Forbes has released its annual list of billionaires with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos leading the fray for the fourth consecutive year. Bezos worth increased to $177 billion, up $64 billion from a year ago as a result of spike in Amazon shares. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk was the biggest gainer as he rocketed to second spot with a $151 billion fortune, a whopping $126.4 billion gain a year ago, when he ranked No. 31 and was worth $24.6 billion.
This year’s billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year, Forbes said. This year’s list has 493 newcomers, including Whitney Wolfe Herd, chief executive of dating app Bumble, which went public this year. Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominate the Forbes rankings.
Despite the pandemic, it was a record-setting year for the world’s wealthiest—with a $5 trillion surge in wealth and an unprecedented number of new billionaires, the media company said.
As many as three people surpassed $100 billion or more—up from just one (Bezos) on last year’s list. Besides Bezos, Musk and Arnault, there’s Bill Gates, who ranks No. 4 at $124 billion, buoyed by the strength of shares he owns in Microsoft, Canadian National Railway and tractor maker Deere & Company. With an estimated worth of $84.5 billion, Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is ranked at number 10.
He surged ahead of Jack Ma of China, Asia’s richest person a year ago, whose rank dropped to No. 26 despite a nearly $10 billion jump in his fortune to $48.4 billion. Notably, Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani is the second richest Indian on Forbes list. He got a staggering $42 billion richer as shares of his companies, including Adani Enterprises and Adani Green Energy, rocketed. Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from March 5 to calculate net worths.