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Who will be the first trillionaire?

From tech to fashion: Who are the top 10 youngest female billionaires in the world
Nemanja Curcic

The world has about two million trillionaires – if you count their wealth in Lebanese pounds. Jokes aside, becoming a trillionaire in U.S. dollars seems out of reach, considering the richest person in the world right now, Bernard Arnault, is worth $212.6 billion. Does that mean it’s impossible? Of course not. Today’s article will try to find out who will be the first trillionaire by checking the potential candidates and their prospects. 

Will there ever be a trillionaire?

A billion dollars can settle you for life, as well as a dozen generations of your wider family. What about a trillion dollars?

What does a trillion dollars look like?

Writing that out in number takes twelve zeros: $1,000,000,000,000. It is comparable to the gross domestic product of countries like Turkey or the Netherlands. Even imagining a person wielding the wealth of an annual production of 270 million people can cause a headache. In fact, only a handful of companies have reached a threshold of $1 trillion. 

Still, we seem to be heading there. According to Oxfam, the five wealthiest people have doubled their net worth since 2020. If this pace of doubling net worth every five years continues, by 2055, a person worth about $200 billion would own $1.2 trillion. 

For comparison, Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX, has a net worth of $193.2 billion as of May 2024, and he is 52 years old. Therefore, it is theoretically possible he will become a trillionaire at 83.

However, he may not be the only one.

Who is closest to becoming the first trillionaire? (as of May 2024)

According to Forbes, 14 people have reached a net worth of $100 billion, while two already have $200 billion in various assets. If there exists a person who will be the first trillionaire right now, it will likely be someone among these businesspeople. Let’s go through the most likely candidates.

1. Bernard Arnault (with family) – $212.6 billion

The wealthiest person in the world as of May 2024, Bernard Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the largest and most prominent luxury goods company, and the owner of over 75 fashion and cosmetics brands like Sephora and Louis Vuitton.

As of May 13, 2024, his net worth was $212.6 billion. Arnault’s five children and his niece all have executive roles at LVMH, so he “shares” his wealth with his family. However, there are more likely candidates on this list, as Arnault is already 75.

2. Jeff Bezos – $204.2 billion

The second richest person, with wealth valued at $204.2 billion, is Jeff Bezos, the founder, executive chairman, and former president and CEO of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). He owns almost 10% of the world’s largest e-commerce and cloud-computing company.

Who will be the first trillionaire? Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

In 2019, Bezos divorced his wife and transferred 4% of total Amazon shares to her in the process. If this hadn’t happened, he would be even richer. Although he stated he plans to give away most of his wealth within his lifetime, he has yet to disclose any concrete plans or details.

3. Elon Musk – $193.2 billion

The eccentric CEO of Tesla and co-founder of six companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, and Neuralink, is among the most likely candidates in the “Who will be the first trillionaire?” competition.

A significant portion of Elon Musk’s $193.2 billion wealth comes from his 12% stake in Tesla (excluding options), SpaceX, and about 74% of X (formerly Twitter). A shrewd investor and technology pioneer, he also tends to make some bad calls, such as his Twitter acquisition, which he even tried to back away from.

Recommended video: How Elon Musk Makes And Spends His Billions

Eccentricity aside, at 52, he is relatively young and still very actively investing, making him one of the favorites for the first trillion landmark.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – $164.2 billion

By far the youngest person valued above $100 billion at 39, Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO and co-founder of Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META), the largest social media company, and the owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads.

Who will be the first trillionaire? Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Platforms.

Zuckerberg’s wealth is almost entirely derived from the startup he created when he was only 19. Today, he owns about 13% of the company’s total stock, bringing his net worth to $164.2 billion.

Given that his company has invested significant resources into “future technologies” such as blockchain, the Metaverse, and augmented/virtual reality, if any of these come to fruition and widespread acceptance, he could grow exponentially richer, beat all expectations, and even become the first trillionaire.

The bottom line

At first glance, anyone would love to see themselves as the one who will be the first trillionaire. However, the title would bring much more trouble than worth. Moreover, becoming astronomically rich in a world where the number of poor grows by the day would make the person a perfect target for the world’s ire.

Rather than chase the trillion mark, billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates pledge most of their treasures to philanthropic and humanitarian causes, such as the Giving Pledge. After all, being the good guy beats becoming the global villain any time!

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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