Surging stock prices drove huge increases in the multi-billion dollar fortunes of Elon Musk, Ernest Garcia III, Judy Faulkner and other fortunate members of The Forbes 400.
Despite the pandemic, America’s richest people are thriving. The members of this year’s Forbes 400 list, released today, are worth 8% more on average compared to a year ago. A select group of these billionaires have been even more fortunate: The 15 biggest gainers this year saw their already-massive net worths skyrocket by at least 40%. Forbes used closing stock prices from Friday July 24 to calculate the size of the fortunes on the list, our 39th annual ranking of the country’s richest people.
The year’s biggest gainer, in percentage terms, is Elon Musk, who’s an astounding 242% richer than he was on last year’s ranking. A lot has happened since then, including Musk raising more than $2 billion in new funding for his rocket company, SpaceX, and getting two enormous grants of Tesla stock options as part of the audacious compensation agreement he signed with the electric carmaker in 2018. Tesla stock has been on a tear, rising 520% by the time Forbes took a final measure of net worths on July 24 — helping add $48.1 billion to Musk’s net worth since last year’s list. He was the 23rd wealthiest person in America on the 2019 ranking, worth $19.9 billion; this year he’s up to number 7, worth $68 billion. (And he’s gotten even richer recently. At the end of August, when Tesla shares spiked after a 5-for-1 stock split, Musk officially crossed the $100 billion threshold to become the world’s fifth centibillionaire.)
The second-largest gainer this year: Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang. Shares of the graphics microchip maker, which acquired Israeli-American networking-technology company Mellanox for $6.9 billion in April, more than doubled since last year amid a push beyond gaming into artificial intelligence and data centers. Thanks to the soaring Nvidia stock, Huang is worth $5.6 billion, or 133%, richer than last year.
Cybersecurity mogul Jay Chaudhry had a huge year as well, with shares of his cloud-based security firm ZScaler rising 90%. Chaudhry grew up in a village in the Himalayas without running water or electricity before immigrating to the U.S. in 1980. He and his family own about 45% of the company, which he took public on the Nasdaq in 2018. His net worth is up 92% this year to $6.9 billion.
Father-son duo Ernest Garcia II and Ernest Garcia III round out the top 5 biggest gainers in percentage terms. Garcia II is the mogul behind Drivetime, one of the nation’s largest used car dealers, but he owes his spot on the top gainers list to his son, Garcia III. The younger Garcia founded Carvana, an online platform for selling used cars and making auto loans, as a subsidiary of Drivetime. He later spun out the firm and took it public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. Shares are up more than 1,200% since then, including 77% over the past year — adding billions to the Garcias’ fortunes. Garcia II, Carvana’s largest shareholder, is worth $9.6 billion; his son is worth $4.2 billion.
Two women secured a spot among the year’s big gainers: MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of world’s richest person Jeff Bezos, and Judy Faulkner, founder of Epic, America's leading medical-record software provider. Thanks to the continued rise of Amazon stock, Scott is 58% richer this year — despite giving nearly $1.7 billion to 116 nonprofits.. She has pledged to eventually give away at least half her fortune. Faulkner, meanwhile, is up 45% as her Wisconsin-based firm faced the Covid-19 Pandemic head-on. The $3.2 billion (2019 sales) company is working to identify labs that could help with testing and distributing protective equipment in Wisconsin, in addition to giving away its telehealth and remote monitoring software. Faulkner founded Epic in a basement in 1979 and serves as CEO.
Here are the 15 biggest gainers, measured by percentage of net worth, on the 2020 Forbes 400 list:
Data are as of July 24, 2020
NET WORTH: $68 billion (+$48.1 billion, +242%)
Tesla stock rose more than five-fold since last year’s list, making Musk the biggest gainer in percentage terms. His meteoric rise, helped along by two massive grants of Tesla shares as part of his CEO compensation, continued after Forbes finalized net worths for this year’s list in late July. He broke the $100 billion mark in late August, less than two months after Tesla overtook Toyota as the world’s most valuable automaker.
NET WORTH: $9.8 billion (+$5.6 billion, +133%)
Nvidia shares are up some 25,000% since Huang took the chipmaker public in 1999, including a 128% jump since last year’s list. Huang, who’s been chief executive since cofounding Nvidia in 1993, owns about 3.6% of its stock.
NET WORTH: $6.9 billion (+$3.3 billion, +92%)
Before founding cybersecurity firm ZScaler, whose shares have risen 90% since last year, Chaudhry launched four other tech companies that were all acquired. He and his wife, Jyoti, both quit their jobs and used their life savings to start the first of these firms, cybersecurity startup SecureIT.
Ernest Garcia III
NET WORTH: $4.2 billion (+$1.9 billion, +83%)
Garcia III was an executive at his father’s used car dealer and financer DriveTime Automotive Group before cofounding online used car seller Carvana in 2012. Billed as the “Amazon of cars,” Carvana’s stock is up 77% since last year’s list.
Ernest Garcia II
NET WORTH: $9.6 billion (+$3.9 billion, +68%)
His DriveTime operates 127 dealerships across the U.S. and has financed more than 4 million car buyers. The elder Garcia helped fund Carvana, which operated as part of DriveTime before the Garcias spun it out and took it public in 2017.
NET WORTH: $4.5 billion (+$1.8 billion, +67%)
Shares of Veeva Systems, the cloud software provider for pharmaceutical and biotech companies that he founded and runs as CEO, are up 60% since last year.
NET WORTH: $10.5 billion (+$4.1 billion, +64%)
The founder and CEO of wireless equipment maker Ubiquiti Networks, Pera’s fortune is up thanks to a 58% rise in Ubiquiti’s stock since last year. He owns about three-quarters of the publicly traded company.
NET WORTH: $6.8 billion (+$2.6 billion, +62%)
The Twitter cofounder and CEO is richer this year thanks to a 96% bump in the share price of his other company, payments processor Square. That increase more than covers Dorsey’s pledge to give $1 billion of his Square stock to #startsmall, a new philanthropic entity he says will focus on Covid-19 relief, women’s health and education and lobbying for a universal basic income.
NET WORTH: $57 billion (+$20.9 billion, +58%)
In July, along with her announcement of nearly $1.7 billion in donations to 116 nonprofits, Jeff Bezos’ publicity-shy ex wife said she changed her last name from Bezos to her middle name, Scott. Her fortune is still largely tied up in soaring Amazon stock.
NET WORTH: $179 billion (+$65 billion, +57%)
America’s richest person had a great year, despite some bad headlines — including coronavirus-related protests by Amazon workers and a big-tech antitrust investigation by Congress. With the quarantining world turning to online shopping, Amazon shares climbed by 64% over the past year.
NET WORTH: $6.9 billion (+$2.4 billion, +53%)
His investment firm Tiger Global Management is betting big on tech and stay-at-home friendly stocks, which have been roaring through the pandemic.
NET WORTH: $4.1 billion (+$1.3 billion, +46%)
Shares of Pegasystems, the software company he started in 1983, which focuses on streamlining business and enhancing customer engagement, are up 42% since last year.
NET WORTH: $5.5 billion (+$1.7 billion, +45%)
In addition to providing telehealth and remote monitoring software to help with the Covid crisis, her software giant Epic supports the medical records of over 250 million patients and is used by top medical centers such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Sales grew 10%, to $3.2 billion, in 2019.
NET WORTH: $5 billion (+$1.5 billion, +43%)
Quarantine essential Netflix, which Hastings cofounded and leads as co-CEO, has been cashing in on a world at home, with hits like Tiger King and Extraction. Netflix stock is up 66% since last year
NET WORTH: $10.5 billion (+$3 billion, +40%)
The chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins holds big stakes in high-flying tech giants like Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet, where he serves on the board.
The Forbes 400 members remain largely self-made, with 275, or 69%, having created their fortune rather than inheriting it. It also remains male dominated, with just 58 women, 2 more than a year ago.Who is number 400 on the Forbes list? ›
1. Elon Musk cofounded six companies including electric car maker Tesla, rocket producer SpaceX and tunneling startup Boring Company.Who is the richest billionaire in the world 2020? ›
Bernard Arnault & Family - $193 billion
LVMH – France Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault is the first richest person on the earth. His net worth is $193 billion resulting from his business across an empire of more than 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
As of February 1, 2023, the richest man in the world is Bernard Arnault, the CEO and chairman of LVMH of France; he's worth nearly $214 billion. He moved into the number one spot after Elon Musk's fortune fell in late 2022 as shares of electric carmaker Tesla fell.How many black people are on the Forbes 400 list? ›
Oprah Winfrey is the only African American on the Forbes 400, a list of the wealthiest people in the U.S. In fact, she's one of only six known Black billionaires in the world, and she's the only Black woman with a fortune worth more than a billion dollars.Are 88 percent of millionaires self-made? ›
Steve Burns on Twitter: "88% of all millionaires are self-made, meaning they did not inherit their wealth: Study by Fidelity Investments" / Twitter.Who is the youngest billionaire? ›
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- Korean gaming pioneer Kim Jung-ju's teenage daughter Kim Jung-youn is world's youngest billionaire.
T here's rich, then there's Forbes 400 rich. It takes $2.7 billion to qualify for this year's ranking of America's wealthiest people.Who is the richest president in the USA? ›
The richest president in history is purported to be Donald Trump. His net worth, however, is not precisely known because the Trump Organization is privately held.Who is the Number 1 billionaire in the world now? ›
1. Bernard Arnault – $189 billion. The top 10 Wealthiest Man In The World 2023 include Bernard Arnault and his family, who are believed to own $189 billion in assets, as the richest people on the planet.
Elon Musk, pictured at the 2022 Met Gala, is no longer the richest person in the world. Elon Musk is no longer the world's richest person after being overtaken—again—by French billionaire Bernard Arnault.How many trillionaires are there in the world? ›
Currently, no one has yet claimed trillionaire status, although some of the world's richest individuals may only be a few years away from this milestone.Is Rihanna a billionaire? ›
Rihanna's estimated net worth is $1.4 billion in 2023. She became America's youngest self-made female billionaire in 2022. Much of Rihanna's wealth has been attributed to her successful makeup company, Fenty Beauty, which she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH.What percentage of African Americans make over $100000 a year? ›
Three-in-ten Black households (31%) make $75,000 or more, including 20% that make $100,000 or more. The median household income for single-race, non-Hispanic Black U.S. households in 2021 is $45,300, meaning half of households headed by a single-race Black person earn more than that and half earn less than that.Who is the richest black person in the United States? ›
Oprah Winfrey, $2.7 billion.How many millionaires are in the US? ›
There are about 22 million millionaires in the U.S. 8.8 % of U.S. adults are millionaires. 33% of U.S. millionaires are women. 76% of millionaires in the U.S. are white, and white people account for 60% of the total U.S. population.What percentage of millionaires own a home? ›
Distribution of millionaires in the United States in 2019, by number of houses owned.
|Net worth in U.S. dollars||Share of millionaires|
'Made, not born': Dave Ramsey says 79% of US millionaires didn't receive any inheritance from their parents or family members — here's how they made the big money. Want to know what it takes to be a millionaire? Well, Ramsey Solutions went straight to the source and surveyed 10,000 of them.How much does the 1 percent own in wealth? ›
Federal Reserve data indicates that as of Q4 2021, the top 1% of households in the United States held 32.3% of the country's wealth, while the bottom 50% held 2.6%. In recent decades, wealth inequality has substantially increased in the United States.Who is the youngest female billionaire? ›
Rihanna becomes youngest woman billionaire after hitting $1.4B net worth.
The wealthiest woman in the world is a French entrepreneur and billionaire heiress, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. She is a member of the Bettencourt family. In addition to those things, she is a talented writer, musician, and philanthropist, and her net worth is 74.8 billion US dollars.
Billionaires multiply their wealth by borrowing against their assets to pay for new investments. But they aren't the only ones who can use leverage to their benefit. In 2021, a ProPublica article revealed that some U.S. billionaires pay little to no tax.How much salary is considered rich in us? ›
Based on that figure, an annual income of $500,000 or more would make you rich. The Economic Policy Institute uses a different baseline to determine who constitutes the top 1% and the top 5%. For 2021, you're in the top 1% if you earn $819,324 or more each year. The top 5% of income earners make $335,891 per year.How much cash do you need to be considered wealthy? ›
How much money do you need to be considered rich? According to Schwab's 2022 Modern Wealth Survey (opens in new tab), Americans believe it takes an average net worth of $2.2 million to qualify a person as being wealthy.What monthly income is considered rich? ›
If you're going by the IRS standard, then you'd need to make approximately $45,000 a month to be rich. On the other hand, if you're aiming for the top 1% as measured by the EPI, you'd need a monthly income of $68,277.Who is the only president to have a Phd? ›
After graduation from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) and the University of Virginia Law School, Wilson earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University and entered upon an academic career. In 1885 he married Ellen Louise Axson.What was Ronald Reagan's net worth? ›
Ronald Reagan ranks second on our list for net worth when entering office. The one-time actor had $10.6 million to his name before starting the first of two terms in 1981, growing that to $15.4 million by the time he died in 2004.Has any U.S. president gone to jail? ›
William Henry West (September 1842 – September 6, 1915) was an African American soldier and police officer in Washington, DC said to have arrested United States President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. This is the only known record of a sitting US president being arrested.Who is today world richest man 2023? ›
In the year 2023, the name of Elon Musk comes in the first place under the world's richest person i.e. World Richest Man 2023. Who is the richest person in India? Gautam Adani is the richest person in India, after him Mukesh Ambani is the second richest person.What is Donald Trump's net worth? ›
Forbes estimates it at $3.2 billion as of October 26, 2022, with Trump making much higher claims. Trump received a loan of one million US dollars from his father, and he has also made money from fundraising, real estate ventures, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and Trump-branded products including neckties and steaks.
Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has reclaimed his crown as the world's wealthiest person, Bloomberg reports. Musk's net worth was just north of $187 billion after Monday's market close, edging out luxury brand LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault's $185.3 billion fortune.Who is the king of billionaire? ›
|1||Vajiralongkorn||$43 billion — $30 billion|
|2||Hassanal Bolkiah||$28 billion — $20 billion|
|3||Salman of Saudi Arabia||$18 billion|
|4||Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (died in 2022)||$15.0 billion|
Forbes puts the number of billionaires in the world at ~2,700 in 2023. The Billionaires Index is a ranking of the world's richest people as March 2, 2023.How much is Kanye West worth? ›
Kanye West's net worth in 2023 is around $400 million. Here in this article we will share Biography of Kanye West, Kanye West's Age/ Spouse, About Career of Kanye West and we will also talk about Kanye West's Suspension from Twitter.How many shares of Tesla does Elon Musk own? ›
Musk sold about 22 million shares in 29 separate transactions this week worth roughly $3.6 billion, bringing the total amount of Tesla stock sales to roughly $23 billion in 2022. Musk still owns about 424 million shares of Tesla, excluding his management stock options.Is Mark Zuckerberg the richest man in the world? ›
"Of the 21 individuals who stand a chance of reaching this phenomenal milestone in their lifetime, Elon Musk is predicted to be the first," said CEO Magazine. This prediction was reiterated by The Guardian, The Economic Times, and many others.Is Oprah a billionaire? ›
Oprah Winfrey is a TV host, author, and American billionaire that earns $300 million per year due to her diversified media companies. Oprah had a hard life while growing up.Who is richer Rihanna or taylor swift? ›
According to the publication, her net worth is currently $1.4 billion, making her the 2,031st richest person in the world. Swift lands at 79, thanks to the success of Midnights and her re-recorded albums Red (Taylor's Version) and Fearless (Taylor's Version). Her net worth in 2022 was $570 million, according to Forbes.
Based on the numbers on Celebrity Net Worth, Rihanna is far ahead with her $1 billion empire compared to Beyonce's $500 million.What city has the most billionaires? ›
46% have a head start: Almost half the super rich people surveyed either had some inherited wealth or an affluent upbringing. 28% have legacy wealth: People with both an affluent background and inherited money.How many billionaires have inherited their wealth? ›
Number of billionaires around the world in 2021, by wealth source.
|Source of wealth||Number of billionaires|
|Inherited / self-made||957|
An estimated 35 to 45 percent of wealth is inherited rather than self-made, according to Kopczuk's review of the literature.
WealthX found that 68% of very wealthy people earned their wealth themselves, primarily through businesses and other types of investments. About 23% had a combination of inherited and self-made wealth. Less than 10% of those surveyed completely inherited their wealth.What is the average inheritance USA? ›
The average inheritance from parents, grandparents or other benefactors in the U.S. is roughly $46,200, also according to the Survey of Consumer Finances. The average for the most wealthy 1% reaches upwards of $719,000, while the average for the next 9% experiences a steep decline at $174,200.Are 90% of millionaires self made? ›
Further, a second study by Fidelity Investments found that 88% of all millionaires are self-made, meaning they did not inherit their wealth. The Fidelity study also revealed that self-made millionaires' top sources of assets were investments/capital appreciation, compensation and employee stock options/profit sharing.Who owns 50 percent of the world's wealth? ›
The richest 1% own almost half of the world's wealth, while the poorest half of the world own just 0.75% In fact, they have acquired nearly twice as much wealth in new money as the bottom 99% of the world's population.What percentage of US wealth is owned by billionaires? ›
|Stock owned by richest 10%.|
The proportion of those in the list who grew up poor or had little wealth remained constant at roughly 20 percent throughout the same period.Do most millionaires inherited their money from their parents? ›
Dave Ramsey, personal finance expert and founder of Ramsey Solutions, says this myth of primarily inherited riches is “flat wrong.” When Ramsey's 2022 National Study of Millionaires asked where the riches came from, they found that a whopping 79% didn't receive any inheritance from parents or other family members.What is considered a large inheritance? ›
What Is Considered a Large Inheritance? There are varying sizes of inheritances, but a general rule of thumb is $100,000 or more is considered a large inheritance. Receiving such a substantial sum of money can potentially feel intimidating, particularly if you've never previously had to manage that kind of money.How much wealth does the average person have? ›
|Age Group||Mean Net Worth||Median Net Worth|
|Less than 35||$76,300||$13,900|
8.8 % of U.S. adults are millionaires. 33% of U.S. millionaires are women. 76% of millionaires in the U.S. are white, and white people account for 60% of the total U.S. population. There are about 62.5 million millionaires globally, a 11.4% increase from 2020.What is considered wealthy in the US? ›
Based on that figure, an annual income of $500,000 or more would make you rich. The Economic Policy Institute uses a different baseline to determine who constitutes the top 1% and the top 5%. For 2021, you're in the top 1% if you earn $819,324 or more each year. The top 5% of income earners make $335,891 per year.What percentage of rich people have rich parents? ›
21%. That's right. Millionaires and the general population receive inheritances at the exact same rate.How much wealth does the average family have? ›
The average net worth for U.S. families is $748,800. The median — a more representative measure — is $121,700.