Recently, you may have read (hopefully on Celebrity Net Worth), that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos managed to overtake Warren Buffet to become the second richest person on the planet. Over the last few years, Jeff's net worth has seen a meteoric rise. Just five years ago, Bezos was the 26th-richest person on the planet with a net worth of (just) $18.4 billion. Last year, Bezos found himself in the top 10 of the richest people on earth with a net worth of $45.2 billion. So, is this where he tops off? Does Bezos' billions have some gas left in the tank? And what would need to happen for Bezos to overtake perennial #1 Bill Gates?
First a little backstory – Jeff owns 17% of Amazon shares, specifically 80,897,696 according to the company's last SEC filing. On the day Amazon went public back in 1997, Jeff found himself with a net worth of $12 billion thanks to Amazon's $18 stock price. At the peak of the dotcom bubble, Amazon stock topped $106 per share. After the bubble burst, Amazon's stock price sank to an all-time low of $5 per share in October 2001. At that point, Jeff's net worth sank to $2 billion. As of this writing, a single share of Amazon trades for $920, hence his $76 billion current net worth.
The following photo of Gates and Bezos was taken on May 31, 2001. At the time this photo was taken, the dotcom bubble had already burst. Jeff was worth around $10 billion and Bill was worth around $50 billion. About a year before this photo was taken, Jeff was worth $30 billion and Bill was worth $100 billion. Bill's $100 billion net worth is the richest any human has been since the Rockefeller times.
Every time Amazon's stock price goes up by $1, Jeff's net worth increases by $81 million. Bill Gates currently has a net worth of $90 billion. Assuming Bill's net worth stays exactly the same, Amazon's stock price per share would need to top $1,115 in order for Jeff to have a net worth of $90.2 billion and therefore take the #1 spot as the richest person on earth.
In order for Amazon to go from today's price to $1,115, it would need to increase 25%. That's not out of the question. Between January 1 and today, Amazon has increased 17%. In the last 12 months, Amazon has increased 46%.
Now obviously it's always possible (likely) that Bill's net worth increases or decreases over time. But you might be surprised to learn that the stock price of Microsoft actually has very little to do with Bill's net worth. As of this writing, Bill only owns 2.26% of Microsoft, equaling $11.46 billion…or 12.7% of his net worth.
So there you have it! Do you think Jeff will steal Bill's crown?