Capitalism is taking some lumps—and not just in the headlines. For only the second year in a decade, both the number of billionaires and their total wealth shrank, proving that even the wealthiest are not immune to economic forces and weak stock markets. By Forbes latest count there are 2,153 billionaires, 55 fewer than a year ago. Of those, a record 994, or 46%, are poorer (relatively speaking) than they were last year. In total, the ultra-rich are worth $8.7 trillion, down $400 billion from 2018. Altogether 11% of last year’s list members, or 247 people, dropped out of the ranks, the most since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
However a new Billionaire—Kylie Jenner stepped into the list hitting the new record of being the youngest ever self made billionaire at the age of 21 with her cosmetic line ups. Jeff Bezos is again number 1 in the world, followed by Bill Gates at number 2.
- Jeff Bezos & family | $131 B
Jeff Bezos founded e-commerce colossus Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. He remains CEO and owns a 16% stake.
2. Bill Gates | $96.5B
With his wife Melinda, Bill Gates chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.
Gates has sold or given away much of his stake in Microsoft — he owns just over 1% of shares — and invested in a mix of stocks and other assets.
3. Warren Buffett | $82.5 B
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
4. Bernard Arnault & family
One of the world’s ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
5. Carlos Slim Helu & family | $64 B
Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm.
6. Amancio Ortega | $62.7 B
Amancio Ortega is one of the richest men in Europe and the wealthiest retailer in the world.
A pioneer in fast fashion, he cofounded Inditex, known for its Zara fashion chain, with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013) in 1975.
7. Larry Ellison | $62.5 B
Larry Ellison cofounded software firm Oracle in 1977 to tap into the growing need for customer relationship management databases.
He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.
8. Mark Zuckerberg | $62.3 B
After facing another year of criticism for fake news and abuse on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his priority in 2019 is tackling social issues.
9. Michael Bloomberg | $55.5 B
Michael Bloomberg cofounded financial information and media company Bloomberg LP in 1981.
10 Larry Page | $50.8 B
Larry Page sits at the helm of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, healthcare division Calico, smart home appliance division Nest and more.
11 Charles Koch | $50.5 B
13 Mukesh Ambani | $50 B
14 Sergey Brin | $49.8 B
15 Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family | $49.3 B
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman in the world and the granddaughter of L’Oreal’s founder.
16 Jim Walton | $44.6 B
17 Alice Walton | $44.4 B
18 Rob Walton | $44.3 B
19 Steve Ballmer |$41.2 B
20 Ma Huateng | $38.8 B
Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma) chairs Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, which ranks among the nation’s largest businesses by market cap.