The markets may have sunk, but that did not stop the creation of many megafortunes in 2018.
The popularity of Fortnite, the phenomenon that forced some to enter rehab for addiction to video games, allowed Tim Sweeney amass a fortune of US $ 7,200 million last year. Autry Stephens owns US $ 11,400 million after Endeavor Energy Resources attracted offers that valued the oil company by up to US $ 15,000 million.
Sweeney and Stephens were just two of the 31 people who entered the Bloomberg billionaires index in 2018, although the increase in global trade conflicts and a downward flow in the markets generated a loss of US $ 1 billion among those listed in the ranking.
Denise Coates, founder and executive director of the online betting house Bet365 is another addition to the list. Coates is almost 10 times richer than Queen Elizabeth II, according to the ranking.
While Coates had a good year, the market turmoil led many rich people to obtain negative figures. The 500 richest people in the world lost US $ 451,000 million this year, which contrasts with the US $ 1 billion added to their fortunes in 2017.
Next the billionaires who won and lost in 2018.
The billionaires in Singapore fared better in terms of dollars by earning US $ 2.5 billion. That brought the wealth of the country’s richest to a collective net worth of US $ 38,000 million.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world, was the biggest winner in 2018 for the second year in a row. His net worth grew around US $ 24,000 million, to US $ 123,000 million, but even he was not saved from the collapse of the stock markets. After reaching its highest point in September, Bezos has seen his fortune fall by some US $ 45,000 million.
Despite the total loss of almost US $ 76,000 million of the Chinese billionaires in 2018, some of the richest in the country managed to increase their assets. This is the case of Lei Jun, founder of the smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. Jun finished second behind Bezos among the biggest winners of the year, adding $ 8.6 billion to his fortune.
The American billionaires suffered the biggest loss this year, a collective decline of US $ 76 billion, largely due to the December market crash. Mark Zuckerberg recorded the most notorious decline in 2018 as Facebook went from one crisis to another. Its net worth was reduced by almost US $ 20,000 million, which leaves the 34-year-old with a fortune of US $ 53,000 million.
The Chinese Wang Jianlin, Jack Ma and Ma Huateng are three of the 10 biggest losers this year. Fifty people left the index, including 11 from China or Hong Kong, 9 from the United States and 4 from Russia.
Among those who left the list include Andrej Babis, prime minister of the Czech Republic whose fortune comes from his chemical and agricultural company Agrofert, and Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, whose net worth plummeted to a record level as Rusal’s actions fell in the face of concern that the aluminum giant could stop production due to sanctions imposed by the United States.
Unfortunately, 13 ranking billionaires died this year, including Microsoft’s Paul Allen, Hong Kong real estate tycoon Walter Kwok and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, owner of the English Premier League football club Leicester City.