Billionaires, as a group, infamously did quite well in 2020, despite the economic hardships faced by the vast majority of the population due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But – and this may come as a slight relief for some – not every billionaire saw their own personal fortunes grow over the course of the year.
The biggest billionaire loser of 2020, at least speaking in terms of drops to their personal net worth, was Spanish fashion billionaire Amancio Ortega. Ortega saw his net worth go down $8.95 billion over the course of 2020. Chinese real estate billionaire Hui Ka Yan had the second biggest drop, at almost $6.8 billion.
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the late Steve Jobs and generally considered the richest woman in the tech field, saw her net worth $5.22 billion lower than it was at the beginning of the year, while the ups and downs of the Koch Engineering fortune led to identical drops over 2020 for two different billionaires: Charles Koch and Julia Flesher Koch – widow of the late David Koch. They both hold their own 42 percent stakes in the family business, so they both saw the same $5.17 billion decrease in their individual net worths.
Taking up the rear of the dubious honor of the biggest billionaire losses of 2020 is Vagit Alekperov. The Russian oil billionaire's net worth went down by just shy of $5 billion over the course of the year, which makes him only the top of a very tall pyramid, since as we all know 2020 wasn't exactly a good year to have a fortune tied up in oil prices.
Of course, while these six billionaires saw their fortunes drop the most in 2020, they're also all rich enough to be able to absorb such losses without too much actual damage. None of them were even close to losing their status as billionaires – the closest, Vagit Alekperov, still had a $17.3 billion net worth to his name at the end of the year – so don't feel too bad for how their year went. Still, if your 2020 wasn't the greatest year of your life, you can at least get some cold comfort from the fact that you didn't end the year billions of dollars poorer than you began it.