During the pandemic…
“…roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion . . . and they’re now worth more than $4 trillion.”
That’s true. Total American billionaire wealth currently stands at $4.6 trillion as of the stock market close on April 28.
Said another way:
U.S. billionaires have gotten about $1.2 trillion richer during the pandemic.
Markets are surging, despite more than a year of lockdowns and a spike in unemployment, leading to a boost in the value of 401(k)s, IRAs and other investment accounts for Americans everywhere.
Three quarters of America’s 722 billionaires are as rich, or richer, than they were before the pandemic—some by billions, tens of billions, or even more than one hundred billion dollars.
Just 20 big gainers account for more than half of the increase in all U.S. billionaires’ wealth.
The biggest gainer of all, in dollar terms: Elon Musk
The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s net worth has soared an incredible 540%, from about $27 billion in early January 2020 to more than $170 billion today. Thanks to Tesla stock—which is up more than 700% as enthusiasm for the electric vehicle maker has pushed shares into the stratosphere—plus strong Tesla stock option awards and an $850 million funding round for SpaceX, which lifted the private spaceflight firm’s valuation to a reported $74 billion.
In early January 2021, Musk spent a brief time as the world’s richest person, though he has since dropped to No. 3.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has also been a winner.
Amazon shares are up 87% over the past 15 months as quarantining shoppers have flocked to the e-commerce giant during the pandemic, helping drive an $86 billion increase in Bezos’ fortune since January 2020.
A record 493 new faces joined world’s billionaires list this year.
Including 98 newcomers from the U.S. That includes famous faces like Kim Kardashian West, film producer Tyler Perry and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
It also includes ten new billionaires who raised their wealth from SPACs, like laser lidar mogul Austin Russell and SPAC sponsors Chamath Palihapitiya and Bill Foley.
With the cryptocurrencies craze, new crypto billionaires emerged, including the Winklevoss twins, FTX exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried and Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper.
Then others have made a fortune fighting the Covid-19 virus, including August Troendle, whose Medpace supports pharmaceutical companies to run clinical trials for Covid-19 drugs, and three American shareholders of Covid vaccine developer Moderna: Timothy Springer, Noubar Afeyan and Robert Langer.