Photo: Carlos Slim, Still The World's Wealthiest Man
In 2011, 25 years after Forbes first started tracking down global wealth, the record for total number of billionaires has been broken, as well as the record for their combined wealth: $4.5 trillion dollars.
Mexican financial mogul Carlos Slim Helu is not only still the wealthiest man on earth, but also widened the margin by which he leads; he added $20.5 billion to his fortune, while Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet—number 2 and 3, added a humble $3 billion to their fortunes.
Slim is worth 20 more billion dollars than either Buffett, or Gates, who now gets 70% of his fortune from investments in the Mexican stock market, Mexican Coke bottler Femsa, Grupo Televisa and several other non-Microsoft investments.
Slim, 71, is a civil engineer by training; he made most of his wealth by buying troubled or government-owned companies of all types, fixing them and reselling them for huge profits.
He recently opened the Soumaya art museum in Mexico City, which will charge no entry fee for access to Slim’s enormous and impressive art collection, including pieces by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, French sculptor Auguste Rodin, Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí and Italian master Leonardo da Vinci.