It has been a good year for Manufacturing, Pharma, Investments and Tech. It has been a bad year for Energy and Real Estate.
Bill Gates, 60, retains the Number 1 spot with a fortune of US$80bn. Gates becomes the first person alive today to have created a US$100bn fortune, having given away more than US$20bn to date. In January, he bought a new home near Seattle, a 6,000 sq metre property, for US$150 million.
Warren Buffett, 85, saw his wealth decrease by US$8bn or 11%, US$2.2bn of which was a donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett has recently been buying into oil refiner Phillips 66. Interestingly, 99 percent of his wealth was earned after his 50th birthday.
Amancio Ortega, 79, is back in the top 3 this year. Inditex, the mother ship of Zara, closed January with its share price close to historic highs. Daughter Sandra Ortega Mera also makes the list with US$5.5bn, inherited from her mother.
Jeff Bezos, 52, shot into the Top 10 for the first time with a US$24bn or 83% increase in wealth to fourth spot with US$53bn on the back of a surge in Amazon shares. Together with Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla fame (US$8.8bn, up 38% to 134thplace), Bezos has been making headlines for his space project: at the end of last year Bezos successfully launched and returned a booster and capsule from a suborbital flight. Bezos in 2013 purchased the Washington Post.
Carlos Slim Helu, 76, dropped out of Top 3 after losing 40% or US$33bn of his fortune, mainly on the back of big drops in America Movil and Mineras Fresco. The Mexican billionaire has built a museum in Mexico City to house his US$100 million collection of art.
Larry Ellison, 71, with US$47bn, saw his wealth drop by 15%, on the back of a reduction in Oracle’s stock price. Ellison has donated US$4m to the presidential campaign of Marco Rubio.
Mark Zuckerberg, at 31, the youngest member of the Top 10, has had a good year, seeing his wealth rise US$3bn to US$47bn. Zuckerberg made world headlines in December when he announced that he would donate 99% of his Facebook stock to a charity set up with wife Priscilla Chan.
Charles, 80, and David Koch, 75, retain their Top 10 spots on the back of a combined US$16bn increase in their wealth. Charles Koch is an important donor to the Republican presidential campaign.
With a net worth of US$37bn, Michael Bloomberg, 73, shot into the top 10 for the first time on the back of a rise in sales at his media group. Bloomberg is reported to be toying with the idea of running for President as an independent. He has donated US$1bn to John Hopkins University.