As we approach 2022, the top 10 richest people on the planet have a combined worth of over $100 billion, per Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
As Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, some individuals have been worth $100 billion over a certain period: Gates first reached the milestone in 1999, and Bezos was able to do it in 2017. However, the majority of them are brand new to the 12-digit club.
Together, the top 10 richest people added $402.17 billion in their wealth in 2021. They were headed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s most successful businessman in 2018, and had his wealth reach $300 billion. Musk added 121 billion dollars to his wealth in 2021, just short of the $140 billion figure he stated in 2020.
As 2021 comes to an end and the year is drawing to a close, here’s what the top 10 richest people have contributed to their wealth as per Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. (All data were up to date at the close of trading in December. 29.)
The World’s Top 10 Richest People
Elon Musk: $277 billion (+$121 billion)
In an April regulatory filing, the Tesla co-founder changed his name as the CEO title to “Technoking of Tesla.” The co-founder has seen a significant gain in wealth due to the rapid growth of his electric car maker.
Tesla shares have risen around 60% this year, and the company reached its $1 trillion market cap on October 1st, the only time it has done so.
Musk has been recently selling thousands of shares in Tesla to pay a tax bill of $12 billion incurred with a stock options package he was offered in 2012.
Jeff Bezos: $195 billion (+$5 billion)
The world’s former richest man hasn’t added substantially to his wealth as Musk. However, Bezos will leave 2021 with a whopping $5 billion more than he started with.
The 57-year old resigned from his position as CEO of Amazon at the end of July. He’s now focusing his time on initiatives like Bezos Earth Fund, his Blue Origin spaceship company, The Washington Post, and the Amazon Day 1 Fund.
Bernard Arnault: $176 billion (+$61 billion)
The Chief Executive of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the owner of brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Givenchy, added $61 billion to his wealth in 2021. The 72-year old holds the title of Europe’s most wealthy man.
Bill Gates: $139 billion (+$7 billion)
Despite giving away billions of dollars in the last few decades, Gates’ wealth continues to increase due to the impressive performance of Microsoft’s shares, which he co-founded and still has a small stake in.
Gates has quit the helm of Microsoft and now spends the bulk of his time working for his foundation for charitable causes. The year 2021 was when Gates got divorced from his spouse Melinda French Gates after 25 years of marriage.
Larry Page: $130 billion (+$47 billion)
The Google co-founder of the company added $47 billion to his wealth because of Alphabet’s stellar growth in 2021. It was above the market cap of $2 trillion in November. The company was named Big Tech stock of the year by CNBC. Page has stepped down as CEO of Alphabet however he is on the board of directors.
Mark Zuckerberg: $128 billion (+$24 billion)
The sole member of the top 10 under 40, 37-year-old Zuckerberg’s net worth has grown by $24 billion in the last year. Zuckerberg has a 13% stake in Meta, the parent company that owns Facebook and Instagram in which he is the CEO has increased in value by over 20% this year.
Sergey Brin: $125 billion (+$45 billion)
The net worth of Google’s other co-founder increased by $45 billion, which pushed it over $100 billion in the past for the first time. The 48-year old owns around 38 million shares of Alphabet and is on the company’s board.
Steve Ballmer: $122 billion (+$41 billion)
Former Microsoft Chief Executive and the owner of NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers are $41 billion richer by the end of 2021 than this year’s beginning. Ballmer’s net worth increased due to the popularity of tech stocks, such as Microsoft, which increased in value by over 50% this year.
Larry Ellison: $109 billion (+$29 billion)
Oracle has recorded its second-highest biggest gain of 20 years ago as chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison reaped the rewards. This year, 77-year-old Ellison entered the $100 billion club by adding $29 billion more to his wealth because of his company’s strong results.
Warren Buffett: $109 billion (+$21 billion)
Earlier this year, The chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway revealed that he is “halfway” to achieving his intention of donating the majority of his wealth. But the performance of the stock doesn’t help. This year, 91-year old Oracle of Omaha added $21 billion to what he describes as “an almost unfathomable amount.”