Five traits you need to become a billionaire

Monday 1st June, 2015


Upstart has been through UBS and PwC's 2015 Billionaire Report to give you the top five characteristics you need when starting your business if you hope, one day, to join the growing list of self-starting billionaires.

UBS and PwC have released their 2015 Billionaire report. The document looks at how billionaires across the world create their wealth and what they do with it once they’ve earned it. Upstart has been through the report to give you the top five things you need to know when starting your business if you hope, one day, to join the growing list of self-starting billionaires.

1. You’ll need a degree


The firms say that the idea of university dropouts becoming billionaires is a “myth”. Although myth may be putting it strongly, 82 per cent of billionaires in the report have a university degree. That said, if your idea is good enough, perhaps you could be in the other 18 per cent.

2. You're under 40


Business appears to be a young person’s game. 68 per cent of the billionaires started their first venture before they were 40. Almost a quarter had started up before they were 30. Well you need time to let all that money grow, don’t you?

Image: Hank Word

3. You’re business focused, determined and a risk-taker


These are purportedly the three personality traits that the world’s billionaires predominantly have in common. But if you don’t think that sounds like you then fear not. Many made up for deficiencies in one or more of these sections by teaming up with a business partner who has the right skills.

4. You live in the US or Europe


For all the talk of a more globalised economy the sad truth is that the vast majority of the world’s wealth is concentrated in these regions. Although Asian billionaires are now giving the pre-existing elite a run for their money, the fact remains that US entrepreneurs have created more wealth than any other nation’s.

5. You're willing to share


UBS and PwC believe that we are about to see an “unprecedented wave of philanthropy”. This includes Bill Gates’ famous ‘Giving Pledge’ where more than 100 billionaires have pledged to give more than 50 per cent of their wealth to charitable causes. If you’re not willing to give up some of your wealth, you may not be ready to become part of the global financial elite.

Image: Brandon Warren