Forbes’ annual list of the 400 Richest People in America has revealed that Texas seems to be the state of choice for billionaires to lay down roots. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos went at it in a metaphorical Texas showdown for the top spot. However, the No. 1 spot will change depending on factors such as the stock market and which one of the space cowboys is exploring the universe on that particular day.

The Texans that Made the List

Tesla founder and relatively new Texan– Elon Musk– had seen a 180 percent boom in his overall personal wealth in the last year. Forbes ranked Musk’s personal wealth at $190.5 billion. The richest woman in the United States is also a Texan. Fort Worth-based Alice Walton, of the Walmart Waltons, managed to secure No. 12 on the list— with a net worth of $67.9 billion.


Jerry Jones also made the list with a $9.1 billion fortune at the 86th spot. Richard Kinder was up next at No.128 with a fortune of $7.1 billion– the Houston-based billionaire had made his fortune in the oil and gas industry. Austin-based Robert F. Smith, who is the founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, ranked at No. 141 with a personal fortune that totaled at $6.7 billion. Smith became a media favorite when he made headlines in 2019– vowing to wipe out the student debt of the entire Morehouse College, 2019 graduating class– during his commencement address.


Still, in the top half of the list, financier Ken Fisher secured No. 151, with Dallas and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta coming in not too far behind at No. 158. Sharing the No. 161 spot are siblings and Houston-based oil-and-gas heirs Dannine Avara, Scott Duncan, Milane Duncan Frantz, and Randa Duncan Williams.  Towards the end of the list, Joe Liemandt and Drayton McLane tied at No. 377, with Facebook investor Jim Breyer being the last Texan at No. 389.

Building a Successful Business

While the individuals on this list may very well be able to retire comfortably at the drop of a dime and still have enough money left over to leave a legacy, most of the wealthiest entrepreneurs continue to put in the work and manage a lifestyle that is often more work than play. This is because the passion for their companies is a driving factor behind their success; watching their business grow is the greatest reward.


If we take a look at Jeff Bezos, for instance, we find that he was not born into wealth; he even worked at a fast-food restaurant in high school, then a tech startup before he went out on his own to form his multibillion-dollar company, Amazon from the ground up. However, this scenario is not just isolated to the richest man on the list, but it serves as an excellent example of how with hard work and determination, entrepreneurs can take their small businesses to great heights.

Starting a small business in Texas is an excellent way to benefit from the economic boom that the state is experiencing. In fact, many business owners opt for Texas LLCs since they are cost-effective and provide the flexibility that a business would get with partnerships and sole proprietorships but provide the superior legal protection that comes with S or C Corp structures. Entrepreneurs should read more on how to form an LLC in Texas to fully understand the benefits and process.

Final Thoughts

While not everyone will be able to make the list of richest Americans, starting a business can still be a rewarding experience, and watching it grow becomes the motivation that fuels entrepreneurs to put in the work to create a successful legacy.