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Rinehart rich and now powerful too!

Australia’s richest person, Ms Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting, is no stranger to Rich Lists. With an estimated wealth of around $18 billion, she is not only a regular contender for richest in Australia but also for richest woman in the world.

Ms Rinehart has now found herself on a different list but not a surprising one given that wealth and power regularly go together. Time magazine’s latest issue has named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The majority of Ms Rinehart’s wealth has been created through a private company founded by her late father, Lang Hancock. This has allowed much of her success to occur away from the public spotlight. In recent years however, given her status, some public family legal battles and two very public investments in the media sector, namely in Ten Network (ASX: TEN) and Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ), Ms Rinehart’s success and influence have come to the fore.

Another billionaire who struck it lucky in the Pilbara iron ore country is Mr Andrew Forrest. Mr Forrest, through his listed vehicle Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) has built a so-called “third force” in iron ore. Forest is also no stranger to the rich list but may also soon find himself on the “most generous list” having recently declared he will give away at least half of his fortune to charity.

Nathan Tinkler and Clive Palmer have also created incredible wealth through the mining boom. In both cases, mining coal on the east coast of Australia. They have both primarily built their fortunes within their own private companies, however Mr Tinkler has invested a significant stake in Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) and Clive Palmer through his company Mineralogy has a stake in the minnow Australasian Resources (ASX: ARH)

Foolish takeaway

As investors we are always on the lookout for successful entrepreneurs. There is nothing better than identifying people who understand how to make money and build wealth and then seizing an opportunity to invest alongside them. It is important to stay alert for these opportunities, as they are as rare as the entrepreneurs who turn an idea into a multi-billion dollar enterprise — just ask Warren Buffett’s old neighbours!

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More reading

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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