How Ingvar Kamprad Made His IKEA Billions

Ingvar Kamprad built his IKEA empire from the ground up, starting at the tender age of five. Here's how.

Anders Bylund
Anders Bylund
Apr 19, 2014 at 12:00PM

Ingvar Kamprad, pictured above, can match wealth and business wisdom with Warren Buffett. Image source: IKEA.

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.