The Waltons and the Other Richest Families in the World Have More Than $800 Billion

The old saying tells us that money can’t buy happiness. However, it can buy security, which is comforting. But even if you follow the simple ways to increase wealth without having money, you probably won’t have as much money as the richest people in the world.

Money, cash, dollars

Holding money | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Wealthy people such as Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates, control vast fortunes. So do some of what Investopedia calls the richest families in the world.

Let’s meet some of the richest families in the world

Individually, some members of the families we’re about to discuss are jaw-droppingly wealthy on their own. For example, three of the Waltons are among the richest Americans alive. When you add up the wealth, that’s when you encounter some gaudy figures.

13. Thomson family

Combined net worth: $30.9 billion

Business: Newspapers, TV

The Thomson family owns a media empire based in Canada.

12. Cox family

Combined net worth: $33.6 billion

Business: Newspapers, publishing, cable

Once in the newspaper business, the Cox family branched out to radio, cable and internet, digital media, and other publishing ventures, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

11. Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt

Susanne Klatten

Susanne Klatten and her brother are rich beyond belief. | Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Combined net worth: $42.7 billion

Business: Auto manufacturing

Stefan Quandt and his sister Susanne Klatten both have controlling interests in automaker BMW. The company also produces Mini and Rolls Royce cars.

10. Mukesh and Anil Ambani

richest families in the world

Mukesh Ambani and his brother make up one of the richest families in the world. | Indranil Mukhherjee/AFP/Getty Images

Combined net worth: $43.4 billion

Business: Oil, chemicals

The Ambani brothers share leadership duties at Reliance Industries, and their combined wealth makes them among the richest relatives on Earth. Mukesh isn’t shy about flaunting his wealth. He has an outrageously extravagant high-rise house in Mumbai, India.

9. Wertheimer family

Combined net worth: $45.6 billion

Business: Fashion

Brothers Alan and Gerhard Wertheimer co-own the haute Chanel fashion line.

8. Kamprad family

Combined net worth: $48.9 billion

Business: Retail

There are some secret things about IKEA that even the die-hards don’t know, but there’s no hiding the incredible wealth founder Ingvar Kamprad left to his family.

7. Dumas family

Combined net worth: $49.2 billion

Business: Fashion

The clan behind the fancy Hermès fashion brand is one of the richest families in the world with more than $49 billion in wealth.

6. The Albrecht family

Combined net worth: $55.5 billion

Business: Retail

The family behind Aldi turned a small mom-and-pop grocery store into an international corporation. They’re one of the richest families around because of it.

5. Carlos Slim and family

Carlos Slim Helu speaking at New York Times event

Carlos Slim heads one of the richest families on Earth. | Kimberly White/Getty Images

Combined net worth: $67 billion

Business: Technology

Carlos Slim drives himself to work instead of hiring a chauffeur, which is a secret penny-pinching habit some other billionaires share. Slim is responsible for building the family fortune, but he shares the wealth.

4. Arnault family

Combined net worth: $72.2 billion

Business: Fashion

Bernard Arnault is the richest person born in 1949. Even though the man is somewhat anonymous, the brands he and his family control aren’t. Arnault’s LVMH holding company owns Dior and Louis Vuitton, among other high-end brands.

3. Mars family

Combined net worth: $89.7 billion

Business: Food

Snickers, M&M’s, and Starburst are some of the candies Mars Incorporated makes. The company also makes pet food, coffees and teas, and other foods. Brother and sister John and Jacqueline Mars own equal stakes in the company. Together, they are some of the richest related people on Earth.

2. Koch brothers

Combined net worth: $120 billion

Business: Varied

Brothers Charles and David Koch both own more than 40% of Koch Industries, which owns companies in sectors such as electronics, agriculture, and pipelines, among others. Their combined wealth makes them among the richest families in the world

1. Walton family

The Waltons of Walmart fame

Rob, Alice, and Jim Walton (from left) are members of one of the world’s richest families. | Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images

Combined net worth: $174.5 billion

Business: Retail

Walmart is one of the most successful companies in history, and the Walton controls it. Alice, Jim, and Rob Walton each have net worths of at least $44 billion. The entire family approaches $175 billion in the bank.

When you add up the wealth of these 13 families, it comes out to more than $873 billion, which is more than some countries.

The world’s unofficial rich list

We’ve just seen the richest families in the world that we know are incredibly wealthy. How do we know? They lead publicly traded companies or freely disclose the wealth they control.

However, not every billionaire is so forthcoming. Some secret billionaires keep their wealth off the books or spread it out so much that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

So who are some of the secret billionaire families?

House of Saud family, richest families in the world

The Saudi Royal Family is the richest in the world. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

  • Former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh has up to $62 million in his bank account. We don’t know if he’s keen on sharing the wealth with his relatives.
  • Syria leader Bashar al-Assad and his family control a reported $122 billion.
  • Onetime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his family could have stashed away more than $700 billion during his 30 years leading the country.
  • The Saudi royal family is supposedly worth well over $1.4 trillion, though that amount is spread out among princes, princesses, cousins, and other members of the family.

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