American Billionaires’ Net Worth Since the Pandemic

American Billionaires Richer After the Pandemic

The coronavirus has had rippling economic impacts around the world. While many businesses have seen significant losses or had to close their doors, the pandemic hasn’t been bad for everyone’s finances. In fact, many American billionaires have increased their net worth since the pandemic.

Billionaires Net Worth Pre- and Post-Pandemic

If you follow Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Billionaires, you may notice this year has been one unlike any other. While many Americans are struggling to stay afloat, many of the elite have seen serious gains in their net worth. In fact, their ranks have swelled like never before. The list of billionaires added an additional 493 names, bringing the total number to 2,755 worldwide. Of these, the United States is home to 724, which is more than any other country in the world.

In total, their fortunes amass to an astounding $13.1 trillion, up from $8 billion the previous year. Approximately 86% on the billionaires list have increased their net worth since the pandemic. Looking specifically at the ultra-wealthy in America, they reported a cumulative total of $4.6 trillion. This is a 35% since the beginning of this year, and a total increase of $1.2 trillion since the pandemic broke.

Hundreds of New Billionaires since the Pandemic

This year has seen more people join the billionaire’s club than ever before. An additional 660 names were added to the list. While some of these were people who had previously made the cut, 493 were new members.

So, the burning question is how did so many people increase their net worth? There are actually a few factors as work here. Some have earned their fortunes from riding the SPAC wave while others joined the list due to the surge in the value of cryptocurrency. However, at least 40 of the newly minted billionaires owe their riches to COVID-19. Some got wealthy from holdings in pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccine and conducting trials while others were involved in producing other related products.

However, a key driving force that increased billionaires’ net worth during the pandemic was monetary policies. Governments enacted these policies at the beginning of the pandemic to stabilize the market. But, when the Federal Reserve confirmed low rates and liquidity, it spurred a huge rise in the stock market. The assurance of government intervention to counteract the market’s volatility and recent shifts in e-commerce gave specific sectors a huge advantage. The tailwind of digital commerce paved the way for the ultra-wealthy to make millions, or even billions in some cases.

The Pandemic and Forbes’ List of Billionaires

Unfortunately, not everyone on Forbes’ list of billionaires fared so well. The energy sector has been slow to rebound. So, oil barons Harold Hamm and George Kaiser have lost wealth since the beginning of this year. Real estate moguls are also facing huge losses as the demand for commercial retail space dwindles. Some of America’s elite could experience even greater losses if Congress approves President Biden’s proposed tax increases on the ultrawealthy.

America’s Biggest Billionaire Winners 

Now, let’s take a look at who has benefited most from the pandemic. In terms of dollars, these five billionaires net worth have increased the most since the pandemic broke in January of 2020.

1. Elon Musk

Although he currently ranks third on Forbes’ list of billionaires, Elon Musk spent a brief moment this year as the world’s richest person. He also claims the top spot as America’s biggest gainer during the pandemic. As CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has increased his net worth by a jaw-dropping 540%. In January 2020, his reported net worth was $27 billion. However, post-pandemic he is now worth $169.4 billion. The majority of these gains are the result of the increase in Tesla’s stock and people’s enthusiasm for electric vehicles.

2. Jeff Bezos

With more people shopping from home, Amazon has made Jeff Bezos the wealthiest man in the world. Fueled by recent e-commerce trends, Amazon shared have skyrocketed nearly 87% in the last year and a half. Thanks to his 11% stake in the company, Bezos became the first person ever to surpass a net worth of $200 billion. Even with adjustments for inflation and the most expensive divorce in history, Bezos’ fortune is the greatest amount ever tracked. Since the start of 2020, he has added $86 billion to his net worth. As of the publishing of this article, his current net worth is slightly lower than his record-breaking benchmark with $199.6 billion.

3 and 4. Larry Page and Sergey Brin

The cofounders of Google have also enjoyed a profitable year. Alongside other tech billionaires, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have seen huge increases in their net worth since the beginning of the pandemic. They have each added more than $40 billion to their fortunes, making them both centibillionaires. Page’s current net worth stands at $106.2 billion while Brin weighs in with an impressive $102.8 billion.

5. Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert first made his fortune when he co-founded Quicken Loans at 22 years old. He then added to his wealth when he also cofounded Rock Ventures. His company reached the height of success when banks began offering mortgage applications by phone. He added to his wealth by taking advantage of the economic downturn in 2008 when the banking sector collapsed. Even today, his company continues to perform well in the face of crisis. Many people are taking out new mortgages after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to help Americans weather the economic storm since COVID-19. Since it enacted these policies, Gilbert has gained roughly $40 billion. His current net worth is $42.3 billion.

The Road Ahead for America’s Billionaires

Although no one can say with any certainty what the future holds, there is a good chance that America’s billionaires will continue to increase their net worth as the pandemic ensues. However, proposed tax increases could severely impact their fortunes should they get approval from Congress. All anyone can do at this point is watch, wait, and seek advice from their financial advisors to protect their assets.

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People Who Made Their Wealth Later in Life

People Who Made Their Wealth Later in Life

When Do People Make Their Wealth?

We all know the success stories of prodigies and young billionaires who made their wealth at an early age. However, the compiled research shows that it takes approximately 32 years to become a billionaire. This means most billionaires did not find immediate success. In fact, the average age of business founders is about 40. So, if you are still hoping to join Forbes’ list of billionaires, there is still time. Here are 10 people who made their wealth later in life.

10 People Who Made Their Wealth Later in Life

1. Donald Fisher (37) – $3.3 billion

Donald Fisher claimed his success as the founder of Gap Inc. after a career as a real estate developer. At 37, he launched the company in San Francisco by selling music and clothing. Eventually, he branched out across the United States and introduced affiliated stores Old Navy and Banana Republic. At the time of his death in 2009, his net worth was $3.3 billion.

2. Vera Wang (40) – $270 million

Vera Wang

This former figure skater turned fashion icon made her wealth later in life as well. After Vera Wang failed to qualify for the Olympics, she started at Vogue after college. She eventually became editor-in-chief of the magazine. Not only did she maneuver her way to the top of the corporate world, but also became a highly influential voice in directing fashion trends.

However, she made her fortune after she started designing her own gowns at age 40. Today, Vera Wang couture and clothing are highly sought after by the Hollywood elite. Moreover, they regularly appear on runways around the world. According to the Forbes list, Wang is currently worth $270 million.

3. Martha Stewart (40) – $400 million

Martha Stewart

In her early years, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker on Wall Street. After she discovered her true talents, she began building her brand. First, she owned a catering business, then published cookbooks, and founded her own magazine. Martha Stewart became a billionaire when her company went public in 1999.

However, things quickly went south for her. She served 5 months in prison for obstruction of justice and making false statements. Since then the company has been sold twice. However, she has rebuilt her reputation and her brand since then. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she is estimated to be worth about $400 million today. Martha Stewart is an unusual example of someone who made their wealth later in life, lost it, and managed to reclaim success.

4. Sam Walton (44) – $15 billion

Sam Walton

Everyone knows the Walmart name, but not many know that Sam Walton didn’t strike it rich until well after 40. He claimed his spot on this list for founding the retail giant in 1962. After a successful career at JC Penney, he left to manage his own store at 44. One thing that set him apart from his competition was his emphasis on logistics. He took a single sporting goods store and created a global empire. Today his family is among the wealthiest people in the world. Their net worth far surpasses Sam Walton’s $15 billion when he died in 1992.

5. David Duffield (47) – $13 billion

David Duffield is the creator of several software companies including PeopleSoft, Integral Systems, and Information Associates. He made his fortune when his company grew to one of the largest software application companies worldwide. Eventually, Oracle bought out the company in 2005. Duffield is currently estimated to have a net worth of about $13 billion.

6. Henry Ford (49) – $200 billion

Henry Ford

Henry Ford founded Ford Motors and became one of the richest men in history. He began as an engineer for Edison Illuminating Company where he met Thomas Edison. When he discussed his idea, other engineers encouraged him to build the automobile. He eventually started his own business in 1899 introducing the Model T car. Since then, the Ford empire has expanded exponentially. At the time of his death in 1947, he had accumulated a fortune equivalent to about $200 billion today.

7. Charles Darwin (50) – $400 million

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin is one of the most revered names among the scientific community. As a famous biologist and geologist, he had several significant contributions to academia. Although, the moment he set sail on the HMS Beagle his life changed forever. His findings during his voyage led to the theories of evolution and natural selection.

However, he didn’t make his fortune until he published the “Origin of Species” at the age of 50. Charles Darwin is also among the people who made their wealth later in life. He was worth approximately $16 million when he died in 1882, which is valued at slightly more than $400 million today.

8. Taikichiro Mori (51) – $13 billion

Before Taikichiro Mori became a real estate mogul, he served as Dean of Commerce at Yokohama City University. Once he retired from the university, he used his knowledge to become a real estate investor. He went on to found the Mori Building Company which became wildly successful. Between 1991-1992, Taikichiro Mori was the richest man in the world. When he died, Mori’s net worth was estimated to be about $13 billion.

9. Ray Kroc (52) – $600 million

Ray Kroc

When Ray Kroc saw his golden opportunity, he was selling milkshake machines. After he met the McDonald’s brothers, he joined their company in 1954. There is much controversy surrounding his rise to success. However, no one can deny Ray Kroc’s influence in making McDonald’s a household name.

When he gained the company, he took it to heights that had never been imagined. McDonald’s is now worth more than $33 billion today and has locations in nearly every country. Ray Kroc was pivotal in launching the brand and was amply rewarded for his efforts. At the time of his death in 1984, Kroc was worth approximately $600 million.

10. Arianna Huffington (55) – $100 million

Arianna Huffington

Our last person on the list of people who made their wealth later in life continues on an upward slope. Arianna Huffington began her career as a successful author, columnist, and political commentator. Some have even called her one of the most influential and powerful women in the world because of her media platform and global reach. She founded the news publication Huffington Post which later sold to AOL for $315 million. Since then, she has been heavily involved in other successful companies such as Thrive and Uber. Today, her personal worth is about $100 million. However, her new endeavors could launch her to even greater heights.

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Space Force Star Steve Carell’s Net Worth

Space Force Star Steve Carell’s Net Worth

Steve Carell has been flexing his acting muscles in recent years. He has demonstrated his versatility and raw talent, even earning the title “America’s Funniest Man” by Life Magazine in 2010. All this fame and success has brought Carell larger salaries as well. He is now playing General Steve Naird in the Netflix series “Space Force.” Steve Carell’s net worth is currently estimated at $80 million. Here are some of the more famous roles that helped Carell earn his fortune.

Early Career and Roles

Steve Carell was working with a Chicago comedy troupe called “The Second City,” he landed his first movie role. His film debut was in the family comedy, “Curly Sue” in 1991. However, many credit his role on the Dana Carvey Show in 1996 for launching his career. Carell was a cast member when he voiced a character in the sketch “The Ambiguously Gay Duo.” Even though the show only lasted 7 episodes, the cartoon was picked up by Saturday Night Live. This helped establish Carell among the comic legends and led to several major movie and television roles.

Steve Carell’s Breaking Roles

Although Carell had many movies in his filmography, his first major film role was with Will Ferrell in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” in 2004. With all this national recognition, NBC approached him in 2005 to remake the British series “The Office.” His role as Michael Scott propelled him into the limelight despite disappointing first season. Producers banked on the release of “The 40 Year Old Virgin” to boost the show’s popularity. This was a gamble that paid off for both Steve Carell and the network.

He ended up winning both a Golden Globe Award and the Television Critics Association Award in 2006. Carell was also nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards from 2006 to 2011. During this time he also made several movies including “Dan in Real Life,” “Get Smart,” “Date Night,” and “Despicable Me.”

Steve Carell's Net Worth

Films that Added to His Net Worth

Carell made the decision to leave “The Office” to focus on his film roles. However, he returned for the series finale in 2013. Steve Carell has proven he is a dynamic and accomplished actor. Several of his projects have received high accolades from fans and critics alike. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for role of Best Actor in “Foxcatcher” in 2014. Carell also received another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in “The Big Short.” He now owns his own company called Carousel productions.

Steve Carell’s Net Worth

Steve Carell received his first large paycheck for “The 40 Year Old Virgin” for $500,000. Furthermore, he earned $175,000 per episode when “The Office” first aired. This number reached $300,000 per episode at the peak of the show’s popularity. Steve Carell also earned additional money for producing, writing, and directing the show. He still receives money for syndication deals as well.

Steve Carell’s current net worth is $80 million. Nowadays, he makes approximately $15-20 million per film. He also has another sequel from the Despicable Me universe. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is set to release in 2021. With the number of slated projects and his current success there is no doubt Steve Carell will continue to add to his net worth.

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