For decades, Warren Buffett remained at the top of the global rankings of the richest people in the world, but in recent years he has fallen back in the rankings as tech fortunes soar and his good investing instincts lose of their relevance.
But today, at age 90, his wealth has exceeded $ 100 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway chairman’s fortune rebounded to $ 100.4 billion on Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making Buffett the sixth member of the $ 100 billion club, the select group which includes Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Bernard Arnault and Mark Zuckerberg. Two years ago, there was only Jeff Bezos above this symbolic plateau.
The combined wealth of the group has grown rapidly, spurred by government stimulus measures, central bank policy and the rising stock market. President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus bill on Wednesday to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, adding to the $ 3 trillion in stimulus Washington already disbursed last year.
Berkshire Hathaway, which is the source of nearly all of Warren Buffett’s fortune, got off to a good start in 2021. The company’s A shares are up 15% this year, topping the 3.8 rise. % of the S&P 500 Index. This development was helped by Buffett’s recent decision to spend record sums on buying back Berkshire shares, a change for an investor who previously preferred to use his $ 138 billion in cash to buy other companies or common stock.
In recent years, Mr. Buffett has struggled to find large deals to fuel Berkshire’s growth, in part because of the sheer size of the conglomerate. This has resulted in the company underperforming the S&P 500 for the past five years. But last year, Buffett spent a record $ 24.7 billion on stock buybacks for at least $ 4.2 billion in shares.
The amount of wealth accumulated by the ultra-rich ($ 1.8 trillion among the richest 500 in the world in 2020 alone) highlights the recovery that is emerging as America emerges from the pandemic. While millions of poor, working and minority people remain unemployed, affluent Americans have seen their incomes and wealth increase thanks to a bull stock market and rising real estate prices.
Meanwhile, more than 8 million Americans, many of them children, fell into poverty in the second half of last year, according to an analysis by economist Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago, James Sullivan from Notre Dame University and Jeehoon Han from Zhejiang University.