Men (and Women) of Steel

The blockbuster event of the year is Warner Bros.Pictures’ Man of Steel (so I’ve been told) as it hits the screens in just a few days, the origin story of Superman. Yes, the Clark-Kent thingy; quiet mild-mannered guy outwardly; but secretly, the guy that is going to save the planet from doom and gloom as he rips off his shirt in a telephone booth (do we have telephone booths, these days?). A superhero! Maybe the ultimate superhero. The Superhero that is super, man!

But, there are people around us every day that look like Clark Kent / Superman. Quiet, mild-mannered outwardly and a man of steel on the inside, unbeatable. Aliens from other planets that have done something that nobody else can do, there with almost super-human powers to save the world. Who are the top guys and gals in business that have had nerves of steel to face the world, defend their ideals and above all make loads of dosh on the road to superhero success?

Here’s the top list of the people that have made their fortunes and that have given that money away the most. The most generous and yet the richest. Being wealthy is not always synonymous with having a bank account in Switzerland or in the Cayman Islands (is it?) and avoiding paying tax; but it is also providing for others in a dog-eat-dog world. Getting to the top is not always trampling people beneath you so that you can climb up the social ladder. It also means pulling people up a couple of rungs too on the way as you go and hoisting others up to lofty positions. The top givers in the world…not just the takers! Isn’t that what we learn in business: give and take, win-win situations? Every year there is a list of the most generous business people that is created. This is who the top people are!

1. Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet

US business magnate and philanthropist who is labeled as the most successful guy of the twentieth century. That usually gets you a few nicknames and Buffet’s are the ‘Wizard of Omaha’. He’s definitely following the yellow brick road, that’s for sure! He made the pledge that he would donate 99% of his fortune (through the ‘Gates Foundation’). Now that’s a superhero status! He has a net worth of $53.5 billion (2013)!

2. Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Not surprising that Bill and Melinda Gates are also the trustees just like Warren Buffet of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It had an endowment that amounted to $36.2 billion towards the end of 2012. The Foundation employs over a thousand people. Bill Gates has donated as of May 2013 $28 billion in funding to the foundation since it was set up in 1994. The Foundation donates to areas in the health sector, global development and development programs in the USA. For example it provides 17% of the necessary budget to fight against the eradication of polio on a worldwide scale. It also provided over $1 billion in AIDS programs and tuberculosis. It provides financial aid to countries suffering from climate change and climate catastrophes (such as the Kashmir earthquake, to which the foundation donated half a million dollars). Bill Gates has a personal fortune estimated in the region of $72.7 billion in 2013.

3. George Kaiser

George Kaiser

George Kaiser

George Kaiser is only in the top hundred richest people in the world with a personnel fortune of $10 billion in March 2013. But although he is nowhere near as rich as Gates or Buffet, he is still just as generous. He set up the George Kaiser Family Foundation to give back some of his hard-earned cash to fight child poverty. Kaiser believes that it’s education that will fight poverty and his aim is to provide those in the poorest places with a good education as well as healthcare.

4. George Soros

George Soros

George Soros

George Soros is the CEO of the Soros Fund Management. You might remember him in 1992 as being ‘the man that broke the Bank of England’, too. He is worth $20 billion. It has been calculated that between 1979 and 2011, Soros donated £8 billion to public health and educational causes, which all started by providing education for blacks in South Africa to help them attend the University of Cape Town, even when it was right in the middle of Apartheid. He also financed the Central European University in Budapest as Hungary tried to rebuild itself after the clutches of Communism. But, he was convicted of insider trading in 2006 related to the Société Générale in France. He took his case to the European Court of Human Rights and lost in a 4-3 decision. So, Soros could be on the list also of the top insider traders!

5. Gordon and Betty Moore

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was set up in 2000 and it has an endowment of nearly $6 billion. Gordon Moore, of Intel fame, is worth an average of $4 billion. The Foundation focusses on areas such as environmental conservation and scientific-based projects in the US in particular in California. The Foundation is the 19th in the ranking of the wealthiest charity foundations in the USA today.

Being elevated to the rank of god-like superhero is no easy task (although, not speaking from experience myself). There’s that cool joke about the turkey that pecks on bull dung in a field in the mid-west somewhere and because of the nutrients packed inside the dung gets all lively and energetic, as it squeals and squawks its way to the top of the tree, branch by branch. You know what the gobblers make as sounds, don’t you? Anyhow, it manages to get to the top of the true on an energy-boost similar to a ‘Redbull’ burst. As it gets to the very top of the tree, overlooking the plains as far as the eye can see, it lets out a cackling tree-call to find a mate. The farmer pops along and shoots the darn thing down. The moral of the story of course is that bullshit will definitely get you to the top, but it certainly won’t ever keep you there. Remember that! If you are a (wo)man of steel, a superhero in your genre, then there’s a farmer waiting to lead poison you and pop a cap!

But the guys above got to the top of that tree and decided to jump off before they got popped off by an air gun in a barrage of criticism. They gave their fortunes away. Gave them back to society to make someone else’s life better. They saved the world in their own (small) way. Okay, so they can’t fly! Granted!

Who’s your (wo)man of steel today?

About The Author

tothetick

Professional team of writers/analysts analyzing the financial markets.

Comment on Facebook

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field