Personal Finance

How to become a billionaire

Want to be a billionaire in the UK with no money to start? It can be done.

Of course, it is easier to become a millionaire than a billionaire.  With enough time, patience and discipline, compounding rates of return make becoming a millionaire achievable for almost anyone. But that same approach will take more than the average lifetime to hit the 10-figure mark.

Becoming a billionaire takes a bit more chutzpah.

To find out how billionaires get so rich, R.L. Adams, founder of Wanderlustworker, immersed himself among them. He wanted to know, do they have more self-discipline than the common millionaire? Do they follow different advice? Is their IQ off the charts?

What he found is that going from broke to billionaire fast is absolutely possible. And to reach the three-comma club, he outlines five strategies that have helped today’s uber-wealthy reach the top.

These strategies can work for anyone, making them useful guides for anyone looking for advice on how to become a billionaire by 30, or even to become a billionaire as a teenager.

1. Add value to the world

There are 151 billionaires in the UK as of 2019, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Coming in 5th on the list, valued at £12.6 billion, is James Dyson, Inventor and Founder of Dyson Company. He was frustrated with vacuums that didn’t work, so he set about creating a better one.

Vacuums may not seem like a launching pad into billionaire status, but Adams reminds us that there are opportunities to grow enormous wealth in any industry, from cold-brewed coffee to energy drinks, so long as it is a new, quality product that people can’t get enough of.

Create a product of value, and you may become a billionaire overnight like Mark Zuckerberg, or become a billionaire in 10 years or more, depending on your invention, business strategy and marketing.

2. Create products that people love

Billionaire author JK Rowling started from nothing. Then her books brought magic to children around the world and she found herself richer than the queen.

Rowling embodied Adam’s first strategy for becoming a billionaire with no money: add an abundant amount of value to the world.

Invent new products, he says, rather than improving on the old. Create something people want, love and can’t easily substitute. Although you may not become a billionaire overnight, this strategy can work fast.

3. Provide a service in a high-growth industry

Adams says that most billionaires built their fortune by doing something more effectively than those before them.

Find a high-growth industry, Adams advises, any one at all, and “insert yourself into the industry by finding a unique way that you can provide the same service, but better, more efficiently and with greater reliability.”

That’s how Andrey Andreev, the Russian born and London-based entrepreneur and modern day cupid, made his mark on the world. He helped to build five successful online dating apps. His are hardly the first, but hundreds of millions of users feel he did it better. For example, Bumble empowers female users to make first contact with matches, and the Huggle app matches people based on locations they frequent. His reward? A fortune estimated at $1.5bn.

4. Software is eating the world

Want to become a billionaire online? There’s a lot of money to be made in facilitating digital connections, says Adams. For example, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat—companies all valued in the billions—identified a new opportunity to improve online communication and connection that others missed. In 2019, 70% of the top 10 most valuable companies in the world are software companies.

It appears a well-trodden space, but entrepreneurs are continuing to find their niche. Fast growing UK startup lists feature several companies that are helping people connect with services. Skyscanner, for example, an online travel agency, better connects people with affordable flights and hotels and car rentals. And Care Sourcer helps connects people with local elderly care providers. Their respective founders aren’t yet billionaires, but the market value of these companies is on the right trajectory.

5. Real estate is a consistent source of Billionaires

Real estate is the foundation of wealth for many of the world’s mega rich. In fact, one in six people on the 2018 Rich Life owed their wealth to property in some way— one of the largest source of wealth on the list.

Many made their fortunes by buying up cheap property and waiting for house prices to rise, or by developing modest spaces into luxury ones.

“Some of the biggest real estate moguls in the world have started with nothing,” says Adams. “It's called wholesaling and creative financing. Once you understand it, it truly can propel tremendous growth.”

Monitor your wealth

Whatever approach you choose, set yourself up for success by keeping a close eye on your growing fortune with a financial app like Money Dashboard. Planning tools and charts help monitor your progress towards financial goals every step of the way.

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Becca Lipman

Financial Editor