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The World's Top 5 Wealthiest People

Multi-billionaires can also make use of a range of tax deductions to balance their earnings, allowing them to pay no tax on their earnings in the past
The World's Top 5 Wealthiest People

Billionaires have a significant impact on the global economy, politics, and charitable giving. According to Forbes, there are around 2,755 billionaires in the world. The wealthiest among them are members of a more elite club and wield much more power. Many of the billionaires are the founders of tech behemoths, with much of their wealth still invested in the companies they started.

Some people may be able to get money from this money and not have to sell stock, which could help them avoid taxes on unrealized capital gains.

Multi-billionaires can also make use of a range of tax deductions to balance their earnings, allowing them to pay no tax on their earnings in the past.

The wealth of the rich is exposed to market volatility since a large percentage of their money is held in publicly traded stocks. For example, Elon Musk, the creator and CEO of Tesla Inc. and the world's wealthiest person, saw his fortune expand in 2021 as a result of the rise in the price of Tesla shares (of which Musk owns 17 percent)—with Tesla shares gaining about 50% by 2021.

In February 2022, however, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta Platforms Inc., dropped off of the top ten list. Meta's stock price has dropped as a result of dismal earnings reports. By 2022, Zuckerberg's net worth will have decreased to $40 billion.

The top five wealthiest people on the planet are listed below.

1. Elon Musk | $273 billion in net worth

Elon Musk

Elon Musk was born in South Africa and attended a Canadian university before moving to the University of Pennsylvania to study physics and economics. Two days later, Musk dropped out of Stanford University's graduate physics program to establish Zip2, one of the first internet navigation services. He used some of the money he made from this company to start, an online payment system that was later bought by eBay Inc. (EBAY) and changed to PayPal Holdings Inc.

Musk became a key investor in Tesla Motors (now Tesla) in 2004, which led to his present position as the company's CEO. Tesla makes energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and, thanks to the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems, in addition to electric cars. Musk is also the founder and CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a space launch rocket company.

Muck said Tesla shares rose 740 percent in 2020, propelling Musk to the top of the wealth rankings, surpassing Muck. Tesla will be the largest company added to the S & P 500 in December 2020. In January 2021, Musk became the world's richest person (a distinction he has retained since).

Musk asked his Twitter followers on Nov. 6, 2021, whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, framing the question as a response to criticism of unrealized capital gains as a way to evade taxes. Over the course of the rest of 2021, he sold shares worth $16.4 billion.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democrat, has argued for the implementation of a wealth tax, citing a media claim that Musk paid no income tax in 2018. Musk answered on Twitter, "And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year."

Musk's lead in the worldwide wealth rankings has continued to increase, thanks to a jump in Tesla shares in 2021 and private transactions that boosted the reported valuation of SpaceX. In November 2021, his net worth peaked at $340 billion. Over the last year, Musk's net worth has climbed by 60%. (as of April 1, 2022).

2. Amazon's Jeff Bezos | Net Worth: $188 billion

Jeff Bezos

Soon after resigning from the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, Jeff Bezos launched in a garage in Seattle in 1994. His previous supervisor, David E. Shaw, was initially uninterested in the idea of an online bookstore.

Despite the fact that began as a book retailer, it has evolved into a one-stop shop for everything under the sun and is now perhaps the world's largest retailer. Some of Amazon's surprise expansions, like buying Whole Foods in 2017 and getting into the pharmaceutical industry the same year, show that the company is always looking for new ways to grow.

Bezos held up to 16 percent of Amazon in 2019 before ceding 4 percent to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, as part of their divorce settlement.The increased demand for online shopping amid the COVID-19 epidemic boosted Amazon's stock price by 76 percent in 2020. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon and became the company's executive chair.

Bezos took Amazon public in 1997 and went on to become the first person to reach a net worth of more than $100 billion since Bill Gates in 1999. Bezos' other initiatives include the aerospace company Blue Origin, The Washington Post (which he bought in 2013), and the Long Now, a 10,000-year clock.

Blue Origin's first successful crewed flight took place on July 20, 2021, with Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch student Oliver Daemen, reaching a height of over 66 miles before landing safely. In the same month, Bezos' net worth reached $211 billion.

3. Bernard Arnault | $148 billion in net worth

Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault, a French national, is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate. Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora are among the brands owned by LVMH.

The majority of Arnault's fortune stems from his 41.3 percent share in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that owns LVMH. His family-owned holding business, Groupe Familial Arnault, owns 6.2 percent of Christian Dior SE and another 6.2 percent of LVMH.

Arnault, a trained engineer, first demonstrated his economic ability while working for his father's construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, which he eventually took over in 1971. In 1979, he transformed Ferret-Savinel into Férinel Inc., a real estate firm.

Arnault stayed on as Férinel's chairman for another six years, until 1984, when he bought and reorganized luxury goods firm Financière Agache, finally selling all of the company's holdings save Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché. In 1987, he was encouraged to invest in LVMH, and two years later, he became the company's largest shareholder, head of the board, and CEO.

4. Bill Gates | $133 billion in net worth

Bill Gates

While attending Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates started to work with his childhood buddy Paul Allen to build new software for the early microcomputers. Following the success of this effort, Gates dropped out of Harvard during his junior year and joined Allen to create Microsoft.

Microsoft, the world's largest software corporation, also manufactures personal computers, publishes books through Microsoft Press, offers email services through its Exchange server, and sells video gaming consoles and related peripherals. Gates, who was previously Microsoft's top software architect, became board chair in 2008. In 2004, he became a member of Berkshire Hathaway's board of directors. On March 13, 2020, he resigned from both boards.

Cascade Investment LLC is where Bill Gates keeps a large portion of his fortune. Cascade is a privately held investment vehicle that holds Canadian National Railway (CNR), Deere (DE), and Republic Services (RSG), as well as private real estate and energy investments.

The William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation combined in 2000 to form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is still co-chaired by Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates. They have spent billions fighting polio and malaria through the foundation. 45. In 2014, the charity contributed $50 million to aid in the fight against Ebola.

The organization will have spent more than $1.9 billion fighting the COVID-19 epidemic by 2021.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett established the Giving Pledge in 2010, a campaign encouraging the rich to commit to giving the majority of their fortunes to charitable organizations. On August 2, 2021, Bill and Melinda French Gates divorced. Approximately $5 billion in equity was transferred to French Gates as a result of the divorce.

5. Warren Buffett | Net worth of $127 billion

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, the world's most famous living value investor, filed his first tax return at the age of 14 in 1944, declaring revenues from his boyhood paper route. In 1962, he began investing in Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company, and by 1965, he had become the dominant shareholder. In 1967, he expanded the company to include insurance and other ventures. As of April 1, 2022, Berkshire Hathaway has a market capitalization of $705 billion dollars, with a single share of stock (Class A shares) trading for more than $527,760.

Buffett, dubbed the "Oracle of Omaha," is a buy-and-hold investor who made his wealth by buying undervalued businesses. Berkshire Hathaway has recently made substantial, well-known investments. Insurance, energy distribution, railroads, and consumer items are among the wholly owned companies in the company's portfolio. Buffett is a skeptic about Bitcoin.

Buffett has given up a large portion of his fortune to charity. He donated over $41 billion between 2006 and 2020, largely to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his children's organizations. In 2010, Buffett and Bill Gates co-founded the Giving Pledge.

Buffett, who is 91 years old, is still the CEO, but in 2021 he hinted at who would succeed him: Gregory Abel. Abel leads Berkshire Hathaway's non-insurance operations.

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