Warren Buffett’s wealth has experienced a remarkable surge, propelling him ahead of Google co-founder Larry Page in the global wealth rankings. The celebrated investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s net worth expanded by nearly $600 million on Tuesday, reaching an estimated $123 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Meanwhile, Larry Page, the co-founder of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, witnessed a reduction in his fortune by $1.2 billion, now standing at approximately $122 billion.
Buffett’s ascent in wealth rankings places him in striking distance of surpassing Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman and a significant Tesla investor, with a net worth of $126 billion, as well as Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and a close friend of Buffett, who boasts a fortune of $129 billion. Notably, Warren Buffett already eclipses other prominent figures, including Sergey Brin of Alphabet, with a net worth of $116 billion, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, valued at $115 billion, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with assets totaling $110 billion.
This year, Buffett’s wealth has seen a remarkable increase of nearly $16 billion, coinciding with a nearly 19% surge in Berkshire Hathaway stock, reaching record highs. A key driver of this growth has been Berkshire Hathaway’s substantial investment in Apple stock, which has risen by an impressive 36% since the beginning of the year.
Berkshire Hathaway, often seen as a reflection of the US economy due to its expansive scale and diverse interests, has benefited from multiple factors. These include slowing inflation, diminishing concerns of a recession, and reduced expectations of further interest-rate hikes.
Warren Buffett’s wealth could have been even more substantial if not for his philanthropic endeavors. This summer, he generously donated $4.6 billion worth of stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other family foundations. Over the years, he has contributed approximately half of his Berkshire “A” shares, a stake now valued at over $140 billion as of the latest market close.
In a hypothetical scenario where Buffett retained all his Berkshire shares, his net worth would have exceeded $260 billion, positioning him as the world’s wealthiest individual, significantly surpassing Elon Musk’s $242 billion fortune.
Investors have exhibited strong enthusiasm for Big Tech companies such as Alphabet and Microsoft this year. They anticipate these companies capitalizing on the artificial intelligence boom and maintaining growth even in the face of potential economic slowdowns. This optimism has driven up stock prices for these tech giants and, in turn, bolstered the wealth of their shareholders, including co-founders and former leaders.