Forbes has a reputation for delivering the annual ranking of the richest men in the world based on their documented net worth. It was declared that Bill Gates, an American business magnate, investor, and Microsoft founder, is the richest man in the world. Reports said that Gates' net worth is $86 billion, making him top of the list. Just below the ever-wealthy Bill Gates are the Berkshire Hathaway CEO, Warren Buffett, and the Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Little did we know that Vladimir Putin might actually be the richest man in the world.
For the uninitiated, Vladimir Putin has been the president of Russia since the May 2012 election. Before that, Putin served Russia as its president between the years 2000 and 2008, until he was unable to run for a third consecutive presidential term. Russia seems to thrive under his terms, where its GDP per capita is continuously growing throughout the year, hence making Russia one of the biggest and most powerful countries of all time.
Forbes listed President Putin as the world's most powerful person, but he is not included in the top ten richest men in the world of Forbes. As mentioned above, Forbes' list is based on the documented net worth. Reports surfaced stating that President Putin did not document his "real net worth," therefore losing the chance to be included on the list.
Experts are speculating that President Putin could be the world's richest man. Find out the reasons why President Putin is most likely the wealthiest man in the world from his luxurious way of living, to his possessions, to his properties, and all of his alleged net worth!
20 Deep Love For Gold
Gold is an investment that President Putin really loves! It is no secret that ever since President Putin became the president of Russia again, he has set a very high goal to increase the country's gold possession. President Putin was even dubbed a gold hoarder because of his willingness to buy gold. In 2017, Russia is the sixth-largest gold owner in the world, while the U.S. still tops the list. Nevertheless, Russian gold reserves drastically increased for more than 500 percent, which made President Putin satisfied because buying gold makes a country stronger against geopolitics.
President Putin is not just enthusiastic about buying gold for Russia because he also loves gold for his personal needs. His jewelry and watch collection is mostly comprised of gold. He even has a holiday home that boasts an impressive swimming pool, not because of the size, but because of its gold-plated tiles.
19 Cars Fit For Royalty
Cars are almost every billionaire's passion. Although the fact that President Putin loves cars is not a big shocker anymore, it’s still shocking that his rumored car collection totals over 700. Reports may have over-emphasized his total number of cars, but he can't deny that his Mercedes-Benz collections and LADA collections cost a great fortune! One luxury car can cost a million dollars, let alone a collection of these vehicles.
Despite this large collection of cars, the public remains fascinated with President Putin's Russian-made Presidential Limousine. The limo is believed to be equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission and, of course, a bulletproof feature. This controversial and very expensive car is being kept in a private location that will never be spilled out to the public.
18 President Putin Loves Arts
Aside from money and fortune, President Putin loves art! Ironically, his art collection also cost a great fortune. When we say President Putin's art collection, it means that he has a massive art collection. It is not new that billionaires and businessmen have a deep appreciation for the arts and that does not exclude the Russian president. He has a keen eye for arts, which is what fuels his desire to collect paintings and other artwork.
President Putin has reportedly been keeping his massive collection of arts in an ordinary apartment building in Moscow. As ordinary as it may seem from the outside, the inside is under 24/7 surveillance and heavily guarded. As an art enthusiast, he has been keeping paintings of the renowned artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and who knows who else. Since he is keeping artwork of famous artists, the estimated value of his art collection is $2 billion!
17 Luxurious Vacations And Holidays
All men deserve a break! President Putin is not really a "work hard, no play" type of person because he knows how to take things easy, sit back, and relax, at least for a little while. So, it is really not a surprise that he spends a lot of money to have one-of-a-kind vacations and holidays. He won't just relax on vacations; included in his itinerary are "manly activities," which, by the way, also cost a large amount of money.
For instance, President Putin was spotted in Siberia, Russia in 2017 when he took a short break from his presidential duties. The president is frequently portrayed as an "el macho man" and enjoys his active holidays shirtless. President Putin reportedly likes to horseback ride, hunt, and practice Judo.
16 Different Forms Of Donations
Reports had been circulating online that the Russian president is fond of donating large amounts of money, and that includes to the United States. There are credible sources that revealed that President Putin had donated a very generous amount to the people of Houston, Texas, who were devastated by the hurricane Harvey.
According to the reports, the Russian president donated $5 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. While it seems that donating is not yet enough, he even urged other countries, communities, and organizations to step up and provide a helping hand to the hurricane victims. Aside from money, President Putin also donated high caliber firearms to other countries, including the Philippines.
15 Love For Daughter's Education
President Putin, who is not in his young years anymore, has two daughters and now successful women— Yekaterina and Mariya Putina. Although his daughter's lives have remained private and they continue to shy away from the limelight, reports that circulate online are unstoppable. Some sources have gotten a glimpse of how the Putina sisters are living their lives. However, it is no secret that the sisters had graduated from the prestigious universities, Saint Petersburg State University and Moscow State University. The annual tuition fees for both universities range from $4,500 to $6,000 per student.
There are even reports that claim that Yekaterina is taking up or has finished earning her doctorate degree. Yekaterina is now married to Krill Shamalov, the son of the Rossiya Bank co-owner, Nikolay Shamalov, while there are rumors that Mariya is living in a $3 million penthouse.
14 Wine Enthusiasm
Amidst the fear of an alcohol ban, President Putin remained brave and strong! How did he prove that? He reportedly bought a million bottles of wine from Europe. Let us make that clear. President Putin did not buy $1 million worth of wine. Instead, he bought one million bottles of wine. How rich can President Putin be? He must be very rich because, at the time, people from all over the world feared that there would be a shortage of wine because President Putin hoarded such a massive amount.
President Putin also loves vodka and has a bar full of expensive wines, spirits, and alcohols. As a billionaire, he surely purchases the high-end brands of these spirits.
13 Gold Toilets
Did you remember that President Putin loves gold? He did not stop at buying gold for Russia and building a gold-plated swimming pool for his personal pleasure... President Putin so loved gold that he has golden toilets! Yes, you definitely read that right. President Putin invested $75,000 for just a single toilet and installed it on his private plane, which is, by the way, a very huge and ridiculous amount of money for a toilet.
It is really quite unclear if there are any special features that this toilet can offer, besides its mind-blowing cost. Does this toilet do wonders? According to reports, the toilet is either made out of solid gold or at least has gold fittings. Who would even waste that much money on a toilet? President Putin did!
12 He Loves Suits
Just like any powerful and wealthy businessman or politician, President Putin's wardrobe is definitely one of a kind! One thing is for sure— he has a thing for suits. As an "el macho" type of president and public figure, President Putin has a rule that he should always look perfect from head to toe. The Russian president's favorite brand for his perfect-looking suits is Kiton and Brioni. From start to finish, only one tailor will handle his suits, which cost at least $5,500.
Aside from suits, the Russian president also adores ties to compliment them. Usually black and maroon, President Putin's favorite brand is Valentino. And now, let's get to his shoes. He has this extreme delight for John Lobb and Salvatore Ferragamo footwear. Lastly, let us not forget that used $1,425 Loro Piana silk and cashmere-blend sweatpants for his "el macho" workout.
11 An Envious Watch Collection
Are you amazed by his wardrobe collection? If yes, you better prepare yourself before reading about his massive watch collection because you may really find yourself envying President Putin's designer watches. By the way, President Putin's watches are estimated to be worth $700,000. Among these watches is an A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual 'Pour Le Mérite' watch, which is believed to cost $500,000.
Reports also confirmed that President Putin owns a $1 million Patek Phillippe watch, which he put up for auction in July 2017. That is not all, ladies and gents! The Russian president also has not one, but five Blancpain watches, which are $10,500 each. It is also believed that President Putin has a white gold watch included in his collection.
10 The Helicopter Fleet
Only rich men have helicopters, but President Putin has an entire helicopter fleet. For the record, President Putin has 15 different helicopters. Is this a reliable and factual information? According to the reports, President Putin has been seen riding in a few different helicopters and as of now, that number totals to 15. While some of these helicopters are used for his personal errands and trips, other helicopters are used for presidential purposes.
How much can a helicopter cost? A single helicopter can cost anywhere between $250,000 and $1.7 million. If a single helicopter costs a lot of fortune, how much fortune can 15 helicopters cost? We would run out of fingers trying to compute the worth of his helicopter fleet. In addition, President Putin's helicopters are said to be armed with defence measures for the security of the Russian president.
9 Collection Of Massive Private Jets And Aircrafts
Aside from President Putin's helicopter fleet, he made sure that he can travel in the air with ease and luxury. While it is still unclear, Time reported that President Putin does not just own one private plane, but more than four dozen aircraft. To be exact, he is rumored to possess 58 aircraft, which is amazing and mind-boggling! That includes a Dassault Falcon that can seat up to 19 people.
Do you remember the golden toilet on his private plane? The same plane has a cabin that will beat any ordinary cabin. It was decked out by jewellers and is worth at least $11 million. The plane has a capacity to seat 186 passengers. Let us not forget that people from the media companies in Russia also reported that President Putin owns at least five of these planes.
8 Million Dollar Yachts
Time also confirmed that President Putin is not just an enthusiast of helicopters, planes, jets, and other aircraft, but also a marine man, owning at least four yachts! Rich businessmen and powerful politicians love to spend their free time frolicking on luxurious yachts and President is no exception. In 2005, he purchased a yacht named "Rossiya," worth $1.2 billion. Another yacht came into his possession, "The Graceful," which cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The Graceful can sleep at least 14 people.
Let us not forget President Putin's beloved boat, "Olympia." At first, it was reported as a gift from the Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich. This 53-meter superyacht is believed to be worth $35 million. Is this really a gift? If so, then there is no problem. However, a shipping company in Russia claimed that Putin uses the state money for the maintenance of the yacht.
7 Empire Of Palaces
Time did not just reveal the number of yachts and aircraft that President Putin has, they also revealed that he has more than 20 palaces in and out of Russia. Is this a shocker? For some, maybe not, but for others, this is a surprise since President Putin only declared two modest-sized apartments as his properties. However, media and internet sleuths successfully uncovered that President Putin owns 20 palaces and villas that are worth millions to billions of dollars "each."
The list of President Putin's palaces and villas includes the Italian-style palace, which is known as the Putin Palace. The reported worth of this palace is $1 billion dollars. For the record, the palace features its own theater, swimming pools, sports grounds, a casino, and a church inside the vicinity.
6 A Secret Hideaway To Spend His Money
Aside from the 20 palaces and villas that President Putin owns, he also owns a secret hideaway where he can escape for a little while and spend his money. This hideaway is nowhere in Russia. Instead, it is located in France. Reports said that the real estate agent, Lorene Weber, handled a deal in 2012. The real estate agent was bombarded with calls asking to confirm if President Putin is the owner of the property deal.
Time revealed that there was a conspiracy about Putin's land in the French town. They were able to obtain property records stating that Shamalov was the buyer of the place. However, there are still speculations that President Putin just bought the land under his son-in-law's name. Protesters and activists continue to claim that President Putin owns the hideaway.
5 Property Maintenance
Now that President Putin's fortune has been revealed, although not entirely, you should find out how much he invests in making his properties presentable. President Putin's 20 palaces and villas are luxurious homes that need cleaning and maintenance. Maids, housekeepers, plumbers, electricians, security guards, and more people are needed to ensure the palaces and villas maintain its good condition.
Time, effort, and money are also needed to keep the yachts, helicopters, private planes, aircraft, and cars looking good as new, functional, and presentable with no faults. To sum this all up, there are reports stating that President Putin spends at least $1.6 billion for the maintenance of his properties, cars, planes, jets, aircraft, and super yachts.
4 Another Secret Palace On The Black Sea
President Putin has a lot of secrets that have shocked the public. Aside from his secret hideaway in France, he has another secret hideaway and this time, it is a palace. The French hideaway was difficult to confirm but this secret palace is not. According to BBC and Time, President Putin owns a secret palace on the Black Sea that is believed to be worth $1 billion. Perhaps, President Putin believes that he is a "king" and he needs a palace. As per the photos and reports, the secret palace on the Black Sea resembles vintage Russian architecture with a private theater, a landing pad for President Putin's helicopter, and accommodations for security guards.
President Putin built the Black Sea secret palace for his personal needs. However, reports have been surfacing that it was paid using the state funds. Another speculation stated that there is a "secret slush fund" that was funded and created by some group of Russian oligarchs.
3 Gunvor Investment
As a long-running president, politician, and businessman of Russia, Putin will never lack be rid of controversies, issues, and rumors. Aside from exploiting his properties, cars, yachts, private planes, jets, and other splurges, reports have also revealed that he is somehow connected to several businesses and investments. Recently, President Putin has been connected to Gunvor Group, a commodity company based in Switzerland, acting as a merchant of crude oil and oil products.
No matter how much the Gunvor Group tries to deny that President Putin has substantial holdings in their company, there are people who believe that President Putin is a part of the growing company. Even the American Government has linked President Putin to Gunvor, stating that he has investments in the company and most likely has access to the Gunvor funds.
2 Fortune In The Oil Industry
The Russian president may be denying his connections with Gunvor, but he can't deny that he is indeed a part of the oil and natural gas industry. In fact, it is a large source of income for him. Reports stated that President Putin holds and controls 37 percent of the Russian oil and gas company, Surgutneftegas. More than that, he also has a 4.5 percent control over another Russian company, Gazprom, which extracts, produces, transports, distributes, and sells natural gas.
Gazprom does not just serve Russia. They also supply most of the gas in Europe, which is a big source of income. This company is what bought extreme fortune to President Putin. There are other speculations that President Putin owns small stakes in Lukoil, Rosneft, and the pipeline monopoly, Transnef.
1 President Putin's Net Worth Is Crazy
Of course, we will save the best reason for last. The main reason why the Russian President Vladimir Putin could be considered the richest man in the world, above Bill Gates, is because of his net worth. However, President Putin does not document his real net worth (which is probably the reason why he is not included in the Forbes list). Nobody really knows how much President Putin's net worth is. There are reports revealing that he has an enormous fortune and that his net worth is far larger and bigger than any other billionaires listed on Forbes.
The former Hermitage Capital Management CEO, Bill Browder, is the source of the controversial reports, which reveal President Putin's net worth. He stated, with conviction, that he has estimated President Putin's earned and accumulated a net worth amounting to $200 billion.