Name: Carlos Slim Helu
Born: 28 January 1940
Occupation: Telecommunications tycoon, Financier, Philanthropist, World’s richest man
Carlos was the fifth of six children born to Dona Linda Helu and Julien Slim Haddad, both of Lebanese decent. His father moved from Lebanon to Mexico with his family when he was just 14. He and his brothers opened a dry goods store, but things soon turned bad in Mexico, with investors fleeing the country. Julien vowed to stay and during this time he acquired many businesses and real estate in Mexico City. Julien encouraged every one of his children to learn about and understand finance. Carlos showed great promise in this area and by the age of 12 he was buying shares in companies.
Carlos studied civil engineering at Autonomous National University of Mexico and also began teaching. He soon started his first stock brokerage firm, Inversora Bursatil. He then married his sweetheart Soumaya Domit and he combined their initials to come up with Grupo Carso and named all his futures ventures under this name. Like his father, he lived modestly and kept reinvesting earnings into his businesses. He began to acquire a variety of new companies and real estate. When Mexico hit an economic crisis in the early 1980s, Carlos held his positions and began to buy more. He eventually started investing in American companies such as Hershey’s chocolate, Firestone tires, and Denny’s restaurants.
When the opportunity arose to take part in purchasing the state-owned telephone company, Carlos and a few other investors from France and the U.S joined forces and bought it out. Carlos was very interested in the budding cell phone part of the company and began to make cell phones available with pre-paid cards instead of the usual monthly bill. His plan was a huge success and as other cell phone companies floundered, he took them over. He now owns the largest wireless service provider in all of Latin America. Carlos is no stranger to the Forbes richest lists and has been at the top for years now, beating out giants like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. His years of hard work and smart thinking lead us to believe his net worth is $73,000,000,000 (GBP 45,000,000,000).
So how much is $73 billion dollars really?
Since his wealth is so staggering, it’s hard to even comprehend it. With $73 billion dollars he could purchase just about anything he wanted. Since we know his love of the cell phone industry though, he may be interested in some new 64GB Apple 5 iPhones. At an average price of $800, he could purchase 912,500,000 of them. But unfortunately, if he were in the U.S. or U.K., he’d have to buy a plan to go with them.