As of January 1, the 10 richest people on the planet are worth nearly $1.47 trillion—$30 billion more than a month earlier.

According to the magazine, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s fifth richest person.

Seven of the world’s top 10 richest people are wealthier than they were a month ago. Their fortunes collectively rose by $30 billion during December much smaller jump than the $115 billion rise during November 2023.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the biggest gainers leaped into the No. 5 spot, up from No. 7 richest in the world on December 1. He now ranks ahead of Bill Gates, who for years was the world’s richest person.

Many billionaires hold much of their net worth in the stock of the company they founded or cofounded. As that stock price moves, their fortune moves along with it.

Elon Musk is still the world’s richest person, worth $251 billion. The CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, Musk also owns stakes in privately held rocket firm SpaceX and social media company X, formerly known as Twitter.

For most of the first half of 2023, French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault was the world’s richest person, but that changed on June 8, 2023, when Musk overtook Arnault to become No. 1 in the world again. As of January 1, Arnault still ranks No. 2 richest, worth an estimated $200.7 billion. Arnault, the CEO and chairman of LVMH, has built the company into a giant with more than 70 brands, from Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior to Tiffany & Co. and Sephora.

Software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle was the biggest loser of the top ten; his fortune fell by $11.2 billion during December as Oracle’s stock fell 10%. Ellison still ranks No. 4, worth $135.3 billion.

The list of the 10 richest people on Earth as of January 1, 2024, according to Forbes. Stock prices fluctuate routinely, so these net worthy may change on a daily basis.

  1. Elon Musk

With a Net worthn of $251.3 billion, he owns Tesla, SpaceX, X (Twitter), aged 52 a residence of Austin, Texas USA.

Musk is CEO of electric car company Tesla, rocket firm SpaceX and social Media Company X, formerly known as Twitter. He owns 23% of Tesla between stock and options, and has pledged some of his stock as collateral for loans. The car company accounts for about two thirds of his fortune. He bought X, then known as Twitter, for $44 billion in October 2022 and owns an estimated 74% of the social media company, which is now worth less than half what he paid for it.

  1. Bernard Arnault

With a net worth of $200.7 billion, owner of LVMH/ luxury goods, aged 74 a residence of Paris, France.

Bernard Arnault, CEO and chairman of LVMH, built the largest luxury goods company in the world with some 70 fashion and cosmetics brands. Among its most notable: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet & Chandon and Sephora. In January 2021, LVMH acquired jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion.

  1. Jeff Bezos

With a net worth of $168.4 billion, owner of Amazon aged 59, a residence of Medina, Washington, U.S.A.

Jeff Bezos created e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994 and ran it as CEO until July 2021 (he remains chairman); that same month he went to space on a rocket built by private rocket company Blue Origin, which he founded and has funded with billions of dollars. His fortune rose by $5.8 billion during December 2023 as the result of an uptick in Amazon shares.

  1. Larry Ellison

With a net worth of $135.3 billion founder of Oracle, aged 79 and a residence of Woodside, California U.S.A.

Larry Ellison cofounded software firm Oracle in 1977 and ran it as CEO until 2014; he now serves as chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the company. Over the years Oracle has made a series of large acquisitions, including buying Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.4 billion.

  1. Mark Zuckerberg

With a net worth of $125.3 billion, owner of Facebook/Meta, the youngest rich man aged 39, and a residence of Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.

Zuckerberg cofounded Facebook—now called Meta Platforms—when he was a student at Harvard University in 2004. It has grown to be the world’s largest social network, with 3.88 billion monthly users. The company also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, both of which it acquired and greatly expanded. Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, took the company public in 2012 and still owns about 13% of it. He and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to direct 99% of their stock in the company toward “measures that promote human potential.” One ambitious goal they are funding is the development of tools to help others cure, manage or prevent all disease by the end of this century; Zuckerberg and Chan spoke to Forbes earlier this year about their philanthropic efforts. And Zuckerberg talked to Forbes in September about Meta’s two biggest bets ahead of the company turning 20.

  1. Bill Gates

With a net worth of $119.6 billion, owner of Microsoft, investments aged 68, a residence of Medina, Washington U.S.A.

As a teenager, Gates became passionate about computer programming. He dropped out of Harvard to cofound software firm Microsoft with his high school friend Paul Allen in 1975, creating one of the first software programs available for the nascent personal computer industry. He was CEO of the company for 25 years and remained chairman until 2014. He eventually stepped off the board in 2020 but told Forbes in early 2023 that he still spends about 10% of his time consulting with teams at Microsoft. These days he has investments in dozens of companies, including waste removal firm Republic Services and agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co., and is one of the largest owners of farmland in the U.S.

  1. Warren Buffett

With a net worth of $118.6 billion, owner of Berkshire Hathaway aged 93 and a residence of Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. He runs investing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, which owns dozens of companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen. The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.

  1. Larry Page

With a net worth of $117.2 billion, owner of Google and aged 50 a residence of Palo Alto, California U.S.A.

Page cofounded search engine Google with fellow Stanford PhD student Sergey Brin in 1998 and served as CEO until 2001 and from 2011 to 2015. He now serves as a board member of Google’s parent Alphabet and continues to be a controlling shareholder.

  1. Sergey Brin

With a net worth of $112.4 billion, a controlling shareholder and a board member of Google, aged 50, a residence of Los Altos, California, U.S.A.

Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, parent company of Google, in December 2019 but remains a controlling shareholder and a board member. He cofounded Google with Larry Page in 1998 after the two met at Stanford University while studying for advanced degrees in computer science.

  1. Steve Ballmer

With a net worth of $112.2 billion, the owner of Microsoft, investments aged 67 and a residence of Hunts Point, Washington USA.

Ballmer, a classmate of Bill Gates’ at Harvard University, joined Microsoft as employee number 30 in 1980 after dropping out of the MBA program at Stanford University. He ran Microsoft as its CEO from 2000 to 2014.

The Richest Woman in the World

The richest woman in the world is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of France. As of January 1, 2024, she is worth an estimated $98.9 billion and is the world’s 14th richest person. Her fortune lies in her ownership stake in cosmetics giant L’Oreal, which she inherited from her late mother. Her grandfather was the founder of L’Oreal.


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