|The World's Youngest Billionaires
No matter how much money Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have, there's one thing they can't buy: youth. There are elite few who are youngsters in their 20s and 30s and have already amassed or inherited more money than they could hope to spend in a lifetime. The youngest billionaire in the world is 27-year-old Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook's third employee. Moskovitz was a roommate of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who happens to be only 8 days older. The duo dropped out of Harvard and moved to Silicon Valley together to launch the fledgling social network. Now a world-wide phenomenon, Facebook is set to further boost the fortunes of the two youngest billionaires. Neither Moskovitz nor Zuckerberg have let their burgeoning wealth change them too much. Moskovitz left Facebook in 2008 to start Asana, a messaging software company. He signed onto the Giving Pledge in 2010, and is now establishing Good Ventures, a foundation with his live-in girlfriend and former journalist Cari Tuna. Moskovitz says his wealth has not changed his lifestyle much, "I used to be really anxious about money. I got that from my parents. I still am, for entirely different reasons."
Zuckerberg, still the head of Facebook, remains eccentric. He pledged $100 million to the schools in Newark, New Jersey. Despite the wealth, he spent a relatively modest $7 million for a Palo Alto house, where he and his long-time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, now live.
Two other products of Facebook are in the top ten youngest. Eduardo Saverin, 30, was immortalised in the movie The Social Network, in which he was depicted being betrayed by Zuckerberg. After a lawsuit, Saverin ended up with 5 percent of the company, more than enough to catapult him into the billionaire ranks. Sean Parker, co-founder of music piracy site Napster and former Facebook President, is also only 31 years old. He jumped from Facebook to the next big thing in online music, Spotify.
Of the rest of the 20 youngest, only two are women – and both inherited, rather than built their fortunes. Yvonne Bauer, 34, is the fifth generation of her family to run a German mass-media company that started in 1875. The $1.7 billion (sales) group that her father handed over to her in 2010 publishes magazines in 15 countries worldwide including the U.S., Mexico, Russia and China.
Yang Huiyan, 30, is the main shareholder in Country Garden Holdings of Guangzhou, one of China's largest property developers. She graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in marketing and logistics, but is rarely seen in public.
In addition to Bauer, there are three more newcomers among the youngest 20 billionaires. Robert Pera, 34, is a former Apple engineer who struck out on his own in 2005 with the goal of bringing affordable internet access to the world's emerging markets. Six years after leaving Apple, Pera became a billionaire with his Ubiquiti Networks.
New billionaire Maxim Nogotkov, 35, also comes from the world of computers. He got his start selling computer programs and cell phones while in school, but dropped out of college in order to have more time to focus on building his business. By 2000 he was trading cell phones wholesale and he later founded cell phone retailer Svyaznoy. The privately held company is now the second-largest cell phone retailer in Russia.
1. Dustin Moskovitz
Net Worth: $3.5 billion
Dustin Moskovitz was Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate and Facebook's third employee. Despite his billions, he still bikes to work and travels in a commercial plane. Moskovitz has also joined Bill Gates' Giving Pledge. He is just 8 days younger than his friend.
2. Mark Zuckerberg
Net Worth: $17.5 billion
Don't let the hoodie and the sandals fool you, the Facebook founder controls 56.9% of firm's total voting power. The company's stocks are expected to hit high in the next few months, possibly boosting his net worth even higher. Zuckerberg is only 8 days older than former roommate Dustin Moskovitz.
3. Albert Von Thurn Und Taxis
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Albert Von Thurn Und Taxis first joined Forbes' billionaire ranks at age 8 but officially inherited his fortune in 2001 on his 18th birthday. The eligible bachelor still lives in his family castle and races in a German auto-racing league.
4. Scott Duncan
Net Worth: $4.1 billion
Scott Duncan is one of four children of the late energy pipeline entrepreneur Dan Duncan, the former richest man in Houston, who died in 2010 at the age of 77. Scott added $1 billion to his fortune in the last year as the company's share price climbed by one-fourth.
5. Eduardo Saverin
Net Worth: $2 billion
Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook was portrayed in The Social Network as being betrayed by his onetime best friend Mark Zuckerberg. The former pals started Facebook together at Harvard, with Brazilian-born Saverin apparently providing $10,000 as early seed money.
6. Yang Huiyan
Net Worth: $4.7 billion
Her father transferred his holding of the family's main fortune, shares in family-controlled real estate developer Country Garden Holdings to her ahead of the company's initial public offering in 2007. Yang, China's richest person in 2007 (Net Worth then: $16.2 billion), has seen her fortune drop dramatically since, though she's wealthier than last year.
7. Fahd Hariri
Net Worth: $1.3 billion
Fahd Hariri is the youngest son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. He lives in Paris, where he got a degree in architecture. While still a student, he opened an interior design studio on the outskirts of the city, and sold furniture to clients in Saudi Arabia.
8. Sean Parker
Net Worth: $2.1 billion
Facebook's first president is looking to disrupt the internet once again with Airtime, the social video site he plans to launch with his Napster co-founder, Shawn Fanning, by the end of 2012. He's also looking to fix the very music industry he helped break with Napster as an investor and board member of Swedish music platform, Spotify.
9. Ayman Hariri
Net Worth: $1.3 billion
Ayman Hariri is the second-youngest son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who left behind a fortune now shared by his five children. On the board of Saudi Oger, he has overseen mega construction projects such as the Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University for Women, and the King Abdullah Financial District, both in Saudi Arabia.
10. Robert Pera
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Apple hardware engineer turned wireless networking entrepreneur struck out on his own in 2005 with the goal of bringing affordable internet access to the world's emerging markets. Six years later, Pera became a billionaire when his Ubiquiti Networks went public in October 2011.
11. Yvonne Bauer
Net Worth: $2 billion
In December 2010 German publisher Heinz Bauer, age 72, transferred 85% of the limited partnership of the family-run business to his daughter Yvonne, who is the company's CEO. She is the fifth generation of the family to run the group, which was founded in 1875.
12. Yoshikazu Tanaka
Net Worth: $4.3 billion
Yoshikazu Tanaka is the founder and CEO of Gree, a mobile gaming service that is Japan's biggest online social network. Gree aims to outpace Japanese rivals abroad: it acquired U.S. mobile gaming company OpenFeint last year, and works with China's largest net portal, Tencent.