Today has been a very eventful day in terms of extreme net worth accomplishments. First off, earlier today Elon Musk joined the centibillionaire club as his net worth topped $100 billion for the very first time. Elon started the day with a net worth of $99 billion and ended with $101 billion as Tesla stock soared to yet another insane all-time high. Elon's net worth has increased $73 billion since January 1st. Not to be outdone, Jeff Bezos' net worth has increased $87 billion since January 1. That $87 billion increase allowed the Amazon founder's net worth to hit a cool $202 billion for the first time this afternoon. A truly stunning achievement. Is he the richest human being of all time? Let's talk it out…
First, some Amazon basics:
Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world thanks to his 58 million shares of Amazon. That's roughly 11% of the company's total outstanding shares.
Today AMZN closed at an all-time high of $3,441.85 per share, with a market cap of $1.72 trillion. When you multiply 58 million (shares) by $3,441.85 (price), you get $199.62 billion. When you add cash (he sells around $1 billion worth of Amazon shares every year) plus various other assets like roughly $1 billion worth of Google (he was a very early investor) and subtract debt, you comfortably arrive at a total net worth of $202 billion.
But keep in mind, at one point Jeff owned 16% of Amazon. As you probably know by now, Jeff forked over a sizeable fortune after divorcing MacKenzie Bezos (now known as MacKenzie Scott).
That 16% stake made Jeff a billionaire for the first time in June 1998. His net worth peaked at $12 billion during the dotcom bubble then crashed to $2 billion at the all-time lowest crash point of October 2001. You could have bought a single share of Amazon for $5 back then. A thousand dollars worth of Amazon bought at that point would be worth $688,200 today. Just FYI.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced their separation in January 2019. On the day of their separation (when Jeff still owned 16% of AMZN), his net worth was $150 billion.
On April 4, 2019, Jeff and MacKenzie announced that they had reached an amicable resolution where he would hand over 4% of that 16% stake. Jeff's net worth was immediately reduced to $115 billion, while MacKenzie instantly became one of the wealthiest people on the planet with a net worth of $36 billion. Jeff's stake has since dropped from 12% to 11%.
So, YES this is the first time Jeff's net worth has topped $200 billion. But here's the caveat – Had Jeff and MacKenzie never divorced, his net worth would have topped $200 billion for the first time back on June 8, 2020 when AMZN's market cap topped $1.25 trillion for the first time.
With Amazon at today's market cap of $1.72 trillion, MacKenzie Bezos' net worth is $66 billion.
If you can do some simple math, you might see where I'm heading.
Had Jeff and MacKenzie never divorced, today Jeff Bezos would have a net worth of:
Instead he has $202 billion, which easily makes him the richest person in the world. He is literally $77 billion richer than second-richest person in the world, Bill Gates, who has a paltry $125 billion net worth. But there's a caveat with Bill Gates: Bill has given more than $50 billion away to charity already. Had he not done that, his net worth would be around $175 billion. Still less than Jeff Bezos' $202 billion, but not quite as shockingly different. And while we're talking about billionaires who have given away massive fortunes, Warren Buffet would have a net worth of $118 billion today (instead of $81 billion) had he not donated approximately $37 billion to various charities and foundations.
As of this writing, MacKenzie is the richest woman in the world, with a net worth of $67 billion.
How does Jeff stack up against the richest human beings of all time inflation adjusted?
At $202 billion, Jeff is $17 billion richer than Anderson Cooper's great-great-great-grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who had an inflation-adjusted peak net worth of $185 billion.
He is $3 billion richer than Henry Ford's $199 billion inflation-adjusted peak fortune.
Unfortunately, Jeff still has quite a way to climb before he tops Andrew Carnegie's $310 billion inflation-adjusted fortune and John D. Rockefeller's $340 billion. He's roughly 50% of the way to Mansa Musa's $400 billion net worth. So he has some goals to hit still!
Congrats to Jeff on hitting $202 billion. It's honestly hard to fathom.