The World’s Billionaires
By Kerry A. Dolan and Luisa Kroll
Despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro, the ranks of the world’s wealthiest defied global economic turmoil and expanded yet again. The total includes 290 newcomers, 71 of whom hail from China. Youth are on the rise: A record 46 among the ranks are under age 40. One earthward note: The average net worth of list members came in at $3.86 billion, down $60 million from 2014.
Bill Gates is once again the richest person on the planet, a title he’s held for 16 of the past 21 years. His fortune grew $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, despite a gift of $1.5 billion in Microsoft MSFT +0.00% shares to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2014. Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico comes in again at No. 2 while revered American investor Warren Buffett took back the No. 3 spot from Spain’sAmancio Ortega (now No. 4); not even the largest IPO in history was enough to beat the Oracle of Omaha this year. Buffett was the list’s biggest gainer, up $14.5 billion to $72.7 billion, thanks to Berkshire Hathaway’s rising share price. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg moves up 5 spots to number 16, his first time ranked among the world’s 20 richest. Ma and three other Chinese are among the the biggest gainers and appear among the 50 richest on the list. READ MORE
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