With Forbes having released its Worlds Billionaires List, we thought we would take a peek and see who, if anyone, had made it into the top 50 using property investment as their main source of wealth, given the global downturn in the property markets.
Most will have heard or read that the top spot this year has been claimed by Mexican telecoms giant, Carlos Slim Helu, shoehorning both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet out of the way.
Trawling through the list we see the usual suspects from the likes of Walmart, Ikea, L’Oreal and finally, at number 22 we find Dr. Lee Shau Kee
worth $18.5 Billion USD. This is not the first time Lee has appeared in the list, often referred to as “Hong Kong’s Warren Buffet” his expertise within the investment property business is something to behold. According to 2009 data, Lee's main company, Henderson Land Development
Co. Ltd, was the largest land holding company in Hong Kong. With several development and management companies as part of the main group, trading both in Hong Kong and mainland China the group is without doubt a shining example that there is still profit to be made within the property industry despite poor market conditions.
Further down the list, the next property billionaire doesn’t appear until number 44, Donald Bren
from the US. Bren, who apparently started out building his first property with a $10,000 loan 1958 is now reported to be worth a cool $12 Billion USD. Bren's wealth has remained stable despite the market turmoil in the US over the last year or so.
At number 45, we see the first British property Billionaire, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor
(The sixth Duke of Westminster). With extensive holdings both in and outside the UK, his wealth is on the way up, (Reportedly also at $12 Billion USD) although it has to be said that much of the initial wealth is inherited in this case.
It goes to show that it is possible to survive, make money and increase profits in a poorly performing market and “global recession”. Granted this is unquestionably at the extreme end of the business, but these business people still have decisions to make on a daily basis that will affect the growth or decline of their businesses, decisions that have to be made to progress and make profit. I guess it boils down to changing with the markets, and continuing to make investments that reflect your end goals as an investor. It certainly proves that there is money to be made in a downward trend
, provided you keep at it!
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- Wednesday 17 March 2010