GlobalData Plc

How the richest Americans source their wealth

On July 27, 2017 Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest person. Where is his wealth coming from?

GlobalData’s HNW Customer Demographic Analytics reveal that millionaires source their wealth from an array of industries. This is unsurprising, given the breadth of natural resources and hubs that have grown dramatically over the course of the country’s recent history. While the performance of Amazon’s shares allowed Bezos to sit on top of the wealthiest list for just a few hours, his business ventures operate in industries that underline notable sources of wealth in the US.

Technology & telecommunications is the most common industry from which US millionaires source their wealth (15.9%). Along with financial services & investments and media, 39.7% of the country’s total HNW population have made their fortunes through one of these three industries.

This is also reflected in The World’s Billionaires List by Forbes. The richest US individuals (as of August 1, 2017) indeed source their wealth from these industries: Bill Gates (Microsoft), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), Jeff Bezos (Amazon and Washington Post), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Ellison (Oracle), and Michael Bloomberg (finance and news).

This is not to say that individuals who source their wealth from specific industries are guaranteed to become billionaires. Rather, this illustrates the prevalence of these industries in the US and their earning potential.

Looking ahead, industries such as technology and financial services will continue to serve as major industries for sourcing wealth. As the richest of today continue exploring and developing innovative products and services, they will have to continue to advance their respective markets to stay on top in the future.

By Nicole Douglas, Wealth Management Analyst

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