The Ordinary Secret Behind Bill Gates' Extraordinary Wealth

Sep 17, 2015

Sam Wilkin, economist author of Wealth Secrets of the One Percent, explains to MONEY's Kate Santichen that having a billion-dollar idea doesn't guarantee you'll become a billionaire, or even a millionaire. He uses the example of Bill Gates, who's worth around $80 billion. Gates isn't super-wealthy because he's superhuman, says Wilkin. He's wealthy because he was able to establish property rights over his software, with the help of his father, a lawyer. His contracts, and his legal protections, insulated him from competition. And that's how he was able to get on the road to wealth, says Wilkin.

Read Next: How Richard Branson Made His First Million

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions