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The wealthiest person!

Do you want to be wealthy? Of course! Read about how to be truly wealthy.

We are fascinated by stories of great wealth. The wealthiest people, the most valuable companies, are ranked every year by reputed magazines and institutions, and we follow these stories with great interest. Of the top 20 wealthiest people in 2020, many are from the ‘new-age’ economies, such as tech tycoons, the rest from traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses. However, this is a list of only those whose wealth is declared, out in the open. There are many whose wealth cannot be displayed, dictators, kings, and despots. They cannot be listed, and therefore it is impossible to gauge their wealth. Rumour has it that many such individuals have even greater wealth and power than those on the official list.

Regardless of whether or not wealth is declared, have you wondered what makes a person wealthy? Why is someone a billionaire and the next person a pauper? The answer is simple: the billionaire possesses valuable economic resources, such as land, stock, buildings, businesses, etc. The pauper does not.

In the old days, wealth used to be measured in terms of land; the more land a person had, the wealthier he was. Now it is mostly stock holding; the valuation of the person’s company or his stocks in it - determines wealth. It is not as if a billionaire has a billion dollars in cash in his locker; it does not work that way these days. For instance, when writing this, the respected Forbes magazine estimates Apple is worth a staggering 2.4 trillion dollars! This is closely followed by Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, in that order. It is doubtful that these companies have that kind of physical assets such as land, gold, or cash, amounting to those astronomical figures. These companies are valuable because the world at large thinks they are.

If we look at the fundamentals of wealth, we see that a person or a company is valuable because others consider it worthwhile. The people behind the person or company make it valuable. Who are the people ‘behind’ a company or an individual? Shareholders, big investors, influential financial or political figures - if these people repose faith, that makes up wealth.

The bigger the people ‘behind’, the wealthier a person. The converse to that is, if these people lose their faith or withdraw their support, the entire edifice of wealth is gone.

Do not think this has not happened. It has happened throughout history, time, and time again. You do not have to look back too far in the past to see this. What was the most valuable company in the year 2000? It was Cisco, with a stock market capitalization of 569 Billion US dollars in the year 2000. What is its position these days? As of 2018, it ranks 444th on the Forbes global list. How fortunes have turned!