While Kylie Jenner became the youngest self-made billionaire, the Korean family that helped popularize a catchy tune about a family of sharks are now worth $125 million in 2019. According to the Bloomberg billionaires index, the world's 500 wealthiest people reportedly added $1.2 trillion and boosted their collective net worth 25 per cent to $5.9 trillion in 2019. As the richest 0.1 per cent in the United States control a bigger share of the pie, some politicians have also called for a radical restructuring of the economy as they believe that the hoarding wealth by the few is coming at the cost of people's lives.
As France's Bernard Arnault led the 2019 gains by reportedly adding $36.5 billion and rose to become the world's third-richest person and one of the three centibillionaires with a net worth of at least $100 billion, Amazon's Jeff Bezos was down by almost $9 billion. However, Bezos drop was because of his divorce settlement with McKenzie Bezos. The company still managed to end the year as the world's richest person after Amazon shares reportedly jumped on Thursday. The company also saw a record-breaking holiday season with billions of items shipped and millions of Amazon devices like Echo Dot sold.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, the new billionaires include White Claw, the hard seltzer that was reportedly the hit of the summer among the young crowd. Takeaway.com which is a fast-food delivery site also lifted its wealth to $1.5 billion. Soy milk company also helped a Hong Kong's Lo family a combined $1.5 billion.
2019 also saw decline of many billionaires including, Rupert Murdoch's, who reportedly dropped about $10 billion after proceeds from Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of Fox assets were distributed to his six children. Interactive Brokers Group Inc.’s Thomas Peterffy also saw his wealth drop by $2.1 billion as investors weighed a reshaped competitive landscape for brokerage businesses after rival Charles Schwab Corp. eliminated commissions and agreed to buy TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. WeWork’s Adam Neumann also struggled as the company value dropped to $8 billion in October from an estimated $47 billion at the start of the year.
This year's winners are however 172 American billionaires on Bloomberg ranking as they added $500 billion with Facebook Inc's Mark Zukerberg up $27.3 billion and Microsoft Corp. Co-founder Bill Gates reportedly rose $22.7 billion. He Xiangjian, the founder of China’s biggest air-conditioner exporter, was the standout performer as his wealth reportedly surged 79 per cent to $23.3 billion. Russia's richest, however, added $51 billion which was a collective increase of 21 per cent as emerging-market assets from currencies to stocks and bonds rebounded in 2019.