It’s been a year of pandemic-driven lockdowns, political upheaval and—especially for the planet’s richest people—incredible wealth gains.
With major stock markets soaring high, Forbes estimates that the 2,200-plus billionaires in the world have collectively gotten $1.9 trillion richer in 2020.
The world’s billionaires are worth an estimated $11.4 trillion, based on Forbes’ calculations using stock prices from Friday, December 11. That’s up 20% from collective wealth of $9.5 trillion on December 31, 2019.
America’s billionaire class had a smashing 2020. Altogether, the more than 600 U.S. billionaires are worth $4 trillion, a gain of $560 billion since the beginning of the year, aided by record-breaking stock markets.
The S&P 500, sitting near all-time highs, is up 13% this year despite the March Covid-crash; the Nasdaq is up 38%.
No one in the world has had a better 2020 than Elon Musk, whose fortune has grown an astonishing $110 billion this year to nearly $137 billion, making him the third-richest person in the world.
The surge came from skyrocketing shares of Tesla Motors, which have ballooned by 630%. That rise has been fuelled by incredibly bullish investors and the fact that the electric carmaker will be added to the S&P 500 index on December 21.
The world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, had the second-best year. Bezos, who is worth $182 billion, has gotten $67.5 billion richer in 2020 thanks to rising Amazon stock; the online retailer has been cashing in on a world shopping from home.