The Walton family, whose patriarch was the founder of Walmart, has officially become the richest family in the world based on collective wealth, according to the Sunday Times rich list. Imagine that!
ChaChing – What Are They Worth?
According to the UK-based paper’s list of the richest people in the world (published on Sunday, May 13), the Walton family’s net worth in 2018 came up to £128.9 billion ($174.9 billion). Phew!
The bulk of their wealth comes from the retail giant Walmart. The family also owns another hugely profitable retail chain called Asda. In addition, Walmart acquired India’s largest e-commerce platform (Flipkart) last week. Looks like it has been a great fortnight for the Walton family.
Who Came in Close Second?
Brothers Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries came in second (the brothers are worth £88.9 billion or $120 billion), with Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos featuring third on the list. Other prominent names in the top five include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (at £66.7 billion or $90 billion) and Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (at £62.2 billion or $84 billion).
|Rank||Name||Country||Source of wealth||Wealth in 2018|
|1||The Walton family||US||Asda, Walmart||£128.9 billion|
|2||David and Charles Koch||US||Oil services||£88.9 billion|
|3||Jeff Bezos||US||Amazon||£83 billion|
|4||Bill Gates||US||Microsoft||£66.7 billion|
|5||Warren Buffett||US||Berkshire Hathaway||£62.2 billion|
|6||Bernard Arnault and family||France||Luxury goods||£53.3 billion|
|7||Mark Zuckerberg||US||£52.6 billion|
|8||The Mars family||US||Confectionary||£52.6 billion|
|9||Amancio Ortega||Spain||Fashion||£51.9 billion|
|10||Carlos Slim Helu||Mexico||Telecoms||£49.7 billion|
How Did the Waltons Become the Top Dogs?
During the 1930s, Walmart founder Sam Walton waited tables, delivered newspapers, and worked at several five and dimes, while getting his degree in Economics from the University of Missouri in Columbia. A couple of decades later, in 1962, Walton opened the first Walmart store with a vision to service rural areas and run a cost-effective business by helping customers at the same time.
The company’s growth was meteoric and it went public in 1970. In fact, loyal sales associates who stuck with the company and had received shares saw an unprecedented growth in their own wealth. The bottomline is that patience, loyalty, and hard work truly pay off.
Years later, in 1992, Sam Walton was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Unfortunately, the dynamic business mogul also passed away that same year.
By then, his family (consisting of the four children – Rob, John, Jim, and Alice – he had with Helen Walton ) was also already the richest in the U.S. based on their collective wealth. In fact, even though Jeff Bezos remains the richest man in the world, Alice Walton (Walmart heiress and legendary philanthropist) is the world’s richest woman, according to the Forbes Billionaire list 2018.
Walmart has certainly grown beyond what Sam Walton could possibly have imagined and the Walton family is now also earning money from the Walmart-owned warehouse chain, Sam’s Club and Asda, a supermarket chain in the UK.
Did Frugality Get Them Here?
Frugality doesn’t mean being cheap, but rather means being wise about how you spend your money. And, according to widespread research and anecdotes, some of these incredibly wealthy people cultured surprisingly frugal habits. Most importantly, they don’t believe in rubbing their wealth in everyone’s faces.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg celebrated his wedding in his backyard and even popped into a McDonald’s on his honeymoon. And, Warren Buffet still lives in the house he bought for $31,000 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Sam Walton himself strived to stay close to his roots and drove a 1979 Ford F150 pickup truck. When asked why he did that, he candidly commented, “What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?”
Featured image credit : Walmart under CC BY 4.0. No changes were made.