Forbes every year provides a list of the wealthiest Americans. The top ten members of this list are worth a combined $460.4 billion. If every American citizen were to each receive $1, there would still be a remaining $141.5 billion leftover. These ten American men are worth more than the 2014 GDP PPP of nations such as Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong, Austria, and Norway. This collective wealth is $0.3 billion short of surpassing Switzerland’s 2014 GDP PPP.
Who are these mysterious men and how are they so wealthy? Of the top ten, three men – the Koch Bros. and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – do not have a large portion of their wealth in the shares of a publically traded corporation synonymous with their name.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the other seven men and how much of their wealth is concentrated stocks:
William H. Gates III has been America’s wealthiest person for as long as I can remember. In case you have been outside of human interaction for the past quarter century, Bill Gates is the cofounder and former CEO of Microsoft (MSFT). Mr. Gates is still a major direct shareholder of Microsoft stock. He owns 222.99 million shares of the company, which is worth over $12 billion. Only Steve Ballmer, former CEO of the company and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, owns more shares than Mr. Gates.