Bill Gates tops Forbes' rich list but Trump's wealth slips

Posted March 21, 2017

His net worth went up, but not as fast as his peers.

Taipan Lucio Tan, who controls Philippine Airlines and Asia Brewery, was third in the Philippines with $3.7 billion, followed by Metrobank's George Ty with $3.5 billion and port magnate Enrique Razon of ICTSI with $3.4 billion. Their average net worth is $3.75 billion, which means Trump is not even worth as much as the "average" billionaire. The combined fortunes of this year's billionaires totaled to $7.67 trillion, up from $6.48 trillion in 2016.

"We list individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes, though we include wealth belonging to a billionaire's spouse and children if that person is the founder of the fortune", the magazine says. Joining them in the top five were Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffet ($75.6 billion), Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos ($72.8 billion), and Spanish business tycoon Amancio Ortega ($71.3 billion).

Microsoft founder Bill Gates again tops Forbes' list of the world's richest people, in a year when the number of billionaires rose 13% to 2,043.

The US president also would have missed the big stock market rally following his election, "assuming Trump sold off all of his stocks during last year's campaign, as he has claimed", the magazine said.

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Trump slipped 220 spots on the list to 544 with an estimated $3.5 billion, a decline of $1 billion from previous year.

The magazine said Ms Rinehart was the female billionaire who had the "best year" but noted that with Ms Rinehart's wealth built on iron one, "her fortune can either jump or plummet depending on the price of the commodity".

As an example, he cited a US program started under President George W. Bush that has provided more than $70 billion in funding to, among other initiatives, treat more than 11 million people living with HIV and AIDS.

Bill Gates, with an estimated $86 billion fortune, topped the list for the 18th time in the past 23 years. The only other woman in the top 20 was Alice Walton, only daughter of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton. The proposal would increase defense spending by $54 billion while slashing funding for the U.S. State Department and foreign aid programs by 28.7% to $27.1 billion.