was 15, leaving Ka-shing responsible for supporting his family.

In 1950, he started his own company, Cheung Kong Industries, which made plastics at first, but would later expand into real estate.

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16. Sheldon Adelson

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College dropout Sheldon Adelson grew up sleeping on the floor of a Boston tenement house.

Net worth: $US31.2 billion

Adelson, the son of a cab driver, grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and began selling newspapers at the age of 12, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Forbes profile of the billionaire says years later, after dropping out of the City College of New York, Adelson “built a fortune running vending machines, selling newspaper ads, helping small businesses go public, developing condos and hosting trade shows”.

Adelson lost almost all of his money in the Great Recession, but he earned much of it back in the following years. He now runs Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in the world, and is considered the most high-profile political donor in America, says Forbes.

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17. Larry Ellison

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Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison dropped out of college after his adoptive mother died. He held odd jobs for eight years.

Net worth: $US48.2 billion

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to a single mother, Ellison was raised by his aunt and uncle in Chicago.

After his aunt died, Ellison dropped out of college and moved to California to work odd jobs for the next eight years. He founded software development company Oracle in 1977, which is now one of the largest technology companies in the world.

Last September he announced his plans to step down as Oracle’s CEO to become CTO and executive chairman.

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18. Guy Laliberté

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Guy Laliberté was a fire-eater before founding Cirque du Soleil.

Net worth: $US1.33 billion

At the beginning of his career, Laliberté had fire in his belly — literally. The Canadian-born circus busker played the accordion, walked on stilts, and ate fire.

Later on, as Business Insider previously reported, he took a chance and flew a troupe from Quebec to Los Angeles without buying a return fair. The circus troup travelled to Las Vegas and became Cirque du Soleil.

Laliberté is now the CEO of Cirque de Soleil.

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19. Jan Koum

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WhatsApp founder Jan Koum emigrated to WhatsApp.

Net worth: $US8.8 billion

Koum was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. At the age of 16, he accompanied his mother to California, where they secured an apartment through government assistance. To survive, he swept floors at a local store.

According to The Independent, Koum taught himself computer skills.

In 2009, he co-founded the world’s largest mobile messaging service WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $US22 billion in 2014.

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Henry Sapiecha

 

While share markets panic, this Japanese day trader makes $48 million while in his pyjamas

Day trader CIS IMAGE www.profitcentre.com

Day trader CIS. He likes to stay anonymous as he’s worried about robbery or extortion. Photo: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg

While investors around the world were hitting the panic button during the global share sell-off on Monday, a Japanese day trader who’d made a big bet against the market timed the bottom almost perfectly.

Giving a play-by-play of the trade to his 40,000 Twitter followers, he claims to have walked away with $US34 million ($48 million).

As financial markets got crazy this week, many people turned cautious. Some were paralysed. Not the 36-year-old day trader known by the Internet handle CIS.

“I do my best work when other people are panicking,” he said in an interview Tuesday, about an hour after winding up the biggest trade of a long career betting on stocks. He asked that his real name not be used because he’s worried about robbery or extortion. To support his claims, he shared online brokerage statements showing his trades second by second.

CIS had been shorting futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average since mid-August, wagering it would fall. By the market close on Monday, a paper profit of $US13 million was staring him in the face. He kept building the position. When he cashed out late that night, a collapse in New York had caused his profit to double.

Instead of celebrating, he kept trading. He started betting the market had bottomed. When he finally took his winnings off the table on Tuesday, he tweeted, “That’s the end of my epic rebound trade.” His profit, he said, had almost tripled.

“It was a perfect trade,” said Naoki Murakami, who follows CIS on Twitter and whose markets blog has made him a minor celebrity in his own right.

Trash talking

Last year, when he was the subject of this profile story, CIS said that in a decade of day trading, mostly from a spare bedroom in a rented apartment, he had amassed a fortune of about $US150 million. At the time, he shared tax returns and brokerage statements to back up his claims. One document showed he had traded $US14 billion worth of Japanese equities in 2013 — about half of 1 per cent of all the share transactions done by individuals on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that year.

CIS became a cult figure among Japan’s tight-knit community of day traders by trash talking on internet message boards early in his career.

He’s notorious for lines like “Not even Goldman Sachs can beat me in a trade.” Last year he opened a Twitter account, on which he talks about video games and, regularly, his trading. It’s impossible to say how many of his followers are also day traders, and how many of those buy and sell in his wake. Those who do, of course, are quite possibly helping him make money.

Playing poker

During this week’s interview at a Tokyo coffee shop, where he had agreed to talk before continuing on to a poker game with buddies, he explained his recent trades step by step. Dressed in a plain gray T-shirt with a flannel shirt tied around his waist, he was monitoring a brokerage account on his iPad and had a $US1600 burgundy under one arm, a 2003 Domaine de la Romanee- Conti. (It wasn’t a celebratory bottle, he said; he drinks a lot of good wine.)

“Of course I’m happy about today, but you win some and you lose a lot, too,” he said, explaining the Greek financial crisis had cost him about $US6 million.

CIS said he has no idea whether or not China is going to drag down the global economy. He doesn’t even care. When he trades, he tracks volumes and price moves to follow the momentum. For him the basic rule is: “Buy stocks that are being bought, and sell stocks that are being sold.”

Latest trade

The latest trade began on August 12, when CIS noticed a shift in equity markets he hadn’t seen for a while. Shares in the major indexes were struggling to recover from sell-offs. He started shorting Nikkei futures: 200 contracts the first day and another 1300 over the following week and a half.

The stakes were enormous. With 1500 contracts at a notional value of about $US160,000 each, his bet against the Nikkei was about $US240 million. For every 100 yen move in the index, he stood to make or lose $US1.25 million.

The market was mostly flat over the next few days; CIS bided his time playing video games. Then last Friday, August 21, the Nikkei dipped. On Monday, the index plunged the most in two years, and the futures fell more than 1000 points to 18,410. By the close at 3 pm in Tokyo, his profit stood at about $US13 million.

Feedback loop

This is the point where most traders would take their money off the table and call it a year. Not CIS.

“I’m adding to my position,” he wrote on Twitter. “Then I’m going to go for a walk and prayer.”

He sold 100 more futures contracts. Two hours later, he sold another 100. His bet against the Nikkei had risen to about $US275 million. He would lose $US1.4 million for every 100-yen increase in the index.

His logic for hanging on to the trade until the US open, at 10:30 pm Tokyo time, was this: Panic would grip American investors returning from a weekend after they saw the scope of Asian selling, including Shanghai’s 8.5 per cent plunge. That would trigger selling, which, in a feedback loop, would pull Nikkei 225 futures down violently amid the thin volume of late- night trading.

“I figured there would be a lot of fear around the US open and that’s what I was aiming for,” he said.

On cue, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 6 per cent in early trading. Nikkei futures tumbled again, dipping 1250 yen below the 3 pm closing level. CIS, home in his pyjamas, finally cashed out his short position. His profit had hit $US27 million.

‘Too delicious

There was still more money to be made from the panic though. Some investors that night were willing to pay a hefty premium for options that protected against the Nikkei crashing below 10,500. That would be a collapse of almost 40 per cent. In CIS’s view, these investors were looking to buy insurance against a near impossibility.

He was happy to take the other side of that trade. The contracts were worth another $US250,000 to him. He made the first deal within 10 seconds of what would prove to be the market’s bottom at 10:34 pm.

“Too delicious,” he tweeted.

About an hour later, as he became more confident in a rebound, he started buying Nikkei futures. Now the play was the opposite of the short bet he’d started the day with. By 1 o’clock Tuesday morning, he’d accumulated 970 contracts, a $US145 million wager that the market would start to climb.

He made one more trade before bed: a few more option contracts sold to straggling panickers. Those were worth $US6,250. By now, at 1:40 am, he was a rich man stooping to pick up pennies.

He dashed off a last tweet at 2 am. “What a day. Still holding on to all my buys,” he wrote. “Time to sleep.”

The rebound trade

CIS returned to Twitter five hours later. Nikkei futures opened at about 18,000 and slowly recovered. Early that afternoon, he closed out his long position.

At the coffee shop later that day, CIS was pretty nonchalant for man who had made tens of millions of dollars in less than 24 hours. For him, it was just one trade out of thousands he would make this year.

“When a trade goes right I feel like bragging a little, but I don’t get on Twitter to talk about it if I lose,” he said with a laugh.

Bloomberg News

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Henry Sapiecha