Tuesday, 9 April 2013

# Bill Gates # Carlos Slim

How Carlos Slim Overtook Bill Gates As Number One Richest In The World

              
For nearly 15 years ago until 2010, Bill Gates ranked as the world’s richest man –save for 2008, when he was overtaken by his pal Warren Buffett. (Gates recaptured the top spot in 2009). Then, thanks to a surge in the value of mobile phone carrier America Movil in early 2010, Gates was knocked off his pedestal by Mexico’s Carlos Slim. The telecom mogul has maintained his title as the world’s richest person every year since then.


For the 2013 Forbes billionaires list, Slim clocked in at $73 billion, while Gates came in at second richest with an estimated net worth of $67 billion.
                 
The chart above shows how Slim first joined the Forbes billionaire ranks in 1991, with a net worth estimated at $1.7 billion. He was one of just two Mexican billionaire entries that year; the other was the Garza-Sada family of Monterrey, Mexico, which was worth $2 billion based primarily on its stake in steel and petrochemical group Alfa.  Bill Gates, meanwhile, sported a net worth of $4.4 billion that year from his stake as cofounder of Microsoft; the software company had been publicly traded for five years at that point.

The fact that Bill Gates’ net worth got as high as $90 billion in 1999. Microsoft stock was on fire from 1994 to 1999. Then Microsoft stock more or less flat lined and Bill Gates began donating to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s given $28 billion to the foundation, which explains much of the decrease in his net worth.

The gap between Slim and Gates’ net worth has narrowed over the past two years. Gates continues to diversify out of Microsoft stock –the company now accounts for about 20% of his net worth – while Microsoft shares have stayed mainly flat.

Slim generated lots of press in recent weeks as shares of America Movil tumbled on news that Mexico may pass a telecom reform law that would crack down on monopolies. America Movil units control 70% of Mexico’s wireless market and 80% of the landlines. Shares then rebounded after reports that America Movil had acquired broadcast rights in Latin America (ex-Brazil) for the 2016 Olympics. As of Friday April 5, Slim’s holdings were worth an estimated $71.3 billion. Gates is still number two with a net worth estimated at $67 billion.

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