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Who is the richest man in the world?

Yahoo Finance is answering the Internet’s most-asked finance questions of 2014, according to Yahoo Search. The seventh most-searched question was, “Who is the richest man in the world?”

James Stewart stars as George Bailey, center, in Frank Capra's classic It's A Wonderful Life. (AP Photo)

Considering we’re writing this during the holidays and are obviously lovers of film, we’re going to go with George Bailey, of Bedford Falls. OK, we’re sort of kidding. But there’s a problem calculating “richest.” What exactly are you judging buy? Spiritual wealth? Power? If we’re talking about power – Vladimir Putin is probably the richest man in the world. He controls Russia’s army, a vast supply of natural resources and has almost single handedly rattled the economy of Europe.

If you want to talk straight up assets, though, which is what most of you probably do, you're really talking about three people. Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates – who is currently at the top of the list, along with the “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett who runs Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), and Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim.

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Who's on top can change by the year or even the day depending on how their holdings are doing and how the list is calculated. (The way charitable giving is tallied can cause big variants in these types of lists.) But essentially, you can bet that the richest man in the world by assets at any given time is one of these three. Plus, when you're talking about net worth's topping $60 billion, which is where these guys are all hanging out, really, what's a rotating couple of billion mean?

So we’re sticking with our original answer of George Bailey.

More of your top finance questions answered:

Number 9: Is social security taxable?

Number 10: What is Bitcoin and how does it work?