Bill Gates claims the title for wealthiest man in the United States on the Forbes 400, as he has for the past 19 years. But more than that, Gates manages to once again reclaim the title as the richest person in the world this year. Knocking Mexican telecom giant and former world’s richest person, Carlos Slim, down a peg, Bill Gates now has a total net worth of $72 billion. In 2012, Gates was valued at $66 billion.
Bill Gates is well-known as the glasses-wearing computer geek who turned Microsoft into a juggernaut over the last two decades. Even though Microsoft generates billions for Bill Gates every year, it actually only accounts for one-fifth of his $72 billion, reports Yahoo! Finance.
Most of Gates’ money comes from his investment firm Cascade. The firm has large stakes in several lucrative businesses, including Canadian National Railway, Mexican Coke bottling company Femsa, and Deere & Co., the tractor manufacturer.
Not that Microsoft hasn’t helped in boosting Bill Gates back to number one — announcement of CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement in August sent Microsoft stocks up. At the time, Microsoft’s stocks went over $36 per share. Today they still remain around $32.
Taking the number two spot among America’s wealthiest is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, with a net worth of $41 billion, according to Huffington Post. Number three went to Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO valued at over $27 billion. Forth and fifth places go to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who benefited from a 28 percent Google share price gain over the past year.
It is worth noting that the joint wealth of those listed on the Forbes 400 reached $2 trillion this year. This is a major growth over the group’s value of $1.7 trillion last year. The group’s worth has been on a steady increase since the financial crisis.
The IRS also recently announced that the one percent of wealthiest earners in the US took home nearly one-fifth of the country’s total income, the largest share in a century.
Bill Gates is one of the founders of the Giving Pledge, in which wealthy people vow to give away most of their money. Despite giving billions to charities, Bill Gates is making money faster than he can give it to charity.