The richest billionaires in the world added a cool $1 trillion to their collective wealth in 2017 with Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos raking in the most.
New figures from Bloomberg show that the world’s 500 richest people saw their wealth expand in 2017 from $4.4 trillion to more than $5.3 trillion.
Booming stock markets saw their wealth soar four times more than they did in 2016.
Thanks to a surge in Amazon’s share price, Bezos added $34.2 billion to his wealth to round out a standout year for the tech and retail giant.
Bezos is now listed as the world’s richest person with a net worth of $99.6 billion.
He overtook Microsoft founder Bill Gates on the billionaire’s list back in October.
Gates, who had held the top spot since 2013, added $8.89 billion to his wealth in 2017 despite donating large chunks of his fortune to charity.
THOSE WHO GAINED THE MOST IN 2017:
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: $34.2 billion
Chinese developer Hui Ka Yan: $25.9 billion
French businessman Bernard Arnault: $23.6 billion
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: $22.6 billion
Chinese businessman Pony Ma: $20.1 billion
The Microsoft founder’s overall net worth is now $91.3 billion.
Behind Bezos, Chinese property developer Hui Ka Yan was the second biggest gainer in 2017 having raked in $25.9 billion – a 350 percent jump from last year.
The third largest gainer was French business magnate Bernard Arnault, with the head of LVMH adding $23.6 billion to his fortune.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg added a whopping $22.6 billion in 2017, bringing his networth to $72.6 billion. Zuckerberg saw his profits soar despite his firm encountering the anger of government around the world amid claims they fail to do enough to take down extreme and criminal content.
Other key factors from Bloomberg’s report indicate that the US had the largest presence on the Billionaire’s Index, with 159 billionaires adding a collective $315 billion.
The 38 Chinese billionaires on the list added $177 billion in 2017 and Russia’s 27 richest people added $29 billion.
It was a also standout year for tech moguls in general with 57 technology billionaires adding a collective $262 billion, which is a 35 percent increase from last year.
In total, 440 out of 500 billionaires on the list added to their wealth in 2017.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.
Financial experts have said the stock market is enjoying one of its biggest booms in years raking in stellar profits for big investors.
Mike Ryan, chief investment officer for the Americas at UBS Wealth Management, told Bloomberg: ‘It’s part of the second-most robust and second-longest bull market in history.
‘Of all the guidance we gave people over the course of this year, the most important advice was staying invested.’
THE WORLD’S RICHEST PEOPLE:
Wealth: $99.6 billion
Gains in 2017: $34.2 billion
The CEO and founder of Amazon.com is listed as the world’s richest person with a net worth of $99.6 billion.
Thanks to a surge in Amazon’s share price, the 53-year-old added $34.2 billion to his wealth to round out a standout year for the tech and retail giant.
The Seattle-based company has grown from its online retail roots to cloud computing, streaming video, artificial intelligence and more.
Amazon’s shares have recently been boosted by its acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods. The firm has also expanded its line-up of devices tapping into its digital assistant Alexa.
Wealth: $91.3 billion
Gains in 2017: $8.89 billion
The 61-year-old Microsoft founder had held the top spot on Bloomberg’s rich list for four years until being overtaken by Bezos.
He remains a board member of Microsoft, the software firm he founded with Paul Allen in 1975.
With his wife Melinda, he chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.
Most of his wealth now comes from other sources outside of Microsoft, with the mogul only owning a 2.5 per cent stake of the world’s biggest software company – worth around $11 billion.
Instead, Gates makes most of his money through his personal investment company Cascade Investment LLC, which he funds entirely himself. The company owns stakes in Canadian National Railway, Berkshire Hathaway, Deere & Co, Liberty Global, Waste Management, green energy technology firm Ecolab, and more.
Wealth: $85 billion
Gains in 2017: $11.8 billion
Buffett is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The 87-year-old billionaire has been the chairman and largest shareholder of the company since 1970.
He has transformed Berkshire since 1965 from a failing textile company into a conglomerate with more than 90 businesses in such sectors as insurance, railroads, energy and retail, and well over $100 billion of stocks.
He is also considered to be one of the greatest investors in the world.
Wealth: $75.5 billion
Gains in 2017: $3.40 billion
The Spanish business tycoon is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group. The group is best known for its popular Zara fashion stores.
His group is also the parent company of brands Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti.
There is more than 2,200 Zara stores in 93 countries with the chain valued at roughly $11.3 billion.
Wealth: $72.6 billion
Gains in 2017: $22.6 billion
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg added a whopping $22.6 billion to his fortune in 2017, bringing his net worth to $72.6 billion.
Zuckerberg began working on the social networking site in January 2004 when he was studying at Harvard. He famously dropped out of the Ivy League school to focus on creating the website.
He took Facebook public in May 2012 and owns about 17 percent of stock.
Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have publicly pledged to give away 99 percent of their stock over their lifetime.
Wealth: $62.8 billion
Gains in 2017: $23.6 billion
The French business magnate is the chairman and CEO of LVMH. He oversees about 70 high end brands including Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
Arnault has been CEO of the company since 1989.
He has billions of dollars of stock in LVMH and the majority of his wealth is linked to Christian Dior stock.
The 68-year-old is also an arts patron and collector.