There Are Over 1,000 Billionaires Worldwide -- and Connecticut Has 13 of Them

Mar 7, 2014

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Thirteen Connecticut residents appear on this year's list of the nation's billionaires, compiled by Forbes Magazine. The list, released annually, includes 1,645 billionaires worldwide. 

The average net worth of an individual on the Forbes billionaire ranking is $4.7 billion. Nine of the 13 Connecticut billionaires have built their fortunes through investment and capital management. According to Forbes, two-thirds of the billionaires across the U.S. achieved success through their own efforts, while 13 percent of the billionaires inherited their riches. 

Connecticut's wealthiest billionaire is Ray Dalio, founder of Westport-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. He took the 69th spot with a net worth of $14.4 billion. 

If you're looking to mirror his success, perhaps you'll be interested in his advice on "how the economic machine works" in the video below:

Peter Buck, co-founder of Subway.
Credit forbes.com

Fellow hedge fund chief Steve Cohen of SAC Capital also made the list with $11 billion in net worth. Once calling himself "King Cohen," he lowered his ranking after being hit with a record $1.8 billion federal fine for insider trading.

WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show examined the investigation into Cohen's activities on a show earlier this winter.

Former nuclear physicist Peter Buck, pictured at left, also made the list. He is co-founder of Subway, having loaned $1,000 in 1965 to his friend and co-founder Fred DeLuca. The first store was opened in Bridgeport.

Wrestling magnate Vince McMahon is making his first appearance on the Forbes list, at number  1,372. McMahon, pictured below, lives in Stamford with wife Linda McMahon, the former WWE Executive, and former candidate for U.S. Senate. 

Vince McMahon comes from humble beginnings. In an interview with E60, the ESPN movie network, he described his background as a "tremendous advantage, quite frankly. ...I am Americana, I am middle class -- actually, lower class." Listen to an excerpt below:

Of the 172 women to make the list worldwide, Karen Pritzker is Connecticut's sole female billionaire. The Branford resident is heir to the Hyatt hotel chain, and is a venture capitalist and philanthropist. She's pictured below in 2012, at left, with Allison Schwartz attending HBO's premiere of The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, which Pritzker executive produced.

Pritzker has made multiple donations to the Yale School of Medicine, and has pledged to donate up to $20 million in the future.  

Forty-two women were added to the Forbes ranking this year, an increase of 25 percent from the 2013 listing, and a 60 percent increase over the past two years. Women accounted for ten percent of those listed. Forbes stated, "The world's top ten richest women have a collective net worth of $224 billion. ...They're worth more than every professional sports team in the U.S. put together." 

Many of the Connecticut billionaires have founded their own firms, including Mario Gabelli, founder of Gamco Investors, seen in the video below:

Gabelli started buying American Airline stock at the age of 13, and is now worth $1.6 billion.