At the fairly young age of 69, James Carr Walton is the youngest heir to the Walmart fortune earned by his father Jim. As the recipient of some seriously generous inheritance we want to know how a man worth $41.9 billion goes about investing his money and keeping the wealth flowing. In spite of his wealth Jim Walton is not one of the billionaires who have agreed to give away half of their fortune via the Giving Pledge – so how does a man like this go about giving back to the American community?
Walton endured private schooling which he followed with a degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas. As well as joining the board of directors for his family firm back in 2005, Jim has also ran the family bank, Arvest, of which he later became chairman. He has run a newspaper firm known as Community Publishers Inc. More recently he was part of the Political Action Committee for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary education – and he has also pledged $2 billion to the family’s own foundation (the Walton Family Foundation).
The family combined own 156 million of Walmart’s shares and with the superstore a household name across America these dividends have more than paid off. Investopedia estimates there are some 11,000 worldwide Walmart stores that amounts to over half a trillion dollars in revenue. As well as the Walmart revenue he also operates more than 260 Arvest Bank Group locations. The family also collaboratively keep their assets in Walton Enterprises LLC to protect them should the worst happen. Walton also co-owns a Cessna Citation Encore jet.
eIn terms of philanthropy he has made substantial contributions as Secretary, Treasurer and Director of the family foundation. Causes that they support include the Californian Charter Schools Association, the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation America, the Crystal Bridges Museum and the Kipp Foundation. They have pledged millions towards restoration projects and educational facilities; sharing some of that wealth around America and investing in the future.
As a businessman Jim was active in the expansion and growth of the business, working for four years in Walmart’s procurement departments and showing interest in diversifying the company. Since 1975 he has left the store chain to work in Walton Enterprises only to return as Director of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from 2005 to 2016. This position in combination with his extensive reach in the banking community is what helps to keep the money flowing through his doors. When you inherited a large fortune and went to the correct schools it seems that you will always find ways to make more money.
Banking is a powerful industry and pays compensation on a yearly basis, combine that with the family money and an average yearly income of $500 billion on Walmart’s behalf; this is a family to be reckoned with. The fact that Walmart managed to survive the 2008 recession with barely a scratch really testifies to the durability of the firm. It is unlikely that we will see Jim Walton fall from privilege in the foreseeable future. That being said he does belong to a family that have a combined $3.1 billion dollars earmarked specifically for the less fortunate. So even though Mr Walton does not partake in the Giving Pledge; at least he is giving back in his own way.