Forbes recently released its annual rankings of the richest Americans in the United States. The list remains largely unchanged from last year with the top 4 individuals having a net worth of $150 million dollars. That’s a nice amount of change! Each of these individuals achieved financial success through different methods. So, how did these billionaires amass their fortunes?

Let’s take a look at how the 4 richest Americans built their fortunes.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is still the richest man in America with $54 billion dollars. Gates amassed his fortune largely through innovation. He took a small company by the name of Microsoft and turned it into the $212 billion dollar conglomerate that it is today. Gates dominates the marketplace with his popular Windows operating system and Office applications. Today, the company sells everything from software to video games.

Warren Buffett

The world’s greatest investor is Warren Buffett. Buffett has amassed a $45 billion dollar fortune through his patient buy and hold philosophy. Buffett has a knack for finding out of favor companies that are on the verge of greatness. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the most expensive stock in the entire stock market. His investments in Goldman Sachs and General Electric were seen as foolishness during the recent financial crisis. Today, those investments have netted Buffett billions in profit.

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison is a name that you may not be familiar with. Ellison is the CEO and founder of Oracle. He may only make a dollar a year but he isn’t hurting for money. Ellison is worth a reported $27 billion dollars. He founded Oracle with just a $1,400 investment. Ellison took a risk by starting the company and his bet paid off big time. Today, Oracle is one of the leading enterprise solutions companies in the world.  

Christy Walton & Family

The name Walton is synonymous with Walmart. Many of the Walton’s are on Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans including Christy Walton. Her wealth came through inheritance. She inherited billions after her husband John Walton passed away in 2005. Walton is worth an estimated $24 billion dollars. She is the richest Walton family member because of her husband’s wise investments in small cap companies like First Solar.

Final Thoughts

The path to wealth is different for many people. Your wealth may be built through any of the methods above. All that you have to do is apply yourself and passionately pursue your dreams. Who knows you just may find yourself on the list of the wealthiest Americans one day?