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The richest people in the world, 2017

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    Forbes 2017 billionaires list: Meet the richest people on the planet

    Complete List

    Bill Gates is No. 1 having increased his wealth from $75 billion last year to $86 billion this year.

    Warren Buffet is No. 2.

    Jeff Bezos is No. 3.

    Mark Zuckerberg is No. 5.

    No comments necessary. America is still the land of opportunity...for some.

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    It's a question as to how they got to where they are and what trade-offs were made, if any.

    Some believe that its impossible to get that rich without having to walk on the backs of others either knowingly or out of ignorance. In some cases I do believe this is true, but I don't believe financial success inherently includes extracting money from those who have very little already.

    I tend to think those who rise to the top out of nowhere are a result of being at the right place\time, with the right idea\product, and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. And most success stories are not about billionaires, they are about small businesses that are able to do well for the same reasons that billionaires are able to do well.

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    You can read each of their bios in Wikipedia. None of them were born into family wealth...all have an entrepreneurial spirit.
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    I have a lot respect for Bill Gates because he is dedicated to give nearly his entire fortune to his foundation that is focused on humanitarian efforts. He has been on NPR a few times. I recall him advocating against of passing down huge sums of wealth (like his) from one generation to the next. His children will only inherit 10 million each, which is nothing to scoff at, but in comparision to billions, he is giving them practically none of his fortune.
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    In my business working on boats gfrom 150k to 15 million I have met a lot of super wealthy people. And in every case of the super wealthy it seems like people drive dump trucks full of money and dump it on them. I asked a guy about a 200 million dollar deal. I said it was complicated loaded with variables and asked how he could possibly do a deal like that and not get wiped out. He said you just know. That is when I realized that people have unexplainable talent and skills just like Tom Brady has unexplainable skills and talent. Just different areas of expertise. Whether it is making a deal, throwing a ball or painting a picture, some people have unique special talents that gets them fantastic results. And either you have it or you don't .