Carlos Slim

Loading the player...

DEFINITION of 'Carlos Slim'

Carlos Slim is a magnate of the Mexican telecommunications industry. Slim made his early wealth in the stock market and has held controlling interests in many companies over the years, most significantly Telmex and America Movil, which together account for most of the land lines and cell phones in Mexico. He has also held major investments in Apple, the New York Times Company, Saks, Grupo Carso, Inbursa, Ideal, CompUSA and MCI, among others.


Slim's wealth is comparable to that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, yet he is relatively unknown outside of Latin America. In 2016, the Forbes annual billionaire list ranked him as the fourth wealthiest man in the world with a net worth of $60.3 billion in April 2016. One year earlier, the same list ranked Slim as the second richest man in the world with a net worth of $77.1 billion.

How Carlos Slim Built His Fortune

In 1965, Slim began setting the stage for what would become Grupo Carso by incorporating the stock brokerage Inversora Bursatil and the real estate company Inmuebles Carso. Through these two corporations, Slim started several subsidiaries and acquired several companies in the construction, soft drink, printing, real estate, tobacco and mining industries. He formed the private conglomerate Grupo Carso in 1980.

During Mexico's economic crisis in the 1980's, Slim made several acquisitions, including 40% of British American Tobacco in 1984 and 50% of Hershey's. In 1990, Grupo Carso went public with an initial public offering (IPO) and won a bid to acquire Telmex jointly with Southwestern Bell and France Telecom. By becoming the major stakeholder of Telmex, the old telephone monopoly in Mexico, Slim was able to amass a large portion of his fortune and acquire stakes in telephone operations in other countries. Through his cellular company America Movil, Slim acquired equity stakes in cellular telephone companies around the world. In 2012, America Movil took over Telmex and turned the latter into a privately-held subsidiary.

As of 2015, America Movil provides services to 286 million wireless subscribers and 81 million landlines throughout several countries, including Austria, Argentina, Ecuador, the Netherlands and the United States.

Why Carlos Slim's Net Worth Has Decreased

The fall from the second spot to the fourth spot in Forbes annual billionaire list can be traced to two main reasons.

First, a combination of bad performance, devaluation of the Mexican peso, and deregulation of the Mexican cellphone industry contributed to America Movil's first quarterly loss in almost 14 years, in the third quarter of 2015. The weak performance of America Movil's operations throughout 2014 and 2015 has affected the price of its U.S.-traded stock. From a peak price of $26.36 on Sept. 5, 2014, the stock has depreciated 40.7% in value as of Apr. 13, 2016.

Second, Slim was affected by the fall in gold prices, which reached a six-year low in December 2015. Slim owns 80% of the mining company Minera Frisco, whose stock price has dropped over 53% between the April 2014 and April 2016 period.


    A system for selecting stocks created by Investor's Business ...
  2. Mexican Stock Exchange (MEX) .MX

    Mexico's only securities market, the Mexican Stock Exchange (in ...
  3. Tequila Effect

    Informal name given to the impact of the 1994 Mexican economic ...
  4. MXN (Mexican Peso)

    The currency abbreviation for the Mexican peso (MXN), the currency ...
  5. Telephone Bond

    Bonds issued by telephone companies, or obligations of issuers ...
  6. Telecom ETF

    An exchange-traded fund that invests in companies with a significant ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    How Carlos Slim Built His Fortune

    How did Carlos Slim Helú get to be so wealthy? Here's a look at where the man came from and how he got to where he is.
  2. Investing

    Carlos Slim: Introduction

    Carlos Slim is a Mexican investor, captain of many industries and philanthropist. If he isn't the richest man in the world, he’s at least been in the top five since 2007. Slim’s ...
  3. Investing

    Carlos Slim: Success Story

    Carlos Slim graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1961. He soon took a job as a stock trader in Mexico City, where his experience as ...
  4. Investing News

    Where Does Carlos Slim Keep His Money?

    What do you do with your money when you're one of the world's wealthiest individuals? If you're Carlos Slim, you give a lot away.
  5. Investing

    Carlos Slim: Net Worth

    Carlos Slim possessed a net worth of roughly $73 billion as of 2015, according to Forbes. That valuation made him the second-richest man in the world, behind only Microsoft founder Bill Gates. ...
  6. Investing

    Carlos Slim: Famous or Infamous

    There is an irony to Carlos Slim being the wealthiest man in the world, living, as he has his entire life, in Mexico. His $73 billion net worth, as of 2015, stands out in astounding contrast ...
  7. Investing

    Carlos Slim: Most Influential Quotes

    “Competition makes you better, always, always makes you better, even if the competitor wins.” – Carlos Slim
  8. Investing News

    The 5 Wealthiest People in Mexico

    Most people in the know have heard of Carlos Slim and his massive fortune. But what about Mexico's other richest people?
  9. Options & Futures

    Stock-Picking Strategies: CAN SLIM

    CAN SLIM is a philosophy of screening, purchasing and selling common stock. Developed by William O'Neil, the co-founder of Investor's Business Daily, it is described in his highly recommended ...
  10. Stock Analysis

    Piggyback The Smart Money

    Here are some of the biggest market pundits' latest calls and how you can profit from them.
  1. What telecommunication companies have the largest exposure to emerging markets?

    Read about some of the major telecommunications players that have exposure to emerging markets in China, India, Russia, Brazil ... Read Answer >>
  2. Why do telecommunication stocks pay above-average dividends?

    Find out why you should gravitate toward telecommunication stocks when seeking high dividends. Read Answer >>
  3. What are the risks associated with investing in telecommunication stocks

    Read about some of the risks associated with investing in telecommunication stocks, including several that are specific to ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is Warren Buffett's annual salary at Berkshire Hathaway?

    Learn more about how much Warren Buffett receives in salary and how he continues to stay involved with his company and his ... Read Answer >>
  5. How does an economic downturn affect a cyclical stock?

    Discover the effects of an economic downturn on cyclical stocks. These stocks are highly leveraged to the business cycle ... Read Answer >>
  6. What percentage of a diversified portfolio should be exposed to the insurance sector?

    Learn how it is critical to innovate and improve financial models and techniques used in quantitative analysis, and understand ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  2. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  3. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  4. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  5. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  6. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
Trading Center