Forbes has released a new ranking of billionaire children, showing that there are 45 American families with a net worth of at least $10 billion. The richest family on the list is the Waltons, whose combined net worth is estimated to be around $267 billion as of January 16. This figure surpasses Elon Musk’s net worth, which is approximately $202 billion.
The Mars family comes in second place on the list, with a fortune of $117 billion. Other notable families on the list include the Kochs, Lauders, Hearsts and Marriotts. However, some prominent names such as Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Getty were left off the rankings due to various reasons such as stock price performance, legal disputes and taxes on stock sales and charitable giving.
The majority of these super-rich families made their fortunes through founding private companies or retaining ownership stakes in public companies they helped build. For example, the Cargill-MacMillan family owns about 88% of Cargill, a large ingredients company while the Dorrance family owns nearly 40% of Campbell Soup. Some families have sold their stake in businesses over time such as the Bush family selling their stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev and Haslam family selling their stake in Pilot Travel Centers for billions of dollars.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway also features on this list having accumulated massive wealth over several years through various acquisitions and investments. Despite different approaches to building wealth such as keeping it in the family or taking it private vs selling it or retaining ownership stakes in public companies they built; all these families seem to have one thing in common – creating massive generational wealth through lasting businesses.