Forbes 2016 World Billionaire List….. Suffice is to say, if oil wealth got you towards the top of the list you’re likely nowhere near it following a year that saw oil prices crater. Others highly invested in volatile stock markets, took a bit of a beating unless of course the mainstay of your portfolio is Facebook stock which saw the social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg rocket up the list and add over $11 billion to his net worth.
Forbes 2016 World Billionaire List – Forbes’ 2016 list has volatility of its own
There were a few less billionaires that Forbes was able to sleuth out this year following a record 2015, where 1,826 were found. This year, the magazine that provides this list, and has for 30 consecutive years, only found 1,810 with the bulk of them residing in the United States. The U.S had 540 followed by mainland China with 251 (though Hong Kong adds another 69 to its place in second) with Germany reaching the podium with 120 billionaires. The fall in oil prices was likely responsible for Russia’s 88 billionaires last year only numbering 77 this year. Brazil saw the biggest drop though falling from 54 last year to 31 in 2016.
The average net worth of the group that have ten-figure wealth was $3.6 billion dropping $300 million from last year and also representing the first time that the average net worth has fallen in the 30 years that Forbes has been compiling this data. Collectively the group was worth $6.48 trillion down $570 billion from this time last year.
29 people dropped from last year’s list if only because they died , while another 221 can no longer call themselves billionaires and failed to make the list. Don’t feel too bad for them, they were replaced by 198 people who made the list for the first time.
Forbes 2016 World Billionaire List – Forbes has Bill Gates on top…again
Bill Gates once again came in atop the list with a personal net worth of $75 billion despite his insistence that he will be giving away a huge portion of his fortune. This isn’t to say that he hasn’t been lining the coffers of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just that he had a good year. That marks the third year in a row that Mr. Gates has topped the list and has held that spot for 17 out of 22 years. Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim who have also held the top spot remain in the top five with Buffett coming in in the third position and Carlos Slim right behind him in fourth position with a net worth of $50 billion despite dropping over $27 billion from his wealth last year.
That drop was part of the reason that Zara’s Amacio Ortega now sits in second position for the first time.
Mark Zuckerberg, as mentioned earlier, saw a tremendous rise from sixteenth to sixth on the list after adding $11.2 billion to his fortune in 2015. Jeff Bezos had quite the year as well and the two made it into the top ten for the first time.
Somewhat surprisingly given the sheer number of billionaires in mainland China, Wang Jianlin became the first Chinese (mainland) billionaire to make it in to the top 20.
Political players and potential political players rounded out the Top 10, with Michael Bloomberg edging the Koch Brothers (Charles and David) for the #8 spot with a net worth of $40 billion. The Koch’s shared 9th place at an identical net worth of $36 billion each.
The mainstay in the top ten of the list for years was the presence of a number of Waltons (Wal-Mart heirs). Don’t feel bad for them either as three of them remain in the top 20.