The Forbes 400 Richest Americans: Who They Are and How They Did It

The newly released Forbes 400: The Richest People in America list tells us a lot about the top 400 richest American billionaires and American households, but there’s also a lot of hidden information.  There are many big names that will stay at or near the top of the list for years to come – that’s you, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett – but there are some surprises, too.  Who knew mozzarella, beanie babies, or hair spray could make you so rich?

NerdWallet broke down the data by industry to find out who got rich and how they got rich, as well as which industries are the most prominently represented.  We find that just over half of the country’s richest 400 billionaires – 205 households – made their fortunes in one of the top 4 represented industries on the list: finance, retail, tech, as well as oil & energy:

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