Warren Buffett, head of the Berkshire Hathaway corporation, has landed the top spot in Forbes' magazine 2008 list of World Billionaires and is now the richest man in the world , surpassing Bill Gates reports The Herald .
Buffett has amassed a personal fortune of $62billion (£31 billion).
Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helu who is said to have a fortune of $60billion (£30bn) was named the world's second richest man .
Gates, whose wealth is estimated at $58billion (£29bn), has slipped into third place on the list .
For the first time, there are more than 1000 billionaires on the Forbes list, rising from 946 in 2007 to 1125 this year.
Together, those on the 2008 super-rich list have a combined net worth of $4.4 trillion (£2.2trillion) - the same amount as the projected US government's healthcare bill in a decade's time.
The list also carries entries of 50 billionaires who are aged under 40, including 23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of social networking site Facebook, who is valued at $1.5bn.
Billionaires listed in Forbes come from 54 countries and the top 10 includes four Indians who have made their fortunes through steel and real estate.
The average age of a billionaire on the Forbes list has dropped to 61, thanks in part to the growth of wealth in Russia, where the average age of a billionaire is 46.
There are 35 British billionaires, although 49 billionaires actually live in the UK and 36 of those call London their primary residence.