The full force of the Federal Reserve’s wealth effect is being felt in the billionaire club. Thanks to wise business investments and a strong rebound in equity prices, the world’s wealthiest people increased their net worth by a staggering amount this year.
The top 10 billionaires who made the biggest financial gains in 2013 collectively earned $101.8 billion, according to Wealth-X, the world’s largest collection of curated research on ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Furthermore, the combined wealth of those 10 individuals totals an impressive $347 billion, up 41.6 percent from the beginning of the year.
On average, the billionaires on the list made $29 million per day this year, and gained $10.2 billion each. Bill Gates is currently the wealthiest person in the world, but did not log the biggest gain in 2013. Let’s take a look at the top 10 gainers.
10. Carl Icahn
2013 Gain: $7.2 billion
Between well-timed investments in Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), it has been a great year for the activist investor. Icahn gained $7.2 billion in 2013 and pushed his total net worth to $22.1 billion. Shares of Icahn Enterprises (NYSE:IEP), a diversified holding company, are up 160 percent this year.
9. Lui Chee Woo
2013 Gain: $8.3 billion
Thanks to record casino-gaming revenue, Galaxy Entertainment Group founder Lui Chee Woo gained $8.3 billion this year and pushed his total net worth to $19.6 billion. He has been a director of the company since August 1991, and is the chairman and a member of the executive board.
8. Larry Page
2013 Gain: $9.3 billion
Page is an American computer scientist and co-founder of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), the most popular site on the Internet. With shares of Google surging more than 50 percent this year, Page gained $9.3 billion and has a total net worth of almost $30 billion.
7. Sergey Brin
2013 Gain: $9.3 billion
Brin is also a co-founder of Google. He gained $9.3 billion and has a total net worth of $30 billion. Brin and Page met during their years at Stanford University.
6. Masayoshi Son
2013 Gain: $10.3 billion
The Japanese businessman is the founder and current chief executive officer of Softbank, and current Chair of Sprint (NYSE:S). In 2013, he gained $10.3 billion and has a total net worth of $19.1 billion.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
2013 Gain: $10.5 billion
Although Zuckerberg is only 29 years old, he gained $10.5 billion this year and has a total net worth of $24.7 billion. In fact, he is the youngest billionaire in the world. Zuckerberg is co-founder and current chief executive officer of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Shares of the social media giant have more than doubled this year.
4. Jeff Bezos
2013 Gain: $11.3 billion
After spending time on Wall Street, Bezos founded Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 1994 and has been building his wealth ever since. In 2013, he gained $11.3 billion and has a total net worth of $34.4 billion. Amazon.com is the world’s largest Internet retailer.
3. Sheldon Adelson
2013 Gain: $11.4 billion
Adelson is the chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), an American casino and resort operating company based in Nevada. During 2013, he gained $11.4 billion and increased his total net worth of $35.3 billion.
2. Bill Gates
2013 Gain: $11.5 billion
Coming in second place, Gates gained $11.5 billion in 2013 and pushed his total net worth to $72.6 billion. He is the former chief executive officer and current Chair of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which he co-founded in 1975. Shares of Microsoft have surged 35 percent this year.
1. Warren Buffett
2013 Gain: $12.7 billion
The Oracle of Omaha still has the Midas touch. Buffett gained a whopping $12.7 billion this year, and has a total net worth of $59.1 billion. In 1962, Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway (BKRA) and is now the largest shareholder and chief executive officer. Shares of the company are up about 30 percent this year.