Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Carlos Slim Helu
Birthdate: January 28, 1940
Famous Years: 1965-Present
Currently Known For: 7th Richest Person in the World
|Networth: $67.1 Billion||Famous For: Former Richest Person in the World|
January 28, 1940
7th Richest Person in the World
Former Richest Person in the World
In 2010, Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico made history when he became the richest person in the world, which had been unprecedented at the time. The top spot has typically only come from the United States, which caused a lot of people to start reading up on Slim. What they found was that it’s not simply one business that Slim has run successfully, but has been in control of many different businesses with a wide variation of goods.
Born on January 28, 1940 in Mexico City, Slim worked with his father almost from the get-go to learn about business and the ins and outs of management and analytics. This would prove to give Slim a head start in the business world, where he made his first investments when he was only a child. Being quite the business mind at his young age, Slim would keep track of all of his transactions and investments, marking every penny so that he could see where his money was going.
Slim’s brilliant business sense would continue into his teenage years when he started to invest in the stock market, and also got to work so that he could make some extra money to throw into investments. It seemed like a given that Slim would end up attending college for business when he graduated high school, but actually focused his major on civil engineering, earning his degree in the early 1960s while taking only a handful of business classes.
Slim would start working heavily in stocks after leaving college, and within a few years had hundreds of thousands in investments. Because of his growing investment portfolio, Slim decided that he wanted to start his own businesses. When the Mexican economy started to suffer, Slim would buy up a lot of companies for long-term investments that would turn up making him a massive profit.
Everything from tobacco and soft drinks to metal and insurance all interested Slim, who formed a conglomerate throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1990, he would merge with Grupo Inbursa to form Grupo Carso. The company has had many subsidiaries throughout the years, including Sears of Mexico and CompUSA. Over time, Slim has also invested into owning shares of other major companies such as Firestone Tires, Barnes & Noble and OfficeMax, to name just a few.
The low interest rates in his investments helped tremendously, and he proved to be the best businessman in Mexico. “At 25, I made many companies,” he said. “I was thinking more like a businessman or entrepreneur than a CEO. I created many companies, small companies, medium companies. I tried to be involved in many kinds of activities.”
Controlling all of these companies hasn’t been too big of a problem for Slim, who says “First of all you need to know the business...the numbers tell you what is happening. You can read with the numbers.” He added that he’s always been good with understanding business analytics, saying “Some people are very good with letters and others have numbers, that you can manage numbers in different ways and you read the numbers and you understand what is happening in the companies.”
Some have been critical of Slim for not identifying himself as a “philanthropist” like many of his fellow world’s richest people, but has been more private about his giving. Slim has many different foundations that have included a foundation named after himself, which he says he’s given billions of dollars to.
“I am convinced, very convinced, that business experience can really help to address the social challenges beyond politics,” he says. “For the last five years I have established the goal of identifying these challenges” such as human capital, saying that he wants to make an impact in “nutrition, education and health.”
Slim has found himself on the list of the world’s 10 richest people every year dating back to 2005. It was then that he made a meteoric rise, ascending to the fourth overall spot with a net worth of $23.8 billion. It would only take a year before he climbed into the top three, and had more than double his net worth by 2008 when he reached the second spot behind Warren Buffett.
In 2010, Slim would make history as the world’s richest man, surpassing both Buffett and Bill Gates to take the record with a $53.5 billion net worth. Slim held the top spot for the next three years before being overtaken by Gates in 2014, and has been dropping down the list since then. Now, Slim finds himself in the seventh spot in terms of richest people in the world, with a net worth of $67.1 billion. However, Slim still is by far the richest person in all of Mexico, and figures to remain in that spot.
For Slim, hanging onto the title of the world’s richest person wasn’t all that important, though. “It’s not a football match you have to win or an Olympic event with a gold medal,” he says. “It is not a contest or a competition...I am not going to have more children, nor am I going to live differently. I haven’t changed anything in my life in the last 30 years. Probably not even for the last 60.”