Bill, Buffett, and Bezos Top Billionaires List
The Forbes Billionaire list is always an interesting measure of how a company's stock performance affects its largest shareholders or its co founders' wealth.
This year, Bill Gates (MSFT), Warren Buffett (BRK), and Jeff Bezos (AMZN) boosted their fortunes to win the top 3 spots as the richest people in the worst.
- Bill Gates (Microsoft) - $85.7B USD
- Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) - $76.1B USD
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com) - $73.3B USD
Of course Bill Gates continues his streak of being at the top of the list for 18 of the last 23 years, even as he has for years shifted to a philanthropist role and no longer oversees the operations at Microsoft. Microsoft stock was up 12% in 2016 and additionally pays a 2.4% dividend which boosted Bill's wealth. Warren Buffett continues to invest actively as the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire. BRK stock rose an astounding 23% in 2016, and Buffett recently added to positions in Apple, and the airline stocks which he has stayed away form for years. It is also worth keeping in mind that these billionaires donate billions to charity each year, and their net worths would be much higher if they hadn't been so generous. Finally Jeff Bezos, the mastermind behind Amazon saw Amazon shares rise 11% in 2016, as he continues to revolutionize and crush the retail industry. Interestingly, Amazon stock is already up 14% in 2017, which could allow Bezos to move even higher on the richest list, as he saw his wealth grow over 27 billion dollars last year, the most out of anyone in the world.
Also worth noting is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ($56B) coming in 5th (after Amacio Ortego ($71.3B) in 4th). Zuckerberg is the majority shareholder of Facebook stock, owning about a quarter of the company. While Facebook stock was up 10% last year, it is already up 21% in 2017, as it focuses on increasing profitability for the company. These large change in stock price could move Zuckerberg up the billionaires list without much effort.