Move over, Bill Gates. With a whopping $62 billion in net worth, Warren Buffett is now the world's richest man, according to Forbes magazine. Buffett's wealth increased $10 billion over the past year through February 11, Forbes notes, mostly thanks to gains in shares of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.
Meanwhile, Gates—who had topped the magazine's annual list of global billionaires for the past 13 years—grew his net worth by $2 billion, to $58 billion. The Microsoft chairman fell to third on the list behind Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helú, who has an estimated net worth of $60 billion.
Buffett's is a self-made fortune. As a graduate student at Columbia University in the early 1950s, he studied economics under legendary value investor Benjamin Graham and later went to work for Graham's company. When Graham retired, Buffett went home to Omaha and started his own investment company. He was 25. Seven years later, in 1962, Buffett began buying shares of a textile firm, Berkshire Hathaway. He purchased a controlling stake in 1965. Today, Berkshire's A shares fetch about $137,000 each.
The United States had 469 of the world's 1,125 billionaires, according to Forbes, followed by Russia, which overtook Germany as the No. 2 country with 87 billionaires. (Germany, which held that spot for the past six years, has 59.) Although half the world's top 20 billionaires came from the United States in 2006, only four made the list in 2007: Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands, and Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle, along with Buffett and Gates. India also had four billionaires in the top 10.