Forbes' annual list of billionaires is out—and for the first time since 2000, Warren Buffett didn't make the top three. The list has again expanded; now it contains 1,426 names who boast a total net worth of $5.4 trillion, compared to $4.6 trillion last year. Forbes says rising asset prices explain the expansion. Last year saw an equal number of billionaires gain and lose wealth; this year, the gain-to-loss ratio was four to one. The US has the most billionaires, with 442.
Buffett himself gained $9.5 billion, but he fears his investment group, Berkshire Hathaway, may fall short of the S&P 500 across a five-year period, he said in a letter to shareholders. It would be a first for the group, and Buffett cites the stock market's recent climb. "In years when the market is particularly strong, expect us to fall short," he told shareholders. This year's Forbes top five:
- Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, $73 billion
- Bill Gates, US, $67 billion
- Amancio Ortega, Spain, $57 billion
- Warren Buffett, US, $53.5 billion
- Larry Ellison, US, $43 billion
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