For the first time ever, the top three spots on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index became a tech founders’ club when Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, edged out Warren Buffett to join Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on the wealth list.
Ballooning by more than $8.8 billion this year alone, Zuckerberg’s net worth reached $81.6 billion on Friday to pass Buffett’s $81.2 billion net worth, according to Bloomberg. On Friday, Facebook’s stock price hit a new all-time high, soaring nearly 5 percent on the day after analysts predicted better-than-expected revenue growth for the company.
The social networking giant’s market value is now nearly $575 billion, making it the fifth-most-valuable public company in the world.
The stock bump comes even as Facebook still deals with the fallout of a massive data scandal that saw 87 million users’ personal information harvested without their knowledge by a consulting company. That Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal caused Facebook’s stock to fall as low as $157.20 on April 2, but the company’s shares have since rebounded and are now trading above $204.
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Zuckerberg’s Facebook stock accounts for $79 billion, representing nearly 97 percent of his wealth, and while he also has nearly $2.5 billion in cash, he owns roughly $175 million in real estate assets, including a $9 million home in Palo Alto, California, and land in Hawaii that’s estimated to be worth $100 million.
Meanwhile, Buffett’s net worth has declined by over $4 billion in 2018, mostly due to his charitable giving. Buffett has in fact donated roughly 290 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company, to charity over the past decade or so.
In 2006, after Buffett announced that he would give away much of his fortune to charity over time, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg followed suit, with the young tech billionaire and wife, Priscilla Chan, pledging to eventually give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock.
The tech giants ahead of Mark Zuckerberg on Bloomberg’s index have also seen their fortunes grow in 2018, with Bill Gates’ total net worth increasing by over $2.4 billion this year to reach $94.2 billion. Gates has also pledged to give away a large portion of his fortune, and he’s already donated over $50 billion to charity in total.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Bezos has added a whopping $42.7 billion to his net worth this year, bringing the total to $142 billion. Bezos passed Gates to become the world’s richest person in October 2017, but his wealth has continued to skyrocket as Amazon’s stock price has jumped by nearly 48 percent since the end of last year.
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