THE VERY Richest people on the planet are worth a staggering $1.2 trillion–a sum roughly equivalent to the annual economic output of Mexico. In aggregate, their riches represent 13% of the total fortune of all 2,208 billionaires worldwide. The minimum figure for admission to this august club: $39 billion, up 28% from $30.4 billion a year ago.
1. JEFF BEZOS
$112 billion UP
The richest person on earth, Amazon’s chief is the first centibillionaire atop our annual ranking. Shares of his e-commerce colossus rose 59% in 12 months, helping lift his fortune by $39.2 billion, the biggest one-year gain ever recorded. (The $27.6 billion increase he logged in 2017 ranks third.) Bezos also owns the Washington Post and aerospace firm Blue Origin.
2. BILL GATES
$90 billion UP
Cedes the top spot for only the sixth time since 1995. The Microsoft cofounder’s net worth rose $4 billion in the past year, but that was no match for Bezos’ epic increase.
$84 billion UP
In January the octogenarian promoted two Berkshire Hathaway executives to vice chairman roles–a step toward a much-anticipated succession plan. Buffett, who says he’s in “remarkably good health,” continues to run Berkshire, whose stock is up 16% since last year.
$72 billion UP
Record results at his luxury empire LVMH and a deal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior helped boost Arnault’s fortune by $30.5 billion.
$71 billion UP
Facebook’s CEO faces pressure over his social-media giant’s role in Russia’s election meddling. Still, the company’s shares rose 32% in the past year, adding $15 billion to his net worth.
$70 billion DOWN
Most of his fortune is tied up in Inditex, best known for fashion chain Zara. Its shares have sagged, helping knock $1.3 billion off his net worth.
$67.1 billion UP
Slim is worth $12.6 billion more than a year ago, due mostly to a 39% jump in the stock of his telecom firm, América Móvil.
$60 billion UP
In November his $100 billion (sales) Koch Industries launched Koch Disruptive Technologies, a venture-capital arm run by his son Chase; it has already led a $150 million investment in an Israeli medical-device startup.
8 (tie). DAVID KOCH
$60 billion UP
The Koch Industries executive vice president and his brother Charles made news in November when their investment arm put $650 million toward Meredith Corp.’s $2.8 billion purchase of struggling magazine publisher Time Inc.
10. LARRY ELLISON
$58.5 billion UP
Even as Oracle faces competition from Salesforce and Amazon in the cloud market, its stock has risen 13%. Ellison, who owns about a quarter of the company, is $6.3 billion richer.
$50 billion UP
New York City’s former mayor continues to run his financial-information and media firm, Bloomberg LP. A gun-control organization he backs, meanwhile, is forming a new initiative geared toward students in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
12. LARRY PAGE
$48.8 billion UP
The Google cofounder, now CEO of its parent, Alphabet, has reportedly been in talks with Saudi Arabia to build a technology hub inside the kingdom. Page’s fortune grew $8.1 billion over the past year.
13. SERGEY BRIN
$47.5 billion UP
Page’s partner as Google’s cofounder is America’s richest immigrant. Now Alphabet’s president, Brin is reportedly spending over $100 million on the world’s largest airship for both personal luxury travel and delivering aid to remote locations.
14. JIM WALTON
$46.4 billion UP
The youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton sat on the company’s board until 2016. He runs the family’s regional bank, Arvest.
15. S. ROBSON WALTON
$46.2 billion UP
Sam Walton’s oldest son was Walmart’s chairman for 23 years. He’s now one of three family members still involved in the company; he and Steuart Walton, the son of Jim Walton, sit on its board. His son-in-law Gregory Penner is chairman.
16. Alice Walton
$46 Billion Up
Wal-Mart heir; Chair, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
17. MA HUATENG
$45.3 billion UP
Ma is Asia’s wealthiest person for the first time, thanks in part to his firm Tencent’s WeChat, a ubiquitous social-messaging app with nearly 1 billion active users. Tencent also has stakes in Tesla, Snapchat parent Snap and music-streaming service Spotify.
$42.2 billion NEW
Her mother, L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, died in September 2017; Bettencourt Meyers and her family inherited the fortune.
19. MUKESH AMBANI
$40.1 billion UP
The Indian tycoon is back in the Top 20 for the first time since 2012.
20. JACK MA
$39 billion UP
Ma took e-commerce behemoth Alibaba to new heights in 2017, inking its first Olympic sponsorship and scoring a streaming agreement with Disney. Alibaba’s shares have increased 76% since last year, boosting him into the Top 20 for the first time.