Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos started 2018 as the world’s richest man—and his net worth has positively skyrocketed so far this year.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth is based mostly on the price of Amazon stock, and Amazon shares have been soaring, up more than 50% over the past six months. Bezos started 2018 with a fortune worth nearly $100 billion( Ksh 10 Trillion), and he quickly added $10 billion (1 Trillion) to his net worth within the first two weeks of the year. By the end of January, Bezos was up $20 billion.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Jeff Bezos’ net worth just hit $130.9 (Ksh 13 trillion) billion, up a whopping $30.1 billion thus far in 2018. Bezos now holds a huge lead over the world’s second-richest person, Microsoft founder, and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose net worth is $92 billion. This year, Bill has made “only” $128 million.
In the Kenya context, half of Jeff Bezos wealth can pay Kenya’s Ksh 4.3 Trillion debt and fund the country’s budget for a year(Ksh 1.6 Trillion). He would still be left with a pocket change amounting to a cool Ksh 500 billion. Enough to complete the SGR project to Kampala or build at least 12 Thika super Highways.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth has been growing at a staggering pace. He added $35 billion to his fortune last year, and it seems like he will surpass that mark easily in 2018. Less than three months into the year, he has been expanding his fortune at a pace of better than $10 billion per month.
After doing some quick math, you realize that Bezos’ fortune has been increasing by roughly $231,000 per minute in 2018. So every minute, Bezos has made roughly four times what the average worker makes in a year.
This’s obviously enough to make Bezos the world’s richest person. What’s particularly astounding is that no one else is even in the same league as Amazon’s founder.
Forbes puts Bill Gates, the next-richest billionaire after Bezos, at a net worth of $91.3 billion. Rounding out the rest of the top five world’s richest people are: Warren Buffett ($87.8 billion), Amancio Ortega ($70.3 billion), and Mark Zuckerberg ($68.6 billion).
Of the top five richest men, only Bezos and Buffett have gained wealth so far in 2018. But Bezos is again in a class of his own in this category: Whereas Bezos’ net worth is up $32 billion year-to-date, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO is “only” up around $2.5 billion.
The net worth of Ortega, the 81-year-old Spanish entrepreneur who founded the clothing retailer Zara, is down $5 billion so far in 2018. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has also been having a bad year, especially over the last few days. This week, as controversy swirled over a reported data breach at Facebook, Zuckerberg’s net worth dropped by as much as $9 billion.
How much money could Jeff Bezos make in 2018? Any answer would require plenty of speculation. As mentioned, Bezos’ net worth is linked directly to the price of Amazon stock, and there’s no telling what the market will do. What’s more, an increase in one’s wealth based on rising stock prices is merely a theoretical increase on paper. It does not necessarily translate into realized earnings.
But let’s throw a few numbers around just for fun. If Amazon shares somehow kept rising and Jeff Bezos’ net worth kept expanding at a ballpark clip of $10 billion per month, he would make $120 billion in 2018. In other words, he would more than double his wealth in a year. His net worth would top $200 billion( Ksh 20 Trillion), making him not only the richest person on the planet right now but also one of the richest people of all time.