Who would have “thunk” it? Carlos Slim,the poor Mexican son of a Lebanese immigrant store owner,is now the first non-American in 16 years to be named the “Richest Man In the World”.
How did he do it? Old School business sense,that’s how. In fact,he still has the ledgers given to him by his father to keep track of young Slim’s weekly,5 pesos allowance. His philosophy? Buy low and cheap,work hard and wait for values to increase.
In this manner,the 70 year-old Mexican has amassed a $53.5 billion fortune and a sprawling empire of more than 200 companies (he said he has "lost count") which include retail stores,airlines,banks,restaurants,mining,printing,construction,and principally telecoms.
What’s Slim up to now? Here lately,the billionaire has taken a liking to New York City real estate. What’s not to like. He is picking up a midtown Manhattan office tower for $140 million from Goldman Sachs,who paid $250 million just 3 years ago. Not bad! He is currently looking for more undervalued properties in the Big Apple.
Slim Eyes Tulum
Approximately one and a half hours south of Cancun,Mexico,and 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen,lies what Conde Nast Magazine proclaimed to be the “World’s Best Beach”,a place called Tulum,which of late has financial giants,including Slim,taking notice.
It is rumored by local insiders that Slim has recently purchased raw land in Tulum for development. Tulum just became its own municipality with a new mayor (also a Tulum land owner) who is rapidly developing new roads and infrastructure,greatly accelerating the growth and value of this raw jungle land.
Slim also knows Tulum is getting a new International Airport in 2012 that will service almost 1 million travelers in its first year alone and he has directed his company,IDEAL Construction,to win the bidding process for the Tulum International Airport construction. He realizes that as soon as the first pick axe hits the ground Tulum land values will rise exponentially.
Slim Always Wins
Whether you like him or not,one must concede his self-made success. By 11,he was investing in government saving bonds; by 15,he was a small shareholder in Mexico's biggest bank; by the early age of 26 he was worth $40 million. Even his critics have compared him to Rockefeller,Carnegie and J.P. Morgan -- rolled into one. Love him or hate him,no one can deny that Carlos Slim knows how and where to make money. In the last three decades those who have bet against his business sense have done so at their own peril.