Bill Gates climbs back to top the world’s wealthiest slot whilst Slim Slumps

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Bill Gates extended his lead over Carlos Slim by as the world’s richest man by a cool $4.3bn with the recovery in the Microsoft stock price according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The bull market fuelled by the US Federal Reserve’s ZIRP policy and its unlimited and successive quantitative easing packages have been the key for Gate’s investments, which include a stake of 4.8% in Microsoft and which has risen more than 30% YTD. With the S&P 500 rising 14% this year alone, the worlds very richest are getting richer than ever as their wealth is inevitably tied up substantially in the equity market.

Unlike Bill Gates and others, Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, has been hit by the market this year. His 44% stake in America Movil, the largest mobile phone operator in the Americas with a market share near 70% in Mexico has been a global underperformer this year. With the aim of increasing competitiveness in the Telecomms arena within the country, Mexican lawmakers decided to instigate new rules to crack down on the dominance of Slim’s company.  As a result, America Movil’s stock has dropped 14% YTD and which, crucially, contributed to the expanding gap between Gates and Slim’s wealth.

So, Bill Gates once more tops the list, even after donating more than $28 billion of his wealth to several charities pver the years, including a $100 million donation in Microsoft shares to an unidentified charity just a few days ago. His net worth is valued at $72.1 billion so he can afford it however!

The legendary investor Warrant Buffet occupies the 3rd position on the list with a net worth of $61.1 billion. The Sage of Omaha and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has an extraordinary investment record of course His patience through buying and holding stocks for several decades has produced the returns many short term punters can only ever dream of and illustrates the virtue in buying value and quality at the right price.

The youngest in the list and the only under 30 is Mark Zuckerberg. The man who created the social network giant Facebook probably never dreamed his idea to create a network of users inside his University would grow to the extent that it has and generate him his billions in wealth and, in the process, make him the 83rd richest man in the world. In a fast-changing industry which has seen the likes of Hi5, Altavista, and others disappear in just a matter of months, only time will tell if Facebook can beat the trend and hold its position as the number one social network in the long run. Early signs however are that its popularity is waning.

The investment industry also is well represented with a number of big names on the billionaires rich list. The legendary George Soros and Carl Icahn hold the 26th and 29th positions respectively. Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio from Bridgewater Associates is on the 65th position and the quantitative investor and founder of the hedge fund company Jim Simons Renaissance Technologies comes in a no. 82.

The richest man from the UK is the 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor. He’s on position 76 with a net worth of $12.7 billion, just a tad above Zuckerberg’s and showing the value of property wealth in London in recent years.

Even though we tried to find our long-loved hedge fund manager, John Paulson, we weren’t able to. We hope his investment in gold hasn’t left him empty-handed!

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