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RISE AND FALL? [Losses: $1.4 trillion]: The wealthy keep their riches in assets like stocks, so their wealth is correlated with the market’s performance. Stocks usually go up, but not right now, or at least in the last six months. The wealthiest tech and stock barons took a financial hit in the first half of 2022, losing a total of $1.4 trillion stocks and crypto prices tanked, Bloomberg reported. Here’s how much some of the world’s mega-rich and famous have lost in H1 2022 so far (Bloomberg estimates):
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CHANGPENG ZHAO [- $80.9 billion]: He is the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. Zhao saw his net worth drop dizzyingly fast, as it fell from nearly $95 billion in January to just $14.9 billion as the cryptocurrency market tumbled. The CEO famously lost $1.6 billion on his investment in Luna alone after the collapse of the stablecoin TerraUSD, leading him to fall from his spot as the 11th-richest person in the world in January to the 113th richest person.
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ELON MUSK [- $69.1 billion]: His announcement to buy Twitter has grabbed media attention over the past few months, but a lesser-known story is how the Tesla CEO saw his net worth tumble through the first half of the year. Tesla stock is down roughly 40% year-to-date — from $1,204 per share on January 4, to $727.51 on Thursday (July 7, 12.41pm in NY) — causing Musk’s fortune to drop from $270.1 billion in January to about $201 billion. Even after the losses he remains the world’s richest person.
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JEFF BEZOS [- $61.1 billion]: The tech billionaire owns roughly 10% of the e-commerce giant Amazon, though he has given up his CEO role. With Amazon stock falling roughly 31% this year (from $170.23 on January 4 to $116.14 on Thursday), Bezos has seen his estimated net worth plunge from $192.1 billion in January to about $139 billion as of Thursday. He remains the world’s second-richest person, though his fortune had dropped from the record $211 billion in July 2021.
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BERNARD ARNAULT [- $53 billion]: He briefly eclipsed the wealth of Musk and Bezos in 2021, but is down to the third-richest person today. Arnault is the chairman and CEO of the largest luxury goods company in the world, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. He takes the fourth spot in this year’s biggest billionaire losers list. The business magnate, investor, and art collectors celebrated his 73rd birthday in March, owns a 47.5% stake in LVMH and has watched as LVMH’s American ADR dropped (from $165.91 to $123.50 on Thursday) 25.5% so far this year. His net worth now stands at $123 billion.
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MARK ZUCKERBERG [- $54.1 billion]: The Facebook founder saw his fortune plunge this year as the social media giant’s shares have traded down (from $339.27 to 171.56) 50.56% year to date. The Meta CEO saw his net worth drop from $122.5 billion in January to just $71.4 billion. Zuckerberg was once the third-richest person on the planet, but has since fallen to the #13 spot.
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BILL GATES [- $24.2 billion]: Bill Gates’s fortune stood at $114.8 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg index. His net worth stood at $139 billion at the end of 2021, the year he divorced his wife Melinda French Gates after a 25-year marriage. Microsoft stocks plunged 20% so far this year, from $337.66 in January 2022 to 267.70 in Thursday.
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WARREN BUFFET [- $23.3 billion] As of June 13, 2022 Berkshire Hathaway's equity portfolio has suffered a $65 billion hit so far in the second quarter, led by losses in Apple, Bank of America and American Express, according to Barron’s, an investment house. It was much bigger than the $1.58-billion loss reported in Q1 of 2022, from the nearly $5 billion it gained in the same period of 2021. Buffet’s net worth was estimated at $116.7 billion in 2021, which slid to $93.4 billion, Forbes reported in June 2022.
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BRIAN ARMSTRONG [- $4.2 billion]: The wealth shock hasn’t spared the crypto barons. Forbes named Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong No. 1 on its “Crypto Rich List”, with an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion as of February 2021. Most crypto moguls like saw their net worth plunge on the heels of an epic wipeout across their industry. His net worth has reportedly plummeted 84% to $2.2 billion.
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HOPE FOR BETTER SECOND HALF? These are all paper losses. While the first six months of 2022 saw one of the stock market’s worst on record in 50 years, which economists largely blame on inflation, there’s hope of a better second half in 2022. When the S&P 500 plunged 21% in the first half of 1970, it promptly reversed those losses to gain 26.5% in the second half.
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