Being rich is an ambition for some, a dream for others, and a utopia for the majority. For a few fortunate souls, however, it’s their reality. Some, in fact, never even have to work for it. They are born into money and, as they grow, the money accumulates, until, one day, they reach adulthood and bang – they’re a billionaire.
One of these lucky individuals is Alexandra Andresen, a 19-year-old Norwegian girl who also happens to be the world’s youngest billionaire.
According to Forbes magazine’s 2016 rich list, Andresen’s fortune is worth $1.2b. Don’t get too excited though… that’s only enough to position her at number 1,479 on the list.
So, how did she get there?
Alexandra Andresen was born in Oslo in 1997 and has spent most of her life in the Norwegian capital.
Like most people her age, Alexandra grew up away from the spotlight until she was 17. Everything changed when, upon reaching legal adulthood, Norwegian authorities began publishing records of her annual tax returns. The nation’s media soon began talking about her, her family, her hobbies and social circle.
Now, thanks to her appearance in the Forbes list, the name Alexandra Andresen has gained notoriety around the world. And the young woman seems happy about it. In one of her most recent Instagram posts, Alexandra thanks the magazine for helping to boost her number of followers 50,000.
When Alexandra was 10, back in 2007, her father, Johan Andresen, an investor based in Oslo, gave her 42% of the shares of Ferd Holding, the family business. He also gave the same percentage of shares to her sister Katharina, who, at 20, is the second youngest multimillionaire in the world. Despite having transferred ownership of the company to his daughters, Johan continues to maintain control of the company.
The family’s fortune was originally made in tobacco. Alexandra’s great-great-grandfather founded Norway’s most important tobacco company in the country in 1778. The Andresens continued to be part of this industry until 2005, when they sold their brand – Tiedemanns – to Skandinacisk Todakskompagni for almost $500 million. Now, Ferd is primarily a hedge fund management company.
What does the youngest multi-millionaire in the world do with all her money? Despite the family’s great wealth, Alexandra’s parents, Johan and Kristin, have taught their daughters to be careful not to squander their money on frivolous luxuries and parties as many in their position would be tempted to do.
In fact, Alexandra says that ever since she was a girl she’s saved a share of her weekly allowance and the cash prizes she’s got from horse racing. She also follows her parents’ advice by driving a second-hand car.
Horses are her great passion.
Alexandra is an excellent rider. She’s been participating in horse riding and dressage contests for years, and has won a number of prizes. Horses are an important part of her life. She made that very clear in an interview with Eurodressage: ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life: ride!’
There are ponies in her life too. This photo shows Piocchio and Spike, her two miniature horses, frolicking in the grounds of one of her family’s summer houses.
As for romance, well Alexandra is no different from the rest of us. She is in a relationship with Joachim Tollesfen, a 24-year-old professional martial arts wrestler.
Beyond her passion for equestrianism, Alexandra seems like a girl with her feet on the ground, living a relatively normal life despite her family being ridiculously rich.
The teenager is unsure about her future beyond horse riding. Her father has made it clear that the future of his daughters needn’t necessarily lie in the family business. In an interview published on the Ferd website a few months ago, Alexandra said: ‘I feel a great responsibility. In a way I don’t feel like I’ve done anything to deserve what I have, but at the same time I’d like to help Ferd develop and do better. Finding a way of giving back something you’ve been given. It’s hard I think.’