Bezos Takes Out Top Spot On The Forbes 400 List With $169 Billion
The Forbes 400 List has been around for years, shining a spotlight on the incredulous wealth of Silicon Valley hot-shots, CEOs, entrepreneurs and savvy business leaders alike. We use the word “incredulous” to describe their wealth because to join the ranks of the richest 400 Americans in 2019, you’ll need a fortune of more than $US2.1 billion. Yep, that’s just the cut-off. And when most of us can barely afford to have avocado added to our sad-looking Subway six-inch, fantasising about that kind of disposable wealth is as ridiculous as entering The Bachelor in the hope of finding love.
The 2019 list is as depressing as you’d expect. Particularly when you consider the fact that the concentration of wealth in the United States is intensifying at an alarming rate, with the 400 richest in the nation – a meagre 0.00025 per cent of the population – owning more than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 per cent as reported by The Washington Post. Those on the list are worth a record-breaking $US2.96 trillion, up 2.2 per cent from 2018.
As you’d expect, there are the usual suspects. Coming in at number one on the list is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for the second year in a row. Interestingly though, after Bezos parted with a quarter of his Amazon stake in a record-setting divorce settlement earlier this year, his ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos now joins the list for the first time at number 15, with a $US36.1 billion fortune. Of course, that doesn’t really compare to Bezos and his $US114 billion (approx. $169 billion AUD).
Besides MacKenzie Bezos however, 18 other newcomers joined the ranks. Earning a spot on the list at number 150 is Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, the company behind the hugely popular Fortnite. With an estimated net worth of $US4.5 billion, Sweeney has amassed quite the fortune. Similarly, private equity dealmaker Orlando Bravo joins the list as the first Puerto Rican-born billionaire, as well as Anthony Wood, founder of streaming technology firm Roku.
According to Forbes, the average net worth of a Forbes 400 member has risen to $US7.4 billion (approx. $11 billion AUD), up $200 million. With this in mind, other notably top-earners like Michael Jordan and Jay-Z, failed to make the cut.
To compile the list, Forbes interviewed candidates in person or via phone, and also spoke with their employees, handlers, rivals, peers, and attorneys. Uncovering their fortunes required them to “pore over thousands of SEC documents, court records, probate records, and news articles. We took into account all types of assets: stakes in public and private companies, real estate, art, yachts, planes, ranches, vineyards, jewellery, car collections and more. We factored in debt and charitable giving.”
It’s extensive reporting, but given this is the 38th edition of the flagship list, you can imagine that Forbes are pretty well in-tune with how to get the details now. And should you wish to do the same, the full list can be found on their website. Alternatively, here are the 10 richest on the Forbes 400 2019 List.