Bill Gates tops Forbes’ richest list; Trump's wealth and ranking falls in latest Forbes 400 list

  18 October 2017    Read: 728
Bill Gates tops Forbes’ richest list; Trump's wealth and ranking falls in latest Forbes 400 list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates topped Forbes magazine’s latest list of the 400 richest Americans for the 24th straight year.

The combined wealth of those on the list, which was released Tuesday, rose 12.5 percent to $2.7 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion, largely because of a strong stock market. The average net worth rose to $6.7 billion, up from $6 billion a year ago.

The minimum net worth to make the Forbes 400 list is now $2 billion. It had been $1.7 billion in 2016.

Gates’ net worth totaled $89 billion, up $8 billion from 2016.

For the second year, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, ranked No. 2 with $81.5 billion, up $14.5 billion.

Investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., held onto the third spot with his net worth at $78 billion, an increase of $12.5 billion from last year even after giving away more than $3 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock in July.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, worth $71 billion, ranked No. 4. His fortune increased $15.5 billion — the biggest gainer in terms of dollars on the list, according to the magazine. He was ranked seventh on the list two years ago.

Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison kept his No. 5 spot with $59 billion.

The others in the top 10 are:

No. 6 (tied): Brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries Inc., with $48.5 billion each;
No. 8: Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor and founder of Bloomberg News, at $46.8 billion;
No. 9: Larry Page from Google, $44.6 billion; and
No. 10: Sergey Brin from Google, $43.4 billion.

Forbes said 289 people on the list saw their fortunes increase in the last year, while 51 billionaires saw their net worth decrease.

Among those whose ranking declined was President Donald Trump as the value of some of his Manhattan real estate holdings has declined recently.

Forbes ranked the first billionaire president as the 248th-wealthiest person in America and put his wealth at $3.1 billion. The year before, he was ranked 156th and Forbes said he was worth $3.7 billion.

As a candidate, Trump said his net worth was more than $10 billion, but Forbes pegged that figure at $4.5 billion in September 2015. By Forbes’ estimates, Trump’s wealth has fallen 31 percent in two years.

According to Forbes, half of Trump’s wealth comes from New York City real estate. It says the value of luxury real estate is down, especially around Fifth Avenue. That sharply reduced the value of Trump Tower and other properties Trump owns or has stakes in.

Forbes also said some of Trump’s golf properties declined in value and that he spent $66 million on the presidential campaign as well as $25 million to settle a fraud lawsuit brought by former students in his defunct Trump University program for real estate investors.

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