As might be expected, the 10 highest-placed high-earners – with the exception of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 36-year-old chief executive at number seven – were typically around 70. While most have seemingly spent a lifetime accumulating their enormous wealth, a lucky few have built their billions while most of their contemporaries are still saving for a deposit on their first apartment. Five such fabulously – and precociously – wealthy individuals stand out as particularly intriguing…
Net worth: US$4.3 billion
Source of wealth: Snapchat
Snapchat, the hugely popular social media platform, first came to fruition when its founder Evan Spiegel first pitched the idea to his class in Stanford University in 2011, however, he was laughed out of the room. Fortunately, this didn’t stop him from teaming up with two fellow students to actually create the app later that year. In 2012, he dropped out of university to focus on developing the platform. It then went on to secure more than a million daily users by the end of that year.
Spiegel become the world’s youngest billionaire in 2015 and then one of the world’s youngest public company chief executive in 2016, the year that Snapchat had its IPO. Today, he is still the head of the social media giant and controls an 18-percent stake in Snap Inc, its parent company. With a current estimated net worth of US$4.3 billion, he’s married to Australian model Miranda Kerr, with the couple sharing a son, two-year-old Hart. Three years ago, Evan was granted French citizenship in recognition of his contribution to the country’s economy and culture, He has, however, also retained his US passport.
Gustav Magnar Witzoe
Net worth: US$2.9 billion
Source of wealth: Salmon fishing
As the son of Gustav Witzoe, the man who founded SalMar, one of the world’s largest salmon farming companies, Gustav Junior was born with a figurative silver fishing rod – rather than spoon – in his mouth. Upon turning 20, his father transferred a significant proportion of the company’s stock – valued at some US$1.8 billion – to him in order to dodge paying an immense amount of inheritance tax later. Inevitably – and pretty much overnight – this made him one of the most affluent individuals in Norway, his home country.
Witzoe began his own career with a brief stint as a milker at one of SalMar’s salmon farms before signing on with a modeling agency. While he has a moderate degree of involvement in the family firm, he is keeping busy as an angel investor in technology start-ups and property ventures. Perhaps unsurprisingly a big fan of the finer things in life, his happy snaps have seen his social media presence skyrocket, with the 28-year-old currently maintaining a 110,000-strong following on social media giant Instagram.
Alexandra & Katharina Andresen
Age: 24 and 25, respectively
Net worth: US$1.3 billion each
Source of wealth: Investments
As with fellow Norwegian, Gustav Magnar Witzoe, the Andresen sisters joined the junior billionaires’ club thanks to a transfer of shares from their family firm, again as a means of dodging the Scandinavian nation’s legendarily colossal inheritance tax. In this instance, the family firm in question was Ferd, a wildly successful investment business with interests in both a multitude of funds as well several large real estate holdings, which was founded by their father, Johan Andresen, in 2001.
The sisters’ respective 42-percent stake in Ferd sees them both boast a net worth of US$1.3 billion. The elder, 26-year-old Katharina, graduated from Amsterdam University College and is currently based in London where she’s continuing her education. Alexandra, Johan’s second daughter, meanwhile, was the youngest billionaire on Forbes’ list for the three years (2016-2018), only losing her crown when she turned 21. Accomplished in her own right, she’s a three-time junior Norwegian dressage horse riding champion and models for KingsLand Equestrian, a sports-oriented clothing company.
Net worth: US$1 billion
Source of wealth: Cosmetics
Even before making her solo fortune at the head of Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner was no stranger to fame. In fact, as the youngest daughter of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians clan, she has seldom been off the telly since well before she was a teenager. A major mover and shaker on all things social media, she has also gained considerable attention for her various romantic relationships, though, more recently, she’s now totting up the likes for her cute posts with her adorable daughter Stormi Webster.
There was, however, some controversy with regard to the legitimacy of her reign as the world’s youngest billionaire. She assumed the role as of Forbes’ 2019 rankings and was subsequently acclaimed as ‘the world’s youngest self-made billionaire’ but was summarily dispatched mid-2020 following ‘new financial findings’. In fact, an extensive report, entitled: Inside Kylie Jenner’s Web of Lies – And Why She’s No Longer a Billionaire, accused the beauty mogul of forging tax documents and inflating the size and scale of her business.