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How long it took the world’s richest to make their first billion

(Source: Getty)

A multi-billion dollar empire isn’t built in a day – but some people seem to manage it faster than others.

Some of the world’s wealthiest people were able to make their first billion in a matter of years, while for others it took nearly six decades.

According to OLBG analysis of Forbes’ 100 billionaires list, the person who made their first billion the fastest is French-American entrepreneur, software engineer and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, taking just three years to join the ‘three comma club’.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is third on the list, taking four years with Jeff Bezos hot on his heels at fourth place, taking five years to earn his first billion.

Judging by net worth, however, Bezos is in the lead with a US$113 billion fortune under his belt.

The billionaire with the second-highest net worth (US$98 billion) is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who took 12 years to earn his first billion.

Investment veteran Warren Buffett took 23 years to earn his first billion, but has since amassed a US$67.5 billion fortune.

Omidyar, despite earning his first billion in three years in 1998, has a more modest net worth to his name relative to his peers at US$11 billion.

One thing is for sure: it’s not easy for youngsters to hit seven figures. The youngest billionaire is Zuckerberg, at 36 years of age, but with US$54.7 billion to his name.

He’s only one of three other billionaires under the age of 47: the founder of Tiktok’s parent company, Zhang Yiming, is the same age as Zuckerberg and is worth an estimated US$16.2 billion, while Chinese e-commerce chief Colin Huang is 40 years old.

Huang was also the second-fastest after Omidyar (alongside Zuckerberg) to earn his first billion, beginning in 2015 and taking four years to reach seven figures in 2019.

The only Australian on the list is mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who took 15 years to earn her first billion. 

Rupert Murdoch took 35 years to earn his first billion, but is technically an American.

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