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The World’s Billionaires, by Generation

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infographic showing the world's billionaires by generation

The World’s Billionaires, by Generation

What similarities do the world’s billionaires share? What are their differences?

At the age of 12, Elon Musk built his first video game. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg shared an interest in computer programming, building a simple messaging platform at the same age. The co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, developed programming skills at college. All three span different generations and made their fortunes in tech.

In this infographic from BusinessFinancing.co.uk, we explore some characteristics of billionaires across generations, including their average net worth, top sectors, number of children, and most common city of residence.

The World’s Billionaires, by Generation

Using data from Forbes here is how each generation of the world’s billionaires break down.

Silent Generation

  • Born: 1928-1945
  • Average Net Worth: $5.5 billion
  • Most Popular Residence: New York, U.S.

Silent Generation billionaires are the wealthiest on average across generations. With CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett and Zara founder Amancio Ortega among its ranks, Silent Generation billionaires are most likely to be in finance, fashion, and real estate industries.

Top 5Sector%
1
Finance & Investments15.5%
2Fashion & Retail12.4%
3Real Estate9.8%
4Food & Beverage9.0%
5Manufacturing9.0%

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and The New York Post, is also part of this group. He has a net worth of $13 billion.

Baby Boomer

  • Born: 1946-1964
  • Average Net Worth: $4.6 billion
  • Most Popular Residence: New York, U.S.

Like the Silent Generation, billionaire Boomers are most likely to be in finance. Stephen Schwarzman, founder of private equity firm Blackstone Group, R. Budi Hartono, the richest person in Indonesia, and Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater Associates, all fall into this generation.

Boomer billionaires are much less likely to be in the tech industry, though Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have amassed their fortunes in this area.

Top 5 Sector%
1Finance & Investments14.2%
2Manufacturing12.9%
3Fashion & Retail10.6%
4Technology8.7%
5Healthcare8.5%

With a net worth of $150 billion, LVMH chair Bernard Arnault is the second richest person in the world. Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, vice-chairwoman of L’Oreal, ranks 12th. Both fashion conglomerates are based in France and helmed by billionaire Boomers.

Generation X

  • Born: 1965-1980
  • Average Net Worth: $4.4 billion
  • Most popular Residence: Beijing, China

The world’s billionaires in Gen X are not only predominantly in tech, but are most likely to live in Beijing, China. Ma Huateng, founder of social media conglomerate Tencent Holdings, created instant messaging platform QQ in his early 20s. Colin Huang built one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, Pinduoduo, in 2015.

Top 5Sector%
1Technology24.2%
2Manufacturing13.4%
3Finance & Investments11.6%
4Healthcare8.0%
5Fashion & Retail7.6%

Gen X billionaires also include Elon Musk and Google co-founder Larry Page.

Millennials

  • Born: 1981-1996
  • Average Net Worth: $5.1 billion
  • Most Popular Residence: San Francisco, U.S.

With the second-highest average net worth after the Silent Generation, millennial billionaires are seen predominantly in tech and finance. Roughly 100 billionaires worldwide fall into this category overall.

Mark Zuckerberg is the only millennial billionaire among the top 10 richest globally.

Top 5Sector%
1Technology31.0%
2Finance & Investments12.9%
3Fashion & Retail8.6%
4Media & Entertainment8.6%
5Automotive6.9%

Brian Chesky (co-founder of Airbnb), Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel (co-founders of Snapchat), and Swiss billionaire Guillaume Pousaz are all part of this billionaire cohort.

Generational Trends

What other trends are seen across the world’s billionaires?

 Silent Generation BillionairesBaby Boomer BillionairesGeneration X BillionairesMillennial Billionaires
Women9.6%9.8%11.9%19.1%
Self-Made65.7%71.0%80.7%66.4%
U.S. Citizens38.2%27.3%17.7%30.2%
EU Citizens17.5%11.7%13.0%18.1%
Living Outside the U.S.61.9%73.2%81.8%65.5%
Married78.9%86.5%83.6%68.4%

Millennial billionaires are the most likely to be women, with roughly double the rate of all other generations at 19%. Notable billionaire women include Anna Kasprzak, who co-owns Danish shoe company ECCO and Brazil’s Anne-Marie Werninghaus.

Self-made billionaires are most likely to be Gen X. Over 80% of billionaires are in this category, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Mu Rongjun, co-founder of Meituan, a company similar to Yelp. At the same time, the most billionaires living outside of the U.S. (81%) were born in this generation.

Billionaire Boomers are most likely to be married. The Silent Generation, meanwhile, are most likely to be U.S. citizens, with hedge fund manager George Soros and the world’s oldest billionaire, George Joseph (100) who founded insurance firm Mercury General, in this set.

Notable exceptions include Robert Kuok (98), the richest person in Malaysia, and Masatoshi Ito (97), chair of Japan’s largest retailer.

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Personal Finance

Mapped: The Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities

Is owning a home still realistic? This map lays out the salary you’d need to buy a home in 50 different U.S. metro areas.

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This is the Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities

Depending on where you live, owning a home may seem like a far off dream or it could be fairly realistic. In New York City, for example, a person needs to be making at least six figures to buy a home, but in Cleveland you could do it with just over $45,000 a year.

This visual, using data from Home Sweet Home, maps out the annual salary you’d need for home ownership in 50 different U.S. cities.

Note: The map above refers to entire metro areas and uses Q1 2022 data on median home prices. The necessary salary was calculated by the source, looking at the base cost of principal, interest, property tax, and homeowner’s insurance.

Home Ownership Across the U.S.

San Jose is by far the most expensive city when it comes to purchasing a home. A person would need to earn over $330,000 annually to pay off the mortgage at a monthly rate of $7,718.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

RankMetro AreaMedian Home PriceSalary Needed
#1San Jose$1,875,000$330,758
#2San Francisco$1,380,000$249,685
#3San Diego$905,000$166,828
#4Los Angeles$792,500$149,127
#5Seattle$746,200$140,768
#6Boston$639,000$130,203
#7New York City$578,100$129,459
#8Denver$662,200$121,888
#9Austin$540,700$114,679
#10Washington, D.C.$553,000$110,327
#11Portland$570,500$109,267
#12Riverside/San Bernardino$560,000$106,192
#13Sacramento$545,000$105,934
#14Miami$530,000$103,744
#15Salt Lake City$556,900$100,970
#16Providence$406,700$88,477
#17Phoenix$474,500$86,295
#18Las Vegas$461,100$84,116
#19Raleigh$439,100$83,561
#20Dallas$365,400$81,165
#21Orlando$399,900$79,573
#22Chicago$325,400$76,463
#23Tampa$379,900$75,416
#24Houston$330,800$74,673
#25Minneapolis$355,800$74,145
#26Baltimore$350,900$73,803
#27Nashville$387,200$73,502
#28Jacksonville$365,900$73,465
#29Hartford$291,000$73,165
#30Charlotte$379,900$72,348
#31San Antonio$321,100$70,901
#32Atlanta$350,300$69,619
#33Philadelphia$297,900$69,569
#34Richmond$354,500$68,629
#35Milwaukee$298,800$65,922
#36Kansas City$287,400$60,507
#37Columbus$274,300$59,321
#38Virginia Beach$289,900$59,245
#39New Orleans$281,100$57,853
#40Birmingham$289,500$55,662
#41Indianapolis$271,600$53,586
#42Memphis$259,300$52,691
#43Cincinnati$244,300$51,840
#44Buffalo$202,300$51,525
#45Detroit$224,300$50,302
#46St Louis$216,700$48,988
#47Louisville$235,400$48,121
#48Cleveland$192,700$45,448
#49Oklahoma City$198,200$45,299
#50Pittsburgh$185,700$42,858

Perhaps surprisingly, Boston residents need slightly higher earnings than New Yorkers to buy a home. The same is also true in Seattle and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, some of the cheapest cities to start buying up real estate in are Oklahoma City and Cleveland.

As of April, the rate of home ownership in the U.S. is 65%. This number represents the share of homes that are occupied by the owner, rather than rented out or vacant.

The American Dream Home

As of the time of this data (Q1 2022), the national yearly fixed mortgage rate sat at 4% and median home price at $368,200. This put the salary needed to buy a home at almost $76,000⁠—the median national household income falls almost $9,000 below that.

But what kind of homes are people looking to purchase? Depending on where you live the type of home and square footage you can get will be very different.

In New York City, for example, there are fairly few stand-alone, single-family houses in the traditional sense⁠—only around 4,000 are ever on the market. People in the Big Apple tend to buy condominiums or multi-family units.

Additionally, if you’re looking for luxury, not even seven figures will get you much in the big cities. In Miami, a million dollars will only buy you 833 square feet of prime real estate.

One thing is for sure: the typical American dream home of the big house with a yard and white picket fence is more attainable in smaller metro areas with ample suburbs.

Buying vs. Renting

The U.S. median household income is $67,500, meaning that today the typical family could only afford a home in about 15 of the 50 metro areas highlighted above, including New Orleans, Buffalo, and Indianapolis.

With the income gap widening in the U.S., the rental market remains a more attractive option for many, especially as prices are finally tapering off. The national median rent price was down nearly 3% from June to July for two-bedroom apartments.

At the end of the day, buying a home can be an important investment and may provide a sense of security, but it will be much easier to do in certain types of cities.

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Investor Education

Countries with the Highest Default Risk in 2022

In this infographic, we examine new data that ranks the top 25 countries by their default risk.

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Countries with the Highest Default Risk in 2022

In May 2022, the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt for the first time. The country’s government was given a 30-day grace period to cover $78 million in unpaid interest, but ultimately failed to pay.

Not only does this impact Sri Lanka’s economic future, but it also raises an important question: which other countries are at risk of default?

To find out, we’ve used data from Bloomberg to rank the countries with the highest default risk.

The Sovereign Debt Vulnerability Ranking

Bloomberg’s Sovereign Debt Vulnerability Ranking is a composite measure of a country’s default risk. It’s based on four underlying metrics:

  • Government bond yields (the weighted-average yield of the country’s dollar bonds)
  • 5-year credit default swap (CDS) spread
  • Interest expense as a percentage of GDP
  • Government debt as a percentage of GDP

To better understand this ranking, let’s focus on Ukraine and El Salvador as examples.

CountryRankGovernment Bond
Yield (%)
5Y CDS SpreadInterest Expense
(% of GDP)
Government Debt
(% of GDP)
🇸🇻 El Salvador131.8%3,376 bps
(33.76%)
4.9%82.6%
🇺🇦 Ukraine860.4%10,856 bps
(100.85%)
2.9%49%

1 basis point (bps) = 0.01%

Why are Ukraine’s Bond Yields so High?

Ukraine has high default risk due to its ongoing conflict with Russia. To understand why, consider a scenario where Russia was to assume control of the country. If this happened, it’s possible that Ukraine’s existing debt obligations will never be repaid.

That scenario has prompted a sell-off of Ukrainian government bonds, pushing their value down to nearly 30 cents on the dollar. This means that a bond with face value of $100 could be purchased for $30.

Because yields move in the opposite direction of price, the average yield on these bonds has climbed to a very high 60.4%. As a point of comparison, the yield on a U.S. 10-year government bond is currently 2.9%.

What is a CDS Spread?

Credit default swaps (CDS) are a type of derivative (financial contract) that provides a lender with insurance in the event of a default. The seller of the CDS represents a third party between the lender (investors) and borrower (in this case, governments).

In exchange for receiving coverage, the buyer of a CDS pays a fee known as the spread, which is expressed in basis points (bps). If a CDS has a spread of 300 bps (3%), this means that to insure $100 in debt, the investor must pay $3 per year.

Applying this to Ukraine’s 5-year CDS spread of 10,856 bps (108.56%), an investor would need to pay $108.56 each year to insure $100 in debt. This suggests that the market has very little faith in Ukraine’s ability to avoid default.

Why is El Salvador Ranked Higher?

Despite having lower values in the two metrics discussed above, El Salvador ranks higher than Ukraine because of its larger interest expense and total government debt.

According to the data above, El Salvador has annual interest payments equal to 4.9% of its GDP, which is relatively high. Comparing to the U.S. once more, America’s federal interest costs amounted to 1.6% of GDP in 2020.

When totaled, El Salvador’s outstanding debts are equal to 82.6% of GDP. This is considered high by historical standards, but today it’s actually quite normal.

The next date to watch will be January 2023, as this is when the country’s $800 million sovereign bond reaches maturity. Recent research suggests that if El Salvador were to default, it would experience significant, yet temporary, negative effects.

Another Hot Topic for El Salvador: Bitcoin

In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This means that Bitcoin is recognized by law as a means to settle debts and other obligations.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) criticized this decision in early 2022, urging the country to revoke legal tender status. In hindsight, these warnings were wise, as Bitcoin’s value has fallen by 56% year-to-date.

While this isn’t directly related to El Salvador’s default risk, it does open potential avenues for relief. For instance, large players in the crypto space may be willing to assist the government to keep the concept of “nation-state bitcoin adoption” alive.

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