Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the biggest dollar gainer on Forbes’ 2017 World’s Billionaires List, in a year when 56 percent of billionaires saw their fortunes increase.
Forbes on Monday released its 31st Annual World’s Billionaires List, with 2,043 billionaires in the rankings, with an average net worth of $3.75 billion.
Bill Gates remains in the top spot for the fourth year in a row and has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years. Gates has a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year.
Warren Buffett, worth $75.6 billion, up from $60.8 billion in 2016, reclaimed the No. 2 slot, after a two-year hiatus.
Bezos' net worth jumped by $27.6 billion in the past year -- more than the total net worth of all but the 24 richest billionaires, Forbes.com reported.
Amazon stock climbed 67% in the past year in part because of the success of its cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services.
With a net worth of $72.8 billion, Bezos is now the third richest billionaire in the world, behind Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.
Last year, Bezos cracked the ranks of the top 10 richest billionaires in the world for the first time, ranking fifth on Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires List.
Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) drops to No. 4, despite his net worth increasing to $71.3 billion.
Rounding out the top five is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, worth $56 billion.
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As for Bezos' empire itself, Amazon is literally steamrolling its competitors.
With a current market cap of $390 billion, the Seattle-based retail giant is now worth more than the top eight traditional brick-and-mortar retailers combined, as Credit Suisse analysts led by Eugene Klerk mentioned in a recent note, Yahoo Finance reported.
For the record, that roster includes Best Buy (BBY), Macy’s (M), Target (TGT), JCPenney (JCP), Nordstrom (JWN), Walmart (WMT), Kohl’s (KSS) and Sears (SHLD).
“That’s an impressive, even astonishing feat, no doubt, given Amazon was founded in chief executive Jeff Bezos’ garage in 1994," Yahoo Finance reported.
"But it’s not exactly shocking, given the rapid transition over the last 20 years away from shopping in physical retail stores in lieu of online shopping, where retailers like Amazon can offer lower pricing on products and services because they don’t have to offset the costs of also paying for physical stores," Yahoo Finance reported.
(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).
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