The world's wealthiest individuals might not be too unhappy that 2023 has come to a close, considering how profitable it was for them.
Collectively, the top 500 richest people have seen their net wealth increase by an astounding $1.5 trillion, according to Bloomberg. This marks a significant turnaround from 2022 when the same group lost nearly $2 trillion. The growth was largely driven by the outstanding performance of tech sector stocks, which helped billionaires in that industry rake in an incredible $658 billion in income or a wealth increase of 48%.
Unsurprisingly, Elon Musk led the pack, with an additional $95.4 billion boosting his net worth to $232 billion, making him the world's richest person. In comparison, the Tesla and SpaceX founder experienced a $138 billion drop in 2022. After an impressive 2023, the eccentric Musk has once again taken the top spot ahead of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, who is now almost neck-and-neck with Jeff Bezos for the title of the second richest person on the planet. (Arnault has a net worth of $179 billion, while Bezos has $178 billion, after profiting by $71.3 billion this year.)
Other notable figures from 2023 include Mark Zuckerberg, who added $84 billion to his fortune during the year. The Meta founder now has a total worth of $130 billion. And while not a household name, L'Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is now the richest woman on the planet and the first woman to amass a $100 billion fortune.
While it's impossible to say whether 2024 will follow the favorable winds of 2023 or the downturn of 2022, Bloomberg has identified several billionaires to watch in the new year. Some of them are connected to the ever-expanding world of sports: Miriam Adelson, worth $34.3 billion, has just acquired a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks, thanks to Mark Cuban, worth $6.8 billion, who sold his stake in the team for an impressive $3.5 to $4 billion. And Steve Cohen, with a net worth of $13.9 billion, owns the New York Mets and is working to turn the team into a baseball powerhouse. If their sports bets go sour, Adelson stands behind the Las Vegas Sands casino operator, while Cohen partners with Hard Rock International in an attempt to secure one of the lucrative casino licenses in New York.