No revolution in Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s wealthiest people: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos remains number one ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
But the 2019 edition still brings its lot of surprises : the fall of Zuckerberg, the rise of Donald Trump (despite an unchanged fortune).
An American Top 3
The top three in Forbes’ 2019 ranking of the richest people on the planet is the same as in 2018, with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, maintaining his first place by raising nearly $20 billion more for an estimated $131 billion in wealth. He thus widened the gap with the number two, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, now a philanthropist. At 63, his wealth increased more modestly to $96.5 billion, from $90 billion last year.
The third in the ranking is investor Warren Buffett, 88, the oldest of the podium, although his reputation for having a nose for good deals took a hit with the plunge in profits and the action of food giant Kraft Heinz at the end of February, on which he had relied. As a result, his assets fell by $1.5 billion to $82.5 billion.
With 14 persons among the top 20, Americans still dominate this world ranking, which includes some 2,100 billionaires, whose combined assets amount to $8,700 billion.
Zuckerberg falls to 8th place, undermined by Facebook’s setbacks
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg dropped from 5th to 8th place after “losing” nearly $9 billion.
While he remains the youngest among the top ten, Mark Zuckerberg, heavily criticized in recent months for his social network, is behind Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, Spanish Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex and Zara, and Oracle’s American co-founder Larry Ellison.
Trump gains a few places (715th)
The estimate of the fortune of American President Donald Trump is unchanged at $3.1 billion. Its nine New York skyscrapers – including the famous Trump Tower on 5th Avenue – account for nearly half of the total, while its clubs and golf courses are worth $550 million.
While 994 people in last year’s ranking saw their wealth ratings fall – a record, according to Forbes – the stability of the American president’s wealth allows him to move up to 715th place (he was 766th last year). However, there were different developments in its assets. One of its Florida golf clubs, the National Doral Miami, was depreciated by $26 million, after suffering from lower bookings due to its policy, according to Forbes.
In January, Donald Trump was dethroned by Illinois’ new Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels, whose fortune is estimated at $3.2 billion, as one of the wealthiest American elected officials.