This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Is Buffett, Not Carlos Slim, the Richest Man?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --

The annual Forbes list of the world's richest people has showcased a growing billionaire set from outside the U.S., with emerging market leaders like Russia, Brazil and China encroaching on the U.S. billionaire "exceptionalism."

Indeed, much has been made of the fact that Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim edged out Microsoft's (MSFT) Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) Warren Buffett for the top spot among the world's richest.

The globalization of the billionaires is, of course, hardly a new trend -- more like a renewed trend in 2009, as the former commodities countries regained some billionaire steam after riding out the commodities doldrums of the prior few years. What's more, the number of U.S. capitalists on the annual billionaire list increased in 2009, too.

Still, one of the biggest points raised -- or, more to the point, not raised -- by the annual list is the extent to which charitable giving influences the flip-flopping at the top of the Forbes list of billionaires. We adjust for inflation, but when it comes to billionaires, Forbes doesn't adjust for charitable giving.

>>Stockpickr Portfolio: The Richest People in the World

At a time when the populist rage against the global wealth inequality runs high, it might be well worth Forbes' -- or someone's time -- to do an annual ranking of the world's billionaires, with figures adjusted for philanthropy.

In a sense, Forbes actually provided this service, just not in the actual annual billionaires list.

In a video with Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett posted on the Forbes Web site, the billionaire-monitoring magazine notes that Buffett's fortune would have been $55 billion if he had not given away $9 billion over the past five years to charity, and that difference would have earned him the top spot among the world's richest.

Mexico's Slim was worth $53.5 billion in 2009, but press reports have noted that he has only given away in the range of $65 million to charity.

Buffett ranked third in 2009 with a net worth of $47 billion, behind Slim and Gates.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $123.98 -0.36%
FB $81.63 -0.71%
GOOG $543.26 -0.86%
YHOO $44.25 -0.42%
TSLA $188.73 -0.02%

Markets

DOW 17,674.09 -102.03 -0.57%
S&P 500 2,054.64 -13.25 -0.64%
NASDAQ 4,860.6690 -40.2160 -0.82%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs