A Bumper Crop of Billionaires


12. Liliane Bettencourt (84, French, $20.7 billion) -- As the only woman in the Top 20, Bettencourt looks fabulous. Her L'Oréal money comes from the worldwide obsession with looking good.


13. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud (50, Saudi, $20.3 billion) -- The Saudi prince has seen his fortune expand in the past year, thanks to big stake in U.S. companies News Corp and Citi.


14. Mukesh Ambani (49, Indian, $20.1 billion) -- Ambani is profiting from the growing global need for petrochemicals. His Reliance Industries is India's largest private sector company. His brother Anil is No. 18 on the list.

15. Karl Albrecht (87, German, $20 billion ) -- This German co-owns the discount retailer Aldi with brother Theo (No. 20).


16. Roman Abramovich (40, Russian, $18.7 billion) -- The youngest person in the Forbes Top 20, Abramovich started his fortune when the former USSR opened up and he founded an oil trading firm.


17. Stefan Persson (59, Swedish, $18.4 billion) -- Persson has cashed in on the global obsession with low-price, high-fashion clothing from retail chain H&M, which he co-founded.


18. Anil Ambani (47, Indian, $18.2 billion) -- Focusing his fortune in finance, energy and telecom, this Ambani brother is building his wealth as India's economy grows.


19. Paul Allen (54, American, $18 billion) -- Allen co-founded Microsoft with the world's richest man. Today his ventures are diverse with diverse investments in professional sports, cable systems, private space flight and more.


20. Theo Albrecht (84, German, $17.5 billion) -- If you're a fan of Trader Joe's Two-buck Chuck wines, then you've probably contributed to this fortune. Theo owns the popular Trader Joe's chain and holds a big stake in discounter Aldi.

If you dream of one day joining the ranks of the Forbes list, you might just be able to do it. More than half of the people on the vaunted roster of the world's richest people are self-made, starting out with nothing and making their way into the history books.

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