To no one's surprise, Bill Gates is a lot richer in 2014 than he was in 2013

Bill Gates is rich; no one disputes that. He's been the richest man in the U.S. for a very long time and in 2013, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft actually regained his title as the world's most wealthiest person, beating out Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim.

Today, Bloomberg reports that, according to their own Billionaires Index, Gates increased his personal wealth by $15.8 billion in 2013, bringing his total fortune to a whopping $78.5 billion. Part of the reason for that rise was that the stock price of Microsoft went up by 40 percent last year, and Gates still owns 4.5 percent of the company.

However, Gates also has money in a number of other companies that did well in 2013. One of them is Canadian National Railway, which saw its stock go up by 34 percent in 2013. Gates owns shares in Ecolab, which makes sanitizing products, and its stock price rose up by 45 percent in 2013.

Other tech company figures saw their personal fortunes increase last year, such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who became $12.4 billion richer. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin each added $10 billion to their net worth last year.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft

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it's easy to get rich when the Fed has inflated the stock market and created an absolutely massive bubble. cant wait until this one pops...

There's no winning arguments about the injustice of the haves & have nots, whichever side you're on. You can blame one or a few people, or even entire classes of people, but all that does is divide everyone into opposing camps -- if the solution was that easy, just punish or get rid of certain people, societies &/or governments would have been successful doing just that over the centuries [many have certainly tried], and no one would be debating economic injustice today.

Yes, there is greed at the top, and no amount of philanthropy can make up for it. At some point being rich or wealthy is all about having the cash & the toys that go with it. Sure Gates does good with his foundation, but to him that's less sacrifice than someone at the bottom of the economic heap busting their butt to get by, donating $10 or $20 a month to charity, & maybe volunteering a bit at one of the local shelters. At what point is enough, enough? $1 bill.? $2 bill.? Most would be set for life at $1 mill. You wouldn't have the fanciest cars or home, but you wouldn't be sweating next month's electrical &/or heating bill either.

At the same time, if you take money from the top to sprinkle on the bottom, you create opportunities for whomever's doing the taking to siphon off most of it before it can come close to reaching its intended targets. Sometimes the takers are government leaders, sometimes huge bureaucracies, but the results are the same. And of course you teach the companies & individuals with any sort of wealth two things -- hide it & don't make any more that can be taken. The well will run dry.

You can raise wages across the board, which is what happens when you raise the minimum wage, & it only helps politicians get through the next 1 or 2 election cycles until most all other wages rise to match. If a company has to pay its employees more it raises the prices it charges for it's goods &/or services to make up for it -- that increases the profits & the rich get richer while the same employees still can't afford to buy whatever it is they make.

Unfortunately no one's ever figured out a better way to manage economies long term -- what most governments have done the last decade or so has made it worse. Pump cash into the economy like the US treasury & you wind up with 0% interest rates that benefit the rich so income disparity only grows. Add regulations & laws and you hurt if not kill small biz, & small biz wanting to become big biz is where you have growth & jobs. Big biz, the big corporations aren't interested in growing anything but profits since that's now their entire purpose, to generate profits for investors. Any social initiatives are pretty much just PR.

It's not any individuals as much as the system. Sure a CEO may be greedy, but investors wouldn't put anyone in charge that wasn't -- they want CEOs that'll do Anything to boost their bonus because that will increase returns/profits to investors. Likewise someone at the bottom may have been taught from day 1 to get what you can because you really have no chance at all in life. Sure a better education *may* help, but that's not something that's available to everyone, and even when it *might* be possible, when someone has been taught their whole life that they can't be a part of that world, few will even remotely consider it.

So society & gov figure out they want to counter that perception to help everybody [less crime, more productive members of society & all that], but the side effects include activists pushing maybe too hard, causing backlash, & you get some folks [often politicians] enriching themselves by saying they're fighting the system while they're doing everything they can to maintain it.

At the end of the day both sides are right. If Bill Gates was completely devoid of greed he would give more of his money to other foundations & charities & non-profits rather than primarily working through his own foundation. He built Microsoft by diversifying into more markets than just Windows -- he'd use the same proven strategy or method, diversification, if he was trying just as hard, had just as much focus on improving our world. Long term it'd be better for the businesses he holds investments in by expanding markets, i.e. by having more people have more money that they could spend. But he shouldn't be punished for greed because he did create a lot of wealth that helped innumerable people -- it may not have been a huge amount of help to most, but some of it did trickle down, and if nothing else he did help everyone through whatever taxes he & Microsoft paid. Besides, if we had taken away Gates money, punished him for being rich, would Brin or Page or Zuckerberg have ever bothered to try?

Good for him, it was stolen fair and square!

Who cares about all of the small guys he crushed eh? Good for Bill Gates!

Don't be fooled by his donations. He's a very smart man and has a lot of other smart men doing his accounting and taxes. I think it's just a sort of invest play in order to avoid taxing.

The deal with some pharmaceutics selling vaccines to third world countries (and not for a cheap) and the deal with Monsantos, also moving a non for a profit foundation, aka tax deduction.

And...the rich get richer. I'm glad he puts so much effort into the charities he works with. He certainly uses his money to bring awareness to causes around the world. I hope people realize that he doesn't take the money he gets just to be richer, but to give it away and help build a better world. Doing it the right way. No large corporation would think twice about writing him a check because they want their name associated with the great things he is (and continues to) doing.

Mr. Hand said,
Except as soon as you start selling that much stock, the price will crash. Net worth is sort of a fantasy number at that scale.

yup, its potential money but you cant just withdraw it from the ATM

duddit2 said,

yup, its potential money but you cant just withdraw it from the ATM

Indeed, but at this point cash becomes completely irrelevant. What it translates to is simply power.

indeed it does, once past a point as an individual decisions of monetary value are mute, you just buy what you desire, the real decisions are ones of influence and exposure, its a totally different mind set.

Mr. Hand said,
MSFT has been a quiet big winner stock this year. Up 40% on the year on top of the dividend.

And it is one of the (many) reason why most shareholders want Ballmer and Bill Gates out of the board member, MS has been really picky to pays more dividends.

If there is one person in the world who deserves every penny he has is bill gates. because his foundation is the number one charity donor. all the stuff he talks about clean energy and equal chance of living for everyone is just what I believe too. unlike most rich people who become greedier and more narrow minded with a frown on their faces. he is humble and always has a smile on his face.

-adrian- said,
he is just clever enough to put his money into the stuff where he gets more out of it afterwards.. just like his donations:)

to be good could be clever. but many rich dudes doesn't do that. they just become greedier and sucks people's blood until they die and their kids bury their dead meats and blow their money which they collected for years.

trojan_market said,

to be good could be clever. but many rich dudes doesn't do that. they just become greedier and sucks people's blood until they die and their kids bury their dead meats and blow their money which they collected for years.


Haha jelly much? Everything you said is just sadly exaggerated or assumed.

Based on 15.8 billion, Bill Gates would have made just north of 43 million per day. Not sure if that's all stocks though. But either would be pretty smart to talk with LOL.

aessap said,
Based on 15.8 billion, Bill Gates would have made just north of 43 million per day. Not sure if that's all stocks though. But either would be pretty smart to talk with LOL.

Gates was riding on the 40% increase Microsoft enjoyed. Without that, Buffet would have made more I'm sure.

Good. The rich generate business, buy things and create jobs. Wish there were more like him.

I wouldn't mind it. Or a donation to my classroom.

ccoltmanm said,
Good. The rich generate business, buy things and create jobs. Wish there were more like him.

I wouldn't mind it. Or a donation to my classroom.

Haha.

ccoltmanm said,
Good. The rich generate business, buy things and create jobs.

Why don't you work 70 hours per week for abysmal wages and celebrate how great the existence of rich people is.
Enjoy how the share of wealth produced going towards salaries is diminishing:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2Xa
And keep saying how good all that is.
People thinking like you should wake up.

dismuter said,

Why don't you work 70 hours per week for abysmal wages and celebrate how great the existence of rich people is.
Enjoy how the share of wealth produced going towards salaries is diminishing:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2Xa
And keep saying how good all that is.
People thinking like you should wake up.

That's because the rich people are buying automation products/services to reduce workforce costs.

The people winning are the rich, of course, and the people who create these products and services. It sucks if you're about to be replaced by technology. Should have paid more attention in math and science.

Enron said,

Should have paid more attention in math and science.

No. You'd still be replaced by someone in China or India who'll work for 1/3 of what you'd expect.

Enron said,

The people winning are the rich, of course, and the people who create these products and services. It sucks if you're about to be replaced by technology. Should have paid more attention in math and science.

No, I'm not going to get an education. If I want to get paid more I'm going to whine to Congress about raising the minimum wage since I'm resolved to forever be at the bottom.

Enron said,

Should have paid more attention in math and science.


Why? It's a lot easier to become a criminal and steal their money. After all they're only dorks.

dismuter said,

Why don't you work 70 hours per week for abysmal wages and celebrate how great the existence of rich people is.
Enjoy how the share of wealth produced going towards salaries is diminishing:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2Xa
And keep saying how good all that is.
People thinking like you should wake up.

Before you start pointing the finger at rich people being the source of all your problems, remember that if you make at least 34,000$ annually, you are part of the top 1% richest people in the world.