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Entries in Billionaires (4)

Tuesday
Feb052013

Youngest Woman Billionaire Made Fortune Flipping Burgers

Susan Goldman/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The youngest female billionaire in the U.S. -- and one of the youngest on Earth -- owes her $1.1 billion fortune to flipping burgers, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Lynsi Torres, 30, is the owner and president of the In-N-Out Burger chain, whose restaurants have earned a following so devoted, says Bloomberg, that customers line up hours in advance of a new store's opening.

The chain's fans include fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, who, according to a story on the UCLA Anderson School of Business website, told a group of Anderson students in 2005 that he'd like to own the chain.

Torres' family founded In-N-Out.  According to the company's website, Harry Snyder, her grandfather, introduced California's first drive-through hamburger stand in 1948 in Baldwin Park.  His wife Esther handled the accounting.

From the get-go, the chain emphasized its use of only high-quality ingredients.  Burgers today are still made one at a time and always to order, according to the company.  Torres became president in 2010.

Bloomberg says In-N-Out has grown to include nearly 280 stores in five states, with 2012 sales of about $625 million.  Bloomberg bases its $1.1 billion valuation for In-N-Out on the metrics of five publicly-traded peers, including McDonald's Corp and Wendy's.

In-N-Out, in response to Bloomberg's valuation, called it speculation.  The company is private and its financials are confidential.

In-N-Out, according to a 2003 Harvard Business School case study cited by Bloomberg, has never franchised, which helps it to maintain strict quality control.  Consultants Bain & Co in 2005 estimated the chain enjoys a 20 percent profit margin, thanks in part to the company's focus on simplicity: its menu is strictly limited.

According to the company's website, In-N-Out expanded into Texas in 2011, after building a new warehouse and patty-making factory in Dallas.

Torres, says Bloomberg, guards her privacy and grants few interviews.  In September, she bought a seven-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion near the San Gabriel Mountains, according to Realtor.com.  

Her most visible presence so far, says Bloomberg, has been on the racing circuit.  She competes in National Hot Rod Association races, sometimes driving a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda or a 1984 Chevrolet Camaro, according to association records.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

Forbes: Carlos Slim Is World's Richest Man Again

Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu and family, with a net worth of $69 billion, again top Forbes’ listing of the world’s billionaires.

Slim’s self-made fortune comes from telecommunications. The 72-year-old is chairman of Mexico’s Telmex. His fortune is down $5 billion from last year, says Forbes, owing to a decline in the share price of America Movil, another telecom company that accounts for more than half of Slim’s net worth.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett of the U.S., who respectively have $61 billion and $44 billion, are next on Forbes’ list. Gates’ fortune comes from Microsoft, the software giant that he founded. Buffett’s comes from investment giant Berkshire Hathaway.

This year’s list netted more billionaires than ever before: 1,226 people worth a record $4.6 trillion collectively.

Berhard Arnault of France, owner of luxury goods maker LVMH, is fourth-richest, with $41 billion, followed by Spaniard Amancio Ortega ($37.5 billion). American Larry Ellison, head of Oracle corporation, ranks sixth ($36 billion).

The richest newcomer is Colombia’s Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila, described by Forbes as a 35-year-old bachelor living in New York City, who took over his father’s beer empire after his October 2011 death. His wealth is $9.5 billion.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug152011

Warren Buffett to Congress: Stop 'Coddling' Billionaires

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to taxes, Warren Buffett, one of the country's richest men, says that he and other high-earning Americans need not be “coddled” by Congress, and that “most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more.”

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO says, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

“Last year my federal tax bill -- the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf -- was $6,938,744,” Buffet writes. “That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income -- and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.”

Buffett calls on the Super Committee to raise tax rates on the roughly 240,000 American households which netted more than $1 million in income in 2009.

“I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains,” Buffett says in The New York Times. “And for those who make $10 million or more -- there were 8,274 in 2009 -- I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

“I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people,” Buffett writes. “They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun222011

More Wealthy People in Asia Than Europe, Says New Report

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Asia can now claim more millionaires than all of Europe combined, and the rapidly climbing number wealthy people in places like China is closing the gap with North America's number of millionaires and billionaires, according to the latest annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World Wealth Report.

Altogether, the number of millionaires and billionaires in the world was up 8.3 percent from 2009 to a total wealth of $42.7 trillion in the hands of the richest people in the world in 2010.

Although the average yearly income in many Asian economies is still very low -- in China it is still only $3,600 -- the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in the Asia-Pacific region expanded 9.7 percent to 3.3 million.

In Europe, there are 3.1 million HWNI's. North America still leads the pack of millionaires and billionaires with 3.4 million, but our growth rate is significantly lower than Asia's.

Along with those rising numbers of wealthy people comes a rising number of millionaires spending those millions.

"China's rich people have become what they are now only in the past 10 to 15 years," Chinese demolition tycoon and philanthropist Chen Guangiao, told ABC News last year.

"The thing that's unusual is that 30 years ago, there really weren't people of great wealth, so what you have is first-generation fortunes," billionaire Bill Gates said at a news conference in Shanghai last September.

One of the ultimate symbols of success is a private executive jet. Not surprisingly, sales are taking off in Asia, especially in China.

A $1.4 billion yacht port is currently under production in the Chinese city of Tianjin. The port, to become the largest in China at its completion, will hold 750 berths to accommodate luxury yachts up to 295 feet long.

However, the United States remains the world's largest yacht market with 17 million privately owned recreational boats, but that may change in the current trends in the movement of the world's wealth continue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio