Every year Forbes Magazine puts out their list of millionaires and billionaires. We all know the popular US names. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet to name the two best known. Forbes also puts out a listing of billionaires under 40.

Of the more than fourteen hundred billionaires in the world only 29 are under the age of 40. Eleven of these come from the US and the rest are from outside the states. This fact reinforces my belief that other countries are starting to catch up as their economies create more opportunities for young and old alike. As you can imagine four of these are from the Facebook family, that little Harvard clic that started the Facebook phenomenon in their dorm room way back in 2003 and has grown to over 1 billion regular visitors.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, was the youngest billionaire for a time until his Harvard roommate and co-creator Dustin Moskovitz’s stock options put him over the $1 billion mark to take the youngest crown. Here are some other recognizable names:

  1. Dustin Moskovitz, 28, $3.8 Billion – No longer working at Facebook. Busy creating other ventures.
  2. Mark Zuckerberg, 28 (older than Moskovitz by 8 days), $13.3 Billion, took the company public in 2012 and the stock has been on a roller coaster ride ever since but with the power of 1 billion active users who knows where it will land. Zuckerberg lives modestly in a small rented house, grows some of his own food, raises chickens and forgoes the typical billionaire lifestyle.
  3. Scott Duncan, 30, $5.1 Billion – The heir of Enterprise Products Partners that owns 50,000 miles of pipeline that carries oil, natural gas and petrochemicals. I wonder if Scott has any plans for the Keystone Pipeline.
  4. Eduardo Saverin, 30, $2.2 Billion – Co-Founder of Facebook. Renounced his US Citizenship possibly to avoid US taxes on his new found fortune. He won a 5% share of Facebook after a court battle with Zuckerberg and others. Today he invests in start-ups businesses.
  5. Hiuhan Yang, 31, $5.7 Billion – Think women can’t make it in China? Her father transferred his wealth in Country Garden Holdings real estate to her in 2007. She’s an Ohio State Buckeye and I'm guessing more than a few people in China bow to her.
  6. Sean Parker, 33, $2 Billion – Became Facebook’s first president at age 24 after being sued by everyone who ever attended the Grammys for his music trading web site Napster, that he started at 19. He was earning over $80,000 by his senior year in high school. Full disclosure: I downloaded a few illegal songs from Napster before the law suits but that computer is now in some recycle bin.

Some Final Thoughts

So are you sitting there mentally spending the money if you had been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time? Love them or hate them there is a certain mystic about the rich — especially the young rich. Mostly we hear about movie stars who are “discovered” in some restaurant or rock musicians but the Facebook crew created big bucks out of nothing but an idea. As it turns out, an idea they “borrowed” but never the less, they turned it into something that changed the world of communication.

Thanks to Facebook I know people in China, England, Costa Rica that I would probably never have known. Imagine what the next generation of under 40’s have in store for us.

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