Paying off student debt, carving out a career, and working out strange new business and personal relationships…that’s pretty much how most twenty and thirty-somethings balance their time. But some of us, it appears, are more than a little driven by the big bucks at a much earlier age. In 1987, Bill Gates, at 31 years of age, became a self-made billionaire. Just over 20 years later, in 2008, Mark Zuckerberg took the title for youngest self-made billionaire when he reached that status at just 23 years old. Our billionaires seem to be getting younger and younger. But who else has reached billionaire status as a youngen?
Perhaps the Youngest Billionaire in the world right now is a 23 year old Norwegian heiress. Alexandra Andresen, an investment banker and heir to a family tobacco fortune, is a typical young billionaire. Because her dad’s company is now worth a mint, she and her 22 year old sister are currently the youngest billionaires rocking the billionaire circuit. Alexandra enjoys horse riding, cos why not, is part of the national dressage team, and is said to own at least six of the horses. The net wealth of the horses is currently unknown.
But not all young billionaires inherited their fortunes; the aforementioned Mark Zuckerberg was just 23 years old when Facebook exploded from his college dormitory and into the world’s biggest social network website. Even after taking a hit after floatation, Zuckerberg is still worth something around the staggering 72 billion dollar mark…not bad for a lad who has yet to hit 35 years of age.
The slightly older co-founder of Napstar, Sean Parker, was an early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Spotify and other start-up tech companies. He’s currently amassed more than 2 billion dollars to his name, and reached billionare status in 2005 at the ripe old age of 26. Parker proves that having a finger in many tech pies is the best way forward to amass a fortune in your earlier years. Since 2005, Parker has been an active donor to Cancer Research, and has pledged a 5 million grant to create an immunotherapy Dream Team to help control and prevent the disease.
Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel became a billionaire in 2015 at the age of 25, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires. He’s now worth just double that at 2.1 billion. Snapchat is a photo messaging service that exchanges temporary photos between friends and was valued at 10 billion dollars in 2014.
Representing China, Wang Yue became a billionaire at the age of 29 through development of online and mobile gaming. Wang, formally of 51.com, has built King.net into a leading online and mobile game service and also runs a popular mobile phone application.
Meanwhile Larry Page earned his first billion in 2004 at age 30, making Google’s co-founder one of the youngest to first hit the billion sweet spot. Today Larry is estimated to be worth around 35 billion dollars, according to, you guessed it, Google.
Lukas Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam, inherited a sizable sum of the estate following his father’s death, making John, at age 31, a young billionaire who got his money the old fashioned way – through inheritance. The fortune was thought to have been left to his mom Christy Walton, but recent news indicates Lukas was the main beneficiary of the Walmart billions. Lucky him.
2015’s richest man, the above-mentioned Bill Gates, had his first billion netted by the age of 31, which makes him one of the groundbreaking pioneers of the get rich tech savvy brigade. Today gates is worth around 91.2 billion dollars, and is still going strong. But things weren’t always so rosy. The microsoft founder was to said to have memorised employees license plate numbers to monitor their comings and going to and from the office in his earlier years as Microsoft boss, but has admitted when the company became a certain size he had to ‘loosen up’ a little.
Representing the energy sector, Scott Duncan, age 34, is worth over 5 and a half billion dollars after he began the pipeline company Enterprise Pipelines, with inherited money. While the energy sector has been taken over by the tech industry in terms of young billionaires, let us not forget that there is still plenty of old money in oil and gas. Duncan is a young gun in an old man’s game.
Amazon’s co-founder Jeff Bezos raked in his first million at age 35 in the year 1999. The CEO’s shares in the global mail order service brought him from millionaire to billionaire as worldwide sales flourished. He’s now worth an estimated 125 billion dollars and business is flourishing with the advent of Amazon kindle, Amazon TV, and their new publishing and content services.
Nathan Blecharczyk is a 34 year old billionaire worth almost 4 big ones, He co-founded and ha s a 13 percent stake in Airbnb, the international company that is taking on traditional hotel chains and the hospitality industry around the world. Showing us yet again that the tech world is infiltrating all business sectors with increasing and escalating success stories for the well-heeled young.
And back to tech companies, Mark Cuban sold his first company Micro Solutions to make him a millionaire and then sold his second Broascast.com at the age of 40 years old making him his first billion in 1998.
Last of all, and perhaps the granddaddy of the modern day billionaire boys club, is Sir Richard Branson, who didn’t earn his first billion dollars until he’d reached the comparatively wise old age of 41. Thanks to the success of his many companies, the Virgin group CEO is now worth approximately 5 billion dollars. And Sir Richard, along with Bill Gates, and new boy on the block Mark Zuckerberg, have paved the way for many of billionaires to follow in their trail-blazed paths.
So, do you think it’ll get more and more common for people in their 20s to become billionaires? Let us know in the comments!