Name: Carlos Slim Helu
Standing at No 1 Position
Net worth (USD): $74.0 billion
Sources of wealth: Telmex, América Móvil, Grupo Carso
Who Is Carlos Slim?
Carlos Slim Helu is the World’s Richest Man of 2011 according to Forbes magazine research. The seventy one year old telecom giant has been on top of the list for a couple of years now. He currently has a net worth of seventy four billion dollars ($74 USD). Mr. Monopoly, as he is referred to by some in his native country, currently dominates the Mexican economy through his large stakes in many companies, including Telmex and American Movil, both which dominate the phone market in Mexico, where Helu is a citizen.
The Early Years (his biography)
- Born to a Lebanese father and Lebanese-Mexican mother on January 28th, 1940, Helu has lived in Mexico his entire life. Helu’s father emigrated from Lebanon in 1902, leaving due to military occupation. Helu’s mother was of Lebanese origin as well. She was part of the family which helped bring the Arabic printing press into Mexico. Helu’s father opened a dry goods store while in Mexico and spent the profits on buying cheap real estate.
- Slim’s father taught all of his six children important investing lessons at a young age. Each child was responsible to maintain a ledger to keep track of financial transactions. Carlos, the fifth of the six children, kept records of his baseball card trades on the playground, ensuring he made a profit on all his deals. Helu bought his first government savings bond at age fourteen and his first stock investment the following year.
Investments: How Carlos Slim Got rich
- In the early 1980s Helu began buying stakes in companies that had decreased in values due to Mexico’s economy. Helu reshaped the companies over a ten year span by changing and improving management. These companies purchased eventually became Grupo Carso, which is Helu’s conglomerate he owns a stake in and chairs the board. This buying of undervalued companies is still used by Helu in the more than two hundred companies he currently has financial interests in. This method of buying companies on the cheap is ultimately how Carlos Slim got rich.
- Slim Helu made the purchase of Telmex, the large telephone company, in 1990. The company now has a market share of around eighty percent in Mexico. American Movil, a former part of Telmex, also owned by Helu, controls seventy percent of the cell phone market in Mexico. American Movil and Telmex remain the major sources of wealth for Helu.
- Helu has earned his nickname of Mr. Monopoly due to his control over many different areas of the Mexican economy. The Wall Street Journal may have said it best when they said, “it’s hard to spend a day in Mexico and not put money in [Slim’s] pocket.”
- Carlos Slim Helu currently has large stakes of ownership in American Movil, Telmex, New York Times, Saks, and Phillip Morris International. Helu also has a tendency to own the Mexican branches of many large worldwide corporations. These companies include Reynolds Aluminum, Hershey’s, Denny’s, and Sears.
Carlos Slim Helu & Family Now
Carlos Slim Helu, similarly to American Warren Buffett, is frugal when it comes to spending his vast wealth. Carlos Slim Helu and family currently lives in the same six bedroom home which he has occupied for the last three decades. Learning from childhood lessons from his father, Carlos Slim Helu, has worked his way through the emerging market of Mexico to become the World’s richest man.