- The 12 wealthiest people on the planet grew $36 billion richer on Thursday.
- Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and their peers have added $264 billion to their fortunes this year.
- Their net worths have ballooned thanks to the stock market’s blistering rally this year.
The world’s 12 richest people added $36 billion to their fortunes on Thursday — and have now gained $264 billion in combined net worth this year, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows.
Their wealth has soared thanks to the stock market’s powerful rally. The S&P 500 climbed 2% on Thursday and is now up 8% this year, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 2.4% and has gained 17% in 2023.
LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg are the biggest winners on the list. The surge in their companies’ stock prices this year has added $46 billion and $42 billion to their respective fortunes.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt-Myers have gained around $27 billion, $25 billion and $23 billion each.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s wealth has swelled by $21 billion, while Alphabet cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have notched gains of $16 billion and $15 billion each. Oracle chairman Larry Ellison and Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim have each made about $15 billion on paper this year too.
Rounding out the rankings are Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. The billionaire best friends have added $13 billion and $7 billion to their respective fortunes since the start of January.
US stocks have rallied on the back of resilient earnings growth in the face of stubborn inflation, surging interest rates, a looming recession, and fears of further banking turmoil and a painful credit crunch.
Microsoft, Meta, Tesla and other technology companies have led the market higher, as investors bet big on artificial intelligence and other innovations. Their rising stock prices have bolstered the personal fortunes of their biggest shareholders.
The 12 tycoons on Bloomberg’s list are collectively worth $1.4 trillion. That figure is about equal to Google-parent Alphabet’s total market value, and equivalent to more than 5% of the US economy’s GDP of $26.5 trillion last quarter.
Their combined wealth increase of $264 billion this year is in line with PepsiCo’s market value, and roughly double Amazon’s net sales last quarter. Meanwhile, the $36 billion of wealth they gained on Thursday rivals the the market values of grocery giant Kroger and Taco Bell-owner Yum! Brands.