Warren Buffett made his billions taking over textile mill Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) and lifting it to the next level -- over and over again. But fellow billionaire Ingvar Kamprad built his IKEA empire from scratch, starting with seed money from his father -- which he earned by getting good grades in school.
The two ultra-rich businessmen may have taken different paths to the top, but they actually have a lot in common. "I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor," Buffett has famously said. Both men live by their business principles and take lessons learned on the street into the boardroom.
Everybody knows the Warren Buffett story, but Kamprad's background isn't as widely covered. The slideshow below walks you through his path to a net worth $4 billion, which started more than 70 years ago with a 5-year-old selling matches from a farmhouse in Smaland, Sweden.
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Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.