America’s 40 Richest Under 40
[Fortune, 20 September 2004]
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A billion dollars may be a bit harder to come by these days, but some youngsters are still finding their pots of gold.
By TELIS DEMOS, RICHARD MORGAN, and CHRISTOPHER TKACZYK
Who knew that internet millionaires had such staying power? In this, our sixth compendium of youthful success, we discovered that though the Net bubble has long since burst, a third of this year's lineup of nouveaux riches are actually not so nouveaux--they're holdovers from our inaugural list in 1999. Tech entrepreneurs, by contrast, have seen their numbers dwindle by half. Their replacements: the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts, and the
Olsen twins. Yes, ever more of the young rich are entertainers, athletes--and women.
This year we returned to our original
criteria--ranking the 40 richest--after last year's inclusion of innovators, influencers, and entrepreneurs along with the ten richest. To compile this year's list (all members younger than 40 as of our Sept. 20 issue date), we sorted through thousands of candidates, excluding those who inherited their millions or earned most of their wealth outside the U.S. We pored over proxies, insider-trading records, and other SEC documents. Thomson Financial helped us to identify the richest and to research insider trades. Navigator Capital Group provided estimates of the worth of private companies. For celebrities and athletes we turned to industry reports and grilled attorneys, agents, and producers. Nielsen SoundScan tracked music and video sales. Our final tallies include salaries and revenues from endorsements and box office sales, as well as the value of investments, exercisable options, and private-company holdings. We adjusted for everything from taxes and assumed spending to agents' fees. But with the Google guys near the top after their IPO, it's a reminder that Net geeks can still make billions before turning 40. At least with them, unlike the actresses, we don't have to envy their glamour too.
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