BILLIONAIRE! I would like to share some really amazing figures from FORBES’ recent update on the world’s richest people.

The reports said that they tracked down 1,210 BILLIONAIRES with a combined income of 4.5 TRILLION USD which surpasses the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the whole of Germany.  This, according to Forbes, is a record-breaking feat.

Imagine only 1,210 people owning 4.5 TRILLION USD.  I can’t even convert that much money in PESO (because that amount don’t even exist here in the Philippines).. heck, I don’t even own a single centavo and my net worth is below negative and I know several dogs earning more than what I do right now and having more money in their bank accounts than what I have. Wait a minute, er.. what bank account am I talking about – I don’t even have one anymore. 🙂

On top of the list is Mexico’s billionaire Telecom Mogul CARLOS SLIM HELU.  Coming in second is Microsoft’s BILL GATES of course and third, billionaire WARREN BUFFET of the Holding Company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. which owns Fruit of the Loom, BNSF Railway, and over 50 other companies more.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his associates made it also in the list this year.

Here in the Philippines, our top 5 riches individuals are:


Mall Mogul and billionaire HENRY SY of SM group of Companies is still the nation’s wealthiest person for three years in a row.   Henry Sy’s success is a tough act to follow.  Every Filipino entrepreneur’s dream is fueled by his success story.  But I think it would take more than a shoe business to make it to the ranks of Sy these days.

Second on the list is still LUCIO TAN and his extreme leisure products and services (cigarette, booze and travel).  He got us all figured out. 🙂

Coming up on third is JOHN GOKONGWEI JR. with his JG Summit Holdings Company owning a wide-range of business ventures from real-estate (robinsons), consumer products (universal robina), to telecommunications (digitel/sun cellular), air transportation (cebu pacific) and petrochemicals.

Fourth is JAIME ZOBEL DE AYALA of course you know what corporation.  He was knocked out from his comfortable third place by Gokongwei, however, I think we’ll see a comeback from this giant when the new Glorieta rises from the ashes and other Ayala Land projects takes its course in the coming years.  We’ll see.

Our Fifth wealthiest man in the Philippines is Andrew Tan of Alliance Global Group which owns the Mc Donalds Corporation Franchise here in the Philippines among many other businesses.

These rich people served as a source of inspiration and motivation to a lot of people and entrepreneurs, and to others, their lives are envied and cursed.  If you see these people basking on the wealth they have created for themselves, would you feel cheated?

In my own opinion, I see no problem in becoming rich.  I have no problem with the idea of acquiring wealth as long as you have not undermine a person or disregarded the natural order of things while doing so.  After all, the only direction that makes sense when you’re on the move is forward and up so there’s nothing wrong with wealthy people acquiring more wealth.  Even the bible tells us of making the most of what we have and making it grow even more (see parable of the talents) – this applies to all assets not only monetary.

Of course, there is also a principle that tells us about having too much (see the seven deadly sins greed, gluttony, lust, etc.) and the principles of stewardship, community, respect and sharing.  These should remind rich people that they are still human beings (who has a lot of money) and that others are just the same as they are, human beings also (with lesser or no money).

The common denominator that I saw from these rich people is that they have the right idea at the right time and place with the right amount of resources, determination and energy to follow through.

Who wouldn’t dream of becoming the next billionaire?

I remember talking to friends long ago about our dreams and I remember saying that I wanted to have my name etched on my very own building and owning my own big corporation someday.  And then a friend said, that’s a lot of bull… (er.. frog.. bullfrog) – “let’s be realistic” –  he said.  And then he said that he just want a simple life in the country with his family.

Now, that friend of mine had a chance of working abroad and earning quite a bit for himself.  He is now flaunting on Facebook his new house, laptops, cell phones and gadgets that he recently bought. Now talk about.. bullfrogs and simple lives hehehe 🙂

Let’s face reality.  Let us not be hypocrites.  We all want to be rich someday and live comfortably and enjoy some financial freedom if not for ourselves but for our families.

But most of us are just too afraid of failure and taking that risk.  So we stay and dwell in our comfort zones.

Why are the rich getting richer?  Because aside from having the experience, they can handle the risks and they take it.

“But, rain they have more money than us so their risks would be minimal?”

It is the same banana ladies and gentlemen –  the rich make calculated risks but most often they will gamble more than what they have right now to make more than what they are already making.  Their only leverage?  They can gamble using other people’s money – that is why they have huge bank debts and that is why owning a bank is the most logical resort for this big companies. (SM with BDO, Robinsons with Robinsons Bank, Ayala with BPI)

To minimize the fear of risk for start-up entrepreneurs?  Maybe we should think like what the big guys are thinking when starting a project.

“This great idea deserves an audience and a sponsor.”

When your idea get sold and you’ve found a confident partner (with money) – then I think we can be sure that the venture would be a viable one.

A final word:

I praise lay evangelist BO SANCHEZ for teaching people about money, values in making money and becoming rich, and investing.  And I’d like to end this blog using one of his teachings in his book “Simplify and Create Abundance”

“Money won’t make you happy.  I don’t care if you have a billion dollars, or maintain ten mansions across the globe, or wear diamonds the size of ping-pong balls, or own sixteen multinational corporations.  These things won’t make you happy.  Money will make you happy only when you learned how to be happy without money.”

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Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


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