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THE LEN LESSER REPORT  

THE LEN LESSER REPORT

 

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SELF MADE OR SILVER SPOON BILLIONAIRES

The special edition of the Forbes magazine listed the ranking of the richest billionaires in the US of.A. The rich just keep getting richer. Thanks to a booming stock market and the irrepressible energies of a new generation of entrepreneurs the 400 wealthiest Americans are now worth $2.3 trillion dollars up 13% from a year ago. The class of 2014 has an average net worth of $5.7 billion.

50 billionaires where asked: "To what do you most attribute to your success?" The vast majority 35% ranked discipline and hard work, a willingness to take risks came in at 24%, luck 14%, education 10%, native intelligence 10%, inheritance scored a dismal 3% followed by other at 2%.

For the most part those who were part of the "silver spoon" who were born among the idle rich and famous merely waited for to inheritance to kick in. They for the most part were among the "waiters" waiting for their parents to die to live the life of leisure.

Letís look at the top 20 of American wealthiest who are in the top 5%. Number 1 is Bill Gates now 58 years of age, $81 billion who is the richest man who is using his billions to effect massive social change around the globe. Because of his generosity Polio has been eradicated. He dropped out of Harvard after one year after spending his time in the computer lab. His self-made score is 8/10.

Warren Buffet worth $67 billion the founder of Berkshire Hathaway who lives in Omah Nebraska, in a bungalow, has pledged to donate his wealth to the, Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation. Checking out the names of billionaires none of his children are on the list. His daughter, Suzie, was featured on "60 Minutes" tv program where she told the viewers that her father sure did not spoil her. When she asked for a loan of $30,000 to redo her kitchen Warren told her that: "she did not need it". Warrenís self made score is 10/10

The four Walton children of Sam who inherited the Wal-Mart fortune are worth on average $35 billion. Two of the heirs still live very private lives in Bentonville, Wyoming. Not surprising their self-made score was a dismal 1.

Mark Zukerberg the tee shirt innovative founder of Face book at age 30 is worth an amazing $34 billion dollars. His self- made score is 8/10.

George Soros who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest fled the Communist rule in Hungary, he put himself through the London School of Economics working as a railway porter. His net worth is $24 billion and his self-made score is 10/10.

Elizabeth Holmes who is age 30 is the youngest female self-made billionaire of Forbes 400 worth an estimated $4.5 billion. She was a Chemical Engineering sophomore who dropped out of the University of Stanford to start a blood-testing company. Theranos, with the money that she had saved for her college tuition. No surprise her self-made score was 8/10

Oprah Winfrey who is the nationís only African American billionaire who was raised on a dirt poor farm in rural Mississippi was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The bulk of her fortune comes from her daytime TV empire. She is worth $3 billion and her self made score is 10/10.

Howard Schultz CEO of Starbucks who is worth $2.1 billion grew up in a Brooklyn housing project. A football scholarship from Northern Michigan helped him to leave the slums behind and he was the first of his family to graduate from college. Not surprising that his self made score is 10/10. Starbuckís stock has quadrupled in the past five years. Wanting to pay back his good fortune Starbucks is helping their employees to earn a college education

Looking over the names of the billionaires was very interesting. The vast majority of those who have made the list are self made who for the most part have not had gone on to college as a means of making their billions. They are hard working, inventive, bright people who are risk takers. Not conforming to the norm they follow their own paths to success and a sense of fulfillment.

With great wealth there is a also an obligation to give back to leave a legacy. Warren Buffet in 2013 donated two billion six hundred million to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation because they are more adroit of investing in good causes. Bill & Melinda Gates in 2013 donated two and one half billion to there favourite causes. Mark Zuckberger set aside one billion dollars to make a difference.

Parents have an obligation to teach our children that we are not merely cash cows paying for their expensive credit card spending. Sadly too many parents have created spoilt self indulgent moochers who really do not appreciate their parent`s hard earned money to say: "thank you for your kind offer: I can do it on my own."

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com