The rich are different from you and me, because they have more money. But their great wealth also fluctuates more than our own. The price of wealth is volatility.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world's wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Unlike Forbes and the others lists —and there are plenty others, from China’s Hurun Index, to the Times Rich List in the U.K. – the Bloomberg Index is updated daily. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5.30pm in New York. The valuations are listed in US dollars.
The combined net worth of the 20 richest people is $676.8 billion. Nine are Americans, including three from the family of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores.
Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications tycoon, is the richest person on Earth and March 2nd his net worth fell $478.4 million but it still left him with a safe $68.5 billion at the close of markets. Slim's fortune has increased 11 per cent this year.
Gates, co-founder of Microsoft in Washington, is worth $62.4 billion, down $102.1 million on March 2 and up 11 per cent year to date.
Buffett, chairman of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, declined $336.9 million to $43.8 billion on March 2 and is up 2.4 per cent in 2012.
Brazil's Eike Batista, who ranks tenth, covets the top spot after vowing a year ago that he'd become the world's wealthiest man by 2015. He is worth $29.8 billion, up $133.9 million on March 2. His fortune has grown 32 per cent this year.
Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad, who controls Ikea, is the richest European, ranking fourth globally with a $42.5 billion net worth.
Mukesh Ambani, leads Asians with a net worth of $26.8 billion, down $185.4 million in a day. His fortune is up 25 per cent this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as his shares in India's top company by market value, Mumbai-based Reliance Industries, have risen 17 per cent.
Meantime , for us lesser mortals new statistics continue to show the wealthy are recovering from the recession faster than the poor.
Taxpayers earning more than $250,000 saw their total adjusted gross incomes rise by 13.8%, while those bringing home between $200K and $250K enjoyed a 6.7% increase. Those making between $50K and $100K saw their incomes creep up only 1.5%.
Overall, salaries and wages grew 2.1%. But the super-rich saw an 11.2% hike, and those just below them enjoyed a 4.6% increase. Corporate profits and dividends -- sources of income for the rich -- grew strongly last year, while wages increased only modestly.
Looking at it another way, the Top 1% of taxpayers captured 93% of the income gains in the first year of the economy recovery,