Mr. Gates has been at the top of the Forbes list of billionaires for 18 out of the last 23 years.
Most of Mr. Gates’s wealth originates from Microsoft, which has seen its stock rise to new highs lately. A Microsoft filing from last October said he held nearly 191 million shares of Microsoft — about 2.46 percent of its stock — which are currently worth about $14.1 billion.
Putting aside the fact that the milestone was short-lived (Amazon's stock fluctuations after earnings pushed Bezos back to number two), there's little question that long-term, Bezos will firmly hold the top spot eventually. Partially because Amazon is an amazing company, but partially because:
Mr. Gates has spent years diversifying his investments.
Kerry Dolan, an assistant managing editor for Forbes, said the publication also considers extensive assets Mr. Gates holds through his Cascade Investments, which has stakes in private equity, real estate and public companies. Forbes does not include his more than $31 billion in contributions to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its wealth calculations.
If Gates had not given away that $30+ billion, he'd obviously still have a sizable lead. Bezos is still figuring out his philanthropic goals -- though he's also pouring money into space rockets, amongst other things.
I'm more surprised that Microsoft stock accounts for "only" $14.1B of Gates' wealth. Hell of a diversifier.Read more...