Pop quiz: Who was the first person to control $100 billion in personal wealth without having to adjust for inflation? I'm not talking about Rockefeller or Carnegie, whose fortunes need to be adjusted for inflation before they hit $340 billion and $310 billion, respectively. I'm talking about $100 billion in present value money. Any idea?
The answer is…
And the year was….
For a brief moment in 1999 at the peak of the dotcom bubble, Bill Gates' net worth topped $100 billion. He was the first person to crack that milestone. And he did not hold on to that milestone for long.
In the years following the dotcom crash, then the 2008 financial crisis, Bill Gates saw his net worth sink all the way back down to $40 billion.
It took roughly 20 more years for there to be another person to crack the $100 billion mark again. Can you guess who broke the cold streak?
It was Bill Gates again. He re-joined the club in 2017.
So if you traveled back to the middle of 2017, there was only ONE centibillionaire on the planet.
At the end of 2017, there was finally a second member.
In November 2017, Jeff Bezos' net worth cracked $100 billion for the first time.
Bernard Arnault and Warren Buffett dropped in and out of the club for very brief moments in 2019. The COVID pandemic initially blew them out of the water, but eventually both tycoons to be very securely in the club.
On April 9, exactly three months ago today, we excited posted an article that reported some shocking news. As our headline read:
On that day, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin joined Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett in the centibillionaires club.
Fast Forward To The Present
And here were on on July 9, 2021.
As of the market close today, for the first time in human history, there are now TEN people on the planet with net worths greater than $100 billion simultaneously.
Yesterday Steve Ballmer joined the club with a net worth that currently sits at $101 billion. Larry Ellison joined the club today with a net worth of exactly $100 billion.
To recap, it took 99 years of modern human history (starting in 1900) for there to (very briefly) be ONE centibillionaire on the planet.
After Gates' net worth crashed in 2001, it took nearly 20 years for the world to have another centibillionaire.
It took a few months to add a second member.
Then in the last three years, we've added 8 more humans with $100 billion or more.
As of this writing, the world's 10 richest individuals control a combined total of:
That's $1.261 trillion. Controlled by 10 people. Here's a list of those 10 people:
#10: Larry Ellison – $100 billion
#9: Steve Ballmer – $101 billion
#8: Warren Buffett – $105 billion
#7: Sergey Brin – $111 billion
#6: Larry Page – $115 billion
#5: Mark Zuckerberg – $130 billion
#4: Bill Gates – $148 billion
#3: Bernard Arnault – $164 billion
#2: Elon Musk – $179 billion
#1: Jeff Bezos – $213 billion