Money & Power

Inside the Lives of 7 of the World's Crazy Rich Families

Every family is different in how they display their wealth.
IMAGE Instagram/@KylieJenner
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When it comes to financial successes, some people like to keep it in the family, which is what makes a combined fortune even larger. Just this month, Forbes released its annual rundown of the world’s wealthiest people and it comes as no surprise that some entries included these famous family names.

The Chakri Dynasty

The Thai Royal Family has been named one of the wealthiest royal families in the world, covering a net worth of $30 billion.

 

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In 2018, King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed over the royal family’s fortune to himself. 

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Rama X, as he is also known, is the proud owner of the 545-carat Golden Jubilee Diamond, the world’s largest cut and faceted diamond.

 

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In October 2018, the king and his family upgraded their security system to include 1,617 men from the royal police force, up from the 400 they had in the past.

 

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Some of the dynasty’s sources of wealth come from the Siam Commercial Bank, the country’s second largest, and Siam Cement, which is Thailand’s six biggest firm.

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Aside from the Grand Palace, the official residence of the king along the Chao Phraya River, the Chakri Dynasty also owns 19 other royal palaces.

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The Waltons

The Waltons are the wealthiest family in the United States.

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Their empire was built by Sam Walton, who founded Walmart in 1962.

 

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Sam’s remaining children, Rob, Jim, and Alice, now reap from their father’s investments. Collectively, the Waltons are worth $163.2 billion, which is larger than the individual net worths of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett. The heirs have split what was 50 percent of Walmart’s total stock. 

Rob Walton was chairman of Walmart until 2015.

 

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He’s a car enthusiast and owns a varied collection of vintage or rare cars. He also spends time on the race track.

 

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It was once reported that he once wrecked a Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe, which was worth around $15 million, with only five of its kind.

Rob owns multiple properties in Aspen, Colorada and Paradise Valley, Arizona. He and Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell co-own a luxury resort enclave called Hualalai in Hawaii.

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Youngest son Jim Walton is worth $45.7 billion as of writing and manages the family’s Arvest Bank.

 

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He was also on the board of Walmart, before he left the seat to his son, Steuart, in 2016.

Alice Walton, Sam’s only daughter, is a recognized art collector and owns one of America’s largest private art collections.

 

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Alice founded Crystal Bridges in 2011, which housed her once private art collection with pieces worth over $500 million. It contains rare works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

 

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Notably, Alice bought O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,” for $44.4 million in 2014, making it the world’s most expensive painting by a woman artist.

The Ambanis

The wealthiest family in Asia, the Ambanis are led by patriarch Mukesh Ambani, who is worth $54 billion.

 

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Their fortune mainly comes from Reliance Industries, which has stakes in oil, retail, gas, petrochemicals, and telecommunications.

More: Inside the Lavish Life of the Ambanis, Asia's Wealthiest Family

Mukesh and his family live in a 27-story vertical mansion in the center of Mumbai.

 

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Called Antilia, the extravagant home is estimated to be the second most expensive home in the world, just after Buckingham Palace. It’s reported to be worth $1 billion.

The family employs a staff of 600 to keep their home tidy.

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It boasts of three levels of garden space, a six-level parking lot, three helipads, ballrooms, and swimming pools.

The Ambanis have been known to rub elbows with virtually all of Bollywood, as well as former heads of states such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Tony Blair, and Silicon Valley’s finest.

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The family recently celebrated back-to-back lavish weddings for twins Isha and Anand, with parties that spanned several days and brought their guests around the world.

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More: Inside India's Extravagant Three-Day 'Royal' Wedding 

The Kardashians 

In the entertainment world, no other family does it flashier than the Kardashian-Jenners. 

Last week, Forbes named youngest sister Kylie Jenner the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, with $1 billion in her bank account at the young age of 21.

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She has total control of Kylie Cosmetics, a three-year-old manufacturer that sells its wares in beauty commerce giant Ulta and on its own website. 

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Kim Kardashian West is worth $350 million on her own. She also found success in cosmetics through her makeup line KKW Beauty.

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A portion of her income also comes from endorsements that follow her stardom in the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Kardashian married rapper Kanye West in an extravagant $2.8-million wedding at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, where they had Andrea Bocelli serenade the guests.

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Kim’s sisters Khloe and Kourtney are worth $40 million and $35 million, respectively.

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They like to flaunt their wealth through designer bags, flying in private jets, and getting customized their cars in suede.

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The Lauders

The 24th richest family in America, the Lauder family is worth $24.3 billion.

 

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This is all in thanks to their matriarch Estée Lauder, who established her namesake company in 1946, when she and her husband sold homemade creams. Their descendants, who include sons Leonard and Ronald and their respective kin, possess 70 percent of the voting power in the Estee Lauder Group of Companies.

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The company’s assets have grown to include brands such as La Mer, Le Labo, M.A.C, Michael Kors, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Tom Ford Beauty, Jo Malone London, and more.

 

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The company is worth $51.5 billion currently and was on the Forbes lists of the World’s Best Employers and Best Employers for Women in 2018.

Leonard and Ronald have become well-known for their art collecting and donating habits.

 

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In 2013, Leonard made an incredible donation by giving the Metropolitan Museum of Art a cubist art collection worth $1 billion.

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The Lauders have properties in various U.S. locations.

Both Leonard and Ronald have homes in Palm Beach, while Ronald and his daughter Aerin have respective estates in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

The Abramovichs

Patriarch Roman Abramovich is the 11th wealthiest oligarch in Russia.

 

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While he is best known as the owner of the Chelsea Football Club, he is also the founder of investment firm Millhouse LLC. This self-made entrepreneur started out by selling imported rubber ducks from his apartment.

At times, Abramovich likes to go out to sea on Eclipse, his nine-level yacht that costs an estimated €340 million.

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The superyacht is decked with helicopters, swimming pools, and a car garage. It also has its own mini-submarine and a 16-meter swimming pool that converts into a dancefloor, because why not. It’s said to be the world’s most expensive private yacht

According to The Sun, his real estate portfolio includes a 12-bedroom mansion that was once a hotel in Tel Aviv, a $220 million property at Kensington Palace Gardens, a three-story $53 million penthouse in Chelsea Waterfront, a $153 million chateau in France, a $32 million ski ranch in Colorado, and a $95 million St. Barth’s estate.

 

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The Chelsea owner has fathered seven children: Anna, Arkadiy, Sofia, Arina, Ilya, Aaron, and Leah Lou, who are all under the age of 30.

 

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Eldest Anna is a 26-yeard-old Philosophy graduate from Columbia University who now lives in New York.

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In the past, she made headlines for going to school in a helicopter or a chauffeured limo.

 

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Arkadiy, the heir to his father’s empire, is also a football fan and is following in his father’s footsteps.

 

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Third child Sofia lives an outrageous lifestyle, which she documents on social media, for her 13,800 followers to see.

She’s a talented equestrian who’s developed a taste for traveling. She’s also very good friends with the Beckham and Ramsay children.

 

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The Wertheimers

Luxury brand Chanel might have Coco Chanel’s surname, but it was Pierre Wertheimer who funded her work in the 1920s.

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Today, his grandsons Alain and Gerard run the company, now worth $45.6 billion according to Bloomberg

Alain serves as the chairman of Chanel, and alone has a net worth of $14.9 billion.

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He now lives in an apartment on Fifth Avenue with his family, despite their owning nearly a dozen homes around the world.

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The younger Wertheimer, Gerard, lives in Switzerland and manages the watch division of the company.

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He is worth the same amount as his brother, reports Forbes. Gerard lives in a French-inspired mansion in Geneva. 

Though the Wertheimers are among the 10 wealthiest people in France, they prefer to live discreetly.

“We never talk. It’s about Coco Chanel. It’s about Karl Lagerfeld. It’s about everyone who works and creates at Chanel. It’s not about the Wertheimers,” Alain once told the New York Times in 2002.

Along with Chanel, the brothers also inherited the family’s horse racing and breeding business, Wertheimer et Frere.

 

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The brothers had also invested in vineyards and wineries in Bordeaux and California. In 2015, Chanel purchased St. Supery winery in Napa Valley.

 

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During their free time, they like to visit the family’s chateau in Loire Valley, France or skiing at their chalet in the Swiss Alps.

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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