Being a millionaire isn’t as impressive as it once was, but people take notice when you have a billion dollars. Becoming a billionaire requires a lot of work and at least a little luck, or the right parents. Many billionaires inherited their fortune. Assuming you don’t have billionaire parents, there are a few other options.
Earn your first billion and impress all your friends:
1. Investing. Many billionaires invested their way to success, or at least earned their money in the financial world. For example, there are several hedge fund managers that are billionaires, but they got that way through investing other people’s money and taking part of the profits. A few billionaire investors have also managed to reach that status on their own.
2. Create an online business. Look no further than the founders of Alibaba, Amazon.com, and Facebook. Creating an online business and earning a cool billion dollars is far from easy, but if you’re starting from ground zero, the online world has its advantages.
3. Get into the entertainment business. Steven Spielberg is one example. There are no actor, singer, or comedian billionaires, at least not from performing exclusively. You’ll have to get into the business side of things. Think director or producer. A billion dollars requires big thinking.
4. Technology. It’s not just online businesses, but anything to do with technology. The industry is constantly changing, and technology devices and services aren’t cheap. Bill Gates and Larry Ellison spring to mind in this category. Perhaps you can finally develop the flying car.
5. Real estate. Forget about single family homes and think bigger. Commercial real estate is where the action and the numbers are. Commercial real estate properties can be worth over 100 million dollars.
* It’s also easier to borrow money for real estate than it is for other types of businesses. The vastness of the projects coupled with the incredible leverage provides a lot of opportunity.
6. Sports. It’s hard to believe, but an NFL team could be purchased back in the 1970s for around $10 million. All of the teams are now worth over $1 billion. You’ll need more than your piggy bank to get into the game, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
* More recently, the UFC was started in the early 1990s on a shoestring budget, sold in 2000 for $2 million, and was recently sold for $4 billion.
7. Health care. Successful hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies make a lot of money. Consider starting your own firm and take it to the top. However, the barriers to entry are among the highest in this industry.
8. Retail. Walmart is the most common example, but there are others. Phil Knight of Nike is another example. There are more examples in Europe and Asia. Start a store on the corner and see if you can do as well.
Are you feeling inspired? Not many people have the necessary level of obsession to create a net worth of a billion dollars or more. It’s arguable that it’s even worth the time and effort. What would you do with a billion dollars that you can’t do with $10 million? Would those things be worth all the time, energy, and sacrifice needed to make a billion dollars?
Consider paying off your debts, putting a few million in the bank, and investing your free time in your hobbies. If you’re still committed to the idea of rubbing elbows with Warren Buffett, you’d better get busy immediately.