While the COVID-19 pandemic ratcheted up the financial pain for millions of low-wage workers, the roaring stock market was feathering the nests of the world’s richest people.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos held on to his top spot on Forbes magazine’s 2021 list of the globe’s wealthiest individuals with a net worth of $177 billion, up $64 billion from a year ago as a result of soaring Amazon shares, the financial magazine reported Tuesday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk vaulted to the No. 2 ranking from his 31st position last year with a $151 billion fortune, $126.4 billion more than last year owing to a 705% leap in Tesla’s stock, according to Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s most affluent.
Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire, art collector and CEO of LVMH, retained his No. 3 spot as his fortune nearly doubled to $150 billion amid an 86% rise in shares of the world’s largest luxury goods company, which houses brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
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Microsoft founder Bill Gates clocked in at No. 4 with $124 billion due largely to his shares in Microsoft, and Deere & Company. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rounded out the top five at $97 billion, $42.3 billion more than a year ago thanks to an 80% surge in Facebook shares.
All told, the number of billionaires on the list swelled by 660 to 2,755 and they’re worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list, the magazine said.
There are a record 493 newcomers, including 210 from China and Hong Kong and 98 from the U.S. The richest fledgling, with $38.2 billion, is Miriam Adelson of Nevada, who inherited husband Sheldon Adelson’s casino empire after his death in January, Forbes said.
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Here’s a look at the top 10
1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon – $177 billion
2. Elon musk, Tesla – $151 billion
3.Bernard Arnault, LVMH – $150 billion
4. Bill Gates, Microsoft – $124 billion
5. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook – $97 billion
6. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway – $96 billion
7. Larry Ellison, software – $93 billion
8. Larry Page, Google – $91.5 billion
9. Sergey Brin, Google – $89 billion
10. Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries – $84.5 billion