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Bill Gates Is No Longer The World's Richest Person After Amazon Stock Surge (cnn.com) 134

"Jeff Bezos has leapfrogged Bill Gates again for the title of world's richest billionaire..." announced CNN Money. An anonymous reader quotes their report. Amazon stock jumped 13.5% on Friday after the company turned in another incredible earnings report -- more than a quarter-billion dollars in profit in three months. Bezos owned nearly 80 million shares in Amazon as of August, according to the most recent available data from FactSet. He made more than $10 billion from the one-day stock surge and is now worth well over $90 billion. At the end of trading on Thursday, Gates occupied the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $88 billion. Bezos had $83.5 billion, and his big day on Friday was more than enough to close the gap.
In July sales for Amazon's self-created holiday "Prime Day" were actually higher than they were on Black Friday. Amazon's sales for the quarter were $11 billion higher than they were a year ago -- increasing 29% even before an additional $1.3 billion from Whole Foods sales, for total sales over three months of $43.7 billion.

Amazon now also projects that their yearly revenue from AWS will be $2 billion higher.
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Bill Gates Is No Longer The World's Richest Person After Amazon Stock Surge

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 28, 2017 @09:41AM (#55449767)

    As of four years ago, Bill Gates had already given away $28 billion, and has given away more since then. Jeff Bezos gives away very little of his fortune, favoring the same "I can use my money to make more money and do more good later" path his company follows. If Bill hadn't given away a large portion of his money, he would still easily be #1.

  • Should that even be a desired title - richest person of the world? Gates (and dozens of other billionaires) is giving away much of his fortune to charity. I hope Bezos does the same.
    • > Should that even be a desired title - richest person of the world? Gates (and dozens of other billionaires) is giving away much of his fortune to charity

      I'll leave the "should" to others and just point out a couple factual things. As you said, people who get mega rich typically give away most of it to charitable causes. Also, they tend to get that rich partially because they do want the high score a drive to be "the richest" motivates them to build things like Amazon and US Steel. Carnegie didn't am

    • Andrew Carnegie reportedly said

      The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

      I can't confirm it, but I remember hearing that he did not actually want libraries to be named after him despite the fact that he donated a lot of money to help establish a lot of libraries and many of them do bear his name.

  • Somebody please help me, but a quarter-billion of dollars in profit is 250 million dollars, right? How is that incredible? I guess for Amazon who posted losses for decades (cause they reinvested every penny into the company) any kind of profit is a good thing, but I wouldn't call 250 million a lot of profit for a company of this size.

    This mainly tells me, Bezos can't think of anything more to grow the company, not that Amazon had a good quarter.
    Or is this one of those slashdot editor gaffes?

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      Somebody please help me, but a quarter-billion of dollars in profit is 250 million dollars, right? How is that incredible? I guess for Amazon who posted losses for decades (cause they reinvested every penny into the company) any kind of profit is a good thing, but I wouldn't call 250 million a lot of profit for a company of this size.

      This mainly tells me, Bezos can't think of anything more to grow the company, not that Amazon had a good quarter. Or is this one of those slashdot editor gaffes?

      Probably less about the actual amount and more about how much they beat analysts estimates by.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The stockmarket was always a gambler’s den until they made IRAs and 401ks in the 1970s. Now somehow it’s safe enough for retirement funds.

      This need to invest in stocks has predictably made the surge in stocks inevitable, and insane metrics (300:1 P/E) the norm in any popular thing people heard of and will look into with enthusiasm.

      Baby boomers will be retiring in great amounts the next decade (medicare will go from covering 20 million people to 80m by 2030) and they’re gonna want to cash

      • Mutual funds (1780) (Score:5, Informative)

        by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @10:59AM (#55449973) Journal

        You're right that investing a lot in a single stock is certainly risky, especially over the short term (it's reasonable to think General Mills or Walmart will make money in the LONG term).

        The risk is greatly reduced by mutual funds, which allow small investors to easily diversify - they are investing in a hundred different companies, along with many other investors. Because they hold so many different companies, mutual funds, especially index funds, are pretty predictable. Some of their holdings will do very well, some won't, so the fund as a whole will return about 7% over inflation over a period of years.

        Where you're slightly off is the timing. Mutual funds, or investment funds as they were called, were created around 1780 by Abraham van Ketwich. So you're absolutely right on the concepts, just 200 years off on the timing.

          401(k) is a TAX rule. It says investment profits will be taxed when you take the money out to spend it, if you don't spend it before retirement age. It has nothing whatever to do with the risks of the investments people can make. You can apply the 401(k) tax rule to be extremely safe investments like US Treasury bonds, or to risky investments like startup companies or oil futures.

        • Mutual funds are a blessing and a curse.

          The biggest problem with mutual funds? Most of them suck. And by "suck" I mean they fail to beat the part of the market they claim to represent, and you pay high fees for the dubious privilege of having someone mishandle your money. Not to mention that you can get unwanted capital-gains events when your fellow fund-holders redeem their shares.

          On average, you're better off investing in various index funds that represents a balanced view of the market, because they are

          • Certainly you should pay attention to the expenses. As you said, those with higher expenses don't consistently best the indexes, so generally you're better off buying an index fund with very low expenses.

            I own both index mutual funds and index ETFs. You can, of course, get higher risk ETFs. A leveraged gold ETF is more risky than just buying gold, which is more risky than almost any mutual fund.

            Now I'm considering investing a part of my investment opposite my job prospects, so if my industry goes to shit

        • Exchange Traded Funds are much more flexible and less costly.
  • by AlanObject ( 3603453 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @10:05AM (#55449823)

    Neither Bill or Jeff are the richest person in the world and never were. Valdimir Putin is richer than both put together (love that revolution) and there are individuals and families throughout south Asia that could buy out both of them with pocket change.

    There is a lot to wealth besides stocks traded publicly on U.S exchanges.

    If you want to wallow in superficial American media fantasies that's fine but it doesn't make anyone smarter.

    If you think it doesn't matter consider the fact that Trump is widely regarded as a rich guy but if his and his whole family's balance sheet were accurately reported he would probably have negative net worth. Do you think the glassy-eyed crowds would have voted for him in such big numbers if that was how he was generally known? I sure don't.

    • Instead of writing about the 0.001%, maybe WSJ/Bloomberg/CNN can actually devote sometime to look at how the rest of the 99% are doing. I guess the unwashed mass is not worthy to them.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      The Queen has them all beat.
      Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the United Kingdom and of 31 other states and territories, is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth's non ocean surface. She is the only person on earth who owns whole countries, and who owns countries that are not her own domestic territory.

      • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

        That's not really hers. She didn't do anything to get it. That's really the people of Great Britain's money.

        • That's not really hers. She didn't do anything to get it. That's really the people of Great Britain's money.

          Still hers. Regardless of how unjust you think that is, she still owns it.

          • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

            Still hers. Regardless of how unjust you think that is, she still owns it.

            Don't fool yourself. That could be taken care of in a matter of days. Especially with socialists around.

            • Still hers. Regardless of how unjust you think that is, she still owns it.

              Don't fool yourself. That could be taken care of in a matter of days. Especially with socialists around.

              But she still owns it. Regardless of what you think, that fact still remains.

              • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

                She's still not the richest. Did a quick check. All of her holdings only comes to about 16.5 billion. That's buildings, sea, etc. I know, I was surprised too. In the grand scheme of things, she's at the lower end. Regardless of what you think, that fact remains. Kind of makes this all moot.

                Looking at English law in the past when this has come up, it seems if they (parliament) wanted to they could take it all from her tomorrow. She's Queen at the behest of the union. It's really Great Britain's money. Maybe

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Well, estimating the wealth of someone who deals in contraband is by its very nature impossible. It's not like the file 10-Qs for their business. Their money is laundered and stashed in assets that can't be traced to them.

      Still, buying out Jeff Bezos at 90+ billion net worth isn't chump change for anyone, even Vladmir Putin is who by some estimated to have a net worth of over 200 billion.

      Also, it's probably worth questioning whether people who have to manage their assets this way are richer in any meaning

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by blindseer ( 891256 )

      If you think it doesn't matter consider the fact that Trump is widely regarded as a rich guy but if his and his whole family's balance sheet were accurately reported he would probably have negative net worth. Do you think the glassy-eyed crowds would have voted for him in such big numbers if that was how he was generally known? I sure don't.

      I do believe that Trump still would be POTUS today if it was widely reported he had negative net worth. Partly because a lot of people would believe this to be just another smear on his character, business sense, or whatnot, and be ignored. Mostly what got Trump elected was that Clinton and the Democrats were just that bad at creating a successful campaign. They ignored whole states because they were arrogant enough to think they "owned" them and didn't need to campaign further. They also ignored large

      • Clinton is not just bad at campaigning but she's got some serious charges of corruption against her. Only now, a year later, have many of the charges started to prove true because her protection from the media and deep state is starting to fall away. What did Clinton bring to the table that proved her suited to be POTUS?

        Just a few facts that stand in the way of this narrative:

        1. Clinton got 3M+ more votes and would have won the electoral college had it not been for Comey's last minute intervention in the election.

        2. In spite of being the most investigated person in history no charges have ever been brought against her because there are no plausible charges to bring.

        3. There has never been a candidate that had more experience for the office than Clinton in 2016. First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, human rights a

        • 1. Clinton got 3M+ more votes and would have won the electoral college had it not been for Comey's last minute intervention in the election.

          You don't know that. Also, a political party that knows that their nominee is under investigation by the FBI should, for the sake of keeping good relations with the voters, remove that nominee from the running. This was not a new investigation at that point, it had been building for some time. This investigation, and Comey's announcement, should not have been a surprise for the campaign as the people involved were being interviewed. Even if it was too late to switch candidates then we should have seen t

  • The world's richest people are rich enough to keep themselves out of the public eye and off lists of the richest people. They own things like countries.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can someone enlighted us, why people say that SOMEBODY is WORTH something, instead that they have wealth that is worth something...?
    I wouldn't buy "Jeff Bezos" for any amount of money, but I would happily receive some of his wealth, which IS worth something.

  • by newbie_fantod ( 514871 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @12:43PM (#55450313)

    His single-day profit (which, if spread out over a year, would amount to > $27 million per day) exceeded the GNP of 123 separate nations, and his estimated total wealth exceeds the GNP of 174 nations.
    http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/infopays/rank/PNB2.html/ [studentsoftheworld.info]

    • Just imagine how many problems we could solve by breaking him up.

      • Not many. The US government spend't Bezos' net worth every eight days. All levels of government and all governments in the world would spend it all in a tiny fraction of that. Squandering Bezos' wealth would make very little difference to the world.
        • Squandering Bezos' wealth would make very little difference to the world.

          Oxfam predicts it would take $60B/year to eliminate poverty. So we could let Bezos keep $30B AND solve poverty too. That would be a considerable difference to about 3 Billion people.

      • Just imagine how many problems we could solve by breaking him up.

        It's a solution that doesn't get nearly enough air-time.
        If you confiscated most of the wealth the top 8 richest people and redistributed it to the bottom, you could double the wealth of 3.5 billion people. You'd only have to do it two or three times and poverty would be done.
        In a world where millions die each year due to poverty it seems criminal that we let these people keep their money. This is worse than anything Martin Shkreli ever did.

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