Trump’s net worth plunges $1 billion in less than a month

Oliver O'Connell
US President Donald Trump leaves the podium after delivering remarks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Washington, DC, USA: Kevin Dietsch/EPA/Pool

Forbes has released its 34th annual world’s billionaires list, which ranks the wealthiest individuals globally, and President Donald Trump's estimated wealth is down dramatically.

Mr Trump’s fortune has fallen by $1bn in just a month and he has dropped from 715th on the list to 1001st place, according to Forbes.

As of 1 March, Forbes valued Trump’s net worth at $3.1bn. After markets took a turn due to the coronavirus pandemic, the president’s fortune was recalculated to an estimated $2.1bn.

The drop is primarily through a collapse in the value of commercial real estate — the bulk of the Trump fortune — as well as falls in the value of residential real estate, hospitality holdings, licensing and golf courses.

For the third time in a decade, the number of billionaires dropped as global equity markets imploded. Of those who remain, 51 per cent are poorer than they were last year.

“Centi-billionaire” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos keeps his place in the number one spot for the third consecutive year, despite his net worth plunging by $18bn. He is valued at $113bn, down from $131bn in 2019. The decrease in his net worth is primarily due to his recent divorce. His ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos, is 22nd on the list with a total net worth of $36bn.

Bill Gates remains in second place with a fortune of $98bn, up $1.5bn from last year. Bernard Arnault of LVMH moves up on this year’s ranking and debuts in the top three, as the third-wealthiest person in the world, with $88.8bn.

In fourth place, Warren Buffett’s fortune fell by $15bn to $67.5bn, down from $82.5bn from last year. Rounding out the top five is Larry Ellison, founder, chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation. While the software executive moves up on the ranking, his fortune is down $3.5bn this year, to $59bn.

The richest newcomer is Julia Koch, who inherited a 42 per cent stake in Koch Industries from her late husband, David, who died last year. Her $38.2bn fortune puts her at number 18 on the ranking, tied with her brother-in-law, Charles Koch.

Ms Koch’s inheritance makes her the third richest woman in the world, after Walmart’s Alice Walton and L'Oréal’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. There are only 241 women on the 2020 list out of a total of 2,095. Seven of the women share their fortunes with their husband, child or sibling.

Coming amid the coronavirus pandemic, the report also looks at how some of the world’s wealthiest are reinventing their businesses to aid in the global response to the coronavirus outbreak — Forbes is closely tracking their actions.

Billionaires including Mr Gates; Mr Arnault; Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom; Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and a host of others are using their financial resources to help combat the health crisis and boost the economy.

There are 178 billionaires who made this list for the first time. Mr Yuan debuts on the list as Zoom gains mass popularity while many companies are shifting to a remote workforce. Self-made billionaires, who built a company or established a fortune on their own, make up approximately 70 per cent of the list.

The 2,095 billionaires on the 2020 ranking is down from the total of 2,153 in 2019. The combined net worth of this year’s billionaires is $8 trillion, down from $8.7 trillion. 267 people dropped off this year’s list and a record 1,062 individuals have seen a drop in their fortunes, both reflective of the turbulent markets and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world’s richest are not immune to the devastating impact of the coronavirus,” says Kerry Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor of Wealth, Forbes. “The drop in the number of billionaires this year reflects the economic impact the pandemic is already having.”

Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 778, followed by the US with 614 and Europe with 511. By country, the US leads with the greatest number of billionaires, with 614 (up from 607 last year), followed by China with 389 (up from 324 last year); Germany with 107 (down from 114), India with 102 (down from 106) and Russia with 99 (up from 98).

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