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How Billionaires Make Their Money: Are You on the Right Track?

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The “billionaire club” is exclusive. You don’t reach this level of wealth by mistake. And of course, you don’t hold onto this type of money unless you know what you are doing.

According to the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List, there are 1,826 billionaires in the world. That number may be small, but here is one that isn't: the aggregate net worth tallies $7.05 trillion, which is a $6.4 trillion increase from 2014.

Chances are you will never find your name on this list. However, you shouldn't give up on your dream just yet. This year alone, there were 290 newcomers. Better yet, age doesn't seem to matter, with 46 billionaires age 40 or under.

How to Join the Club

If you have set the goal of adding your name to this list, it would be in your best interest to follow in the footsteps of those before you. The entrepreneurial route is the way to go. Starting your own business may not turn you into a billionaire, but it definitely increases your potential earning power.

Let's start at the top: once again, Bill Gates is the richest person on the face of the earth. He has held onto this spot for 16 of the last 21 years.

As you probably know, Gates made most of his money as the co-founder of Microsoft.

Carlos Slim Helu is sitting in the number two spot, followed by Warren Buffet at number three.

Slim has been an entrepreneur his entire life, earning a large portion of his money from América Móvil, a telecommunications company he founded in 2000.

What about Buffet? Well, we all know his story. He may be best known for his investing prowess, but it was his entrepreneurial spirit that got him started at the young age of 20.

But who are the newcomers and how did they make their billions? There's some interesting examples, with the unifying theme being innovation:

  • Travis Kalanick is worth $5.3 billion after revolutionizing the taxi industry with Uber.
  • Tatiana Casoraghi is worth $2.2 billion thanks to beer. SABMiller is the world's second largest brewer and a major bottler of Coca-Cola.
  • Markus "Notch" Persson is worth $1.3 billion after designing the incredibly popular video game Minecraft.

Do I have to be an Entrepreneur?

The short answer is no. Not every person on the Forbes Billionaire List is an entrepreneur. That said, 1,191 (65 percent) of the world's billionaires reached this level of success thanks to their entrepreneurial endeavors.

If you need a little bit of inspiration, don't hesitate to comb through the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List. It won't be long before you are feeling energized, ready to chase after your dream of one day seeing your name among other business stars.