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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have enjoyed a friendly relationship for almost 30 years. In that time, the two businessmen have constantly featured on all of Forbes’ billionaire lists, with each often vying for the top spot. Elon Musk is a relatively new face among the world’s richest people when compared to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. However, according to the latest reports, Musk is now the richest person in the world surpassing Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk have each made their billions in different ways. However, aside from the insane wealth, they are united as ordinary people by other things. Here are the three things these remarkable billionaires have in common:

They are Avid readers

All three men share a love for reading. When they are not busy with their business ventures, they find the time to read a book.

Bill Gates once claimed that he reads 50 books a year and that gives him a huge advantage. In fact, he compiled a list of the five books he wanted everybody to read at home at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Warren Buffett also loves reading books. He infamously suggested reading 500 pages a day to a class of MBA students at Columbia Business School. In response to a question about how to prepare for an investing career, Buffett told the students, “Read 500 pages every day, that’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Elon Musk also shares the reading habits of Gates and Buffett. Musk includes works of science fiction and biographies as some of the essentials on his reading list. “I was raised by books. Books, and then my parents,” Musk said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

They have all worked in Sales

A great idea, the willingness to work hard, and a bit of luck are all essential nuggets in the race for success. However, there’s another factor that can define how successful a person can become in their respective field: the ability to sell your product to enough people.

Unsurprisingly, Buffett, Gates and Musk all started out as sellers with merchandise to be marketed.

Warren Buffett sold chewing gum and soda from door to door. He bought them from his grandfather’s candy store and then sold them at a small profit. Later, he went on to be the world’s best at buying and selling stocks. His earlier days were certainly instrumental.

In 1975, 19-year-old Bill Gates read an article about the Altair 8800, a new microcomputer. He contacted the computer’s manufacturer to say that he and his friends were creating an interface to allow the computer language BASIC to run on the Altair. He wanted to find out if the computer’s makers were even interested. They were, so Gates and Paul Allen created the software and the Altair’s maker became Microsoft’s first customer.

In 1995, Elon Musk sold his city guides to big media companies. Years before Tesla and even PayPal, Musk’s first company was called Zip2. It provided an internet-based city guide for big media companies just when those companies were striving to get their online acts together.

They will give most of their wealth away

With a combined wealth of over 400 Billion dollars in 2021, they are three of the richest people in history and all three of them have pledged to give most of it away.

In 2010, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge — a campaign to encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. As of August 2020, the pledge has 211 signatories from 23 countries.

Bill and Melinda Gates are one of the richest couples in the world and they’ve pledged to give away 95% of their fortune – so far £17 billion has gone to their charitable foundation which helps health projects across the globe.

Warren Buffett has said that he will give away more than 99% of his fortune, with the bulk going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Elon Musk is also one of the signatories of The Giving Pledge. In 2012, he pledged to give at least half of his fortune away. Musk’s net worth was only $2 billion at the time and has a lot more to give away owing to his new-found incredible wealth in 2021.