Jeff Bezos overtakes Bill Gates as the world's richest person

Kelley Robertson
July 27, 2017

According to Forbes, Bezos' net worth was estimated at $90.6 billion as at Thursday morning when he gained $1.4 billion in the stock market. That stake alone is worth $83 billion, meaning Bezos could just as quickly lose his new title as the world's richest man should Amazon's stock decline, or Microsoft's value rise.

The mammoth online retailer's share price rose 1.8 percent to United States dollars 1,071.31 as of 9:30 am in NY.

While most of Bezos's wealth is in Amazon, he also owns the private space firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper. Amazon's stock price tends to be very volatile after it reports earnings, so it all depends on how investors react to that report.

Bezos would not have been able to overtake Gates any time soon, if the Gates would not have given away big parts of his fortune to charity. Since then, Amazon has made key investments including purchasing Whole Foods and expanding its role at the forefront of e-commerce with a record-breaking Amazon Prime Day earlier this month, where sales grew 60% from the same sale previous year.

Its shares have soared this year, gaining 40% - which helps to boost Bezos's wealth as he owns 17% of the company. Chairman Warren Buffett, 86, who's now ranked fourth on the Bloomberg index with a net worth of $74.5 billion. With little sign that Amazon's momentum may be slowing, Bezos could well be the first 12-digit man, worth $100 billion one day.

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