The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals.
The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the ranking. The biggest gains came in the technology industry, which soared 28 percent during the year. Of the 300 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2013, only 70 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.
“The rich will keep getting richer in 2014,” said John Catsimatidis, the billionaire founder of real estate and energy conglomerate Red Apple Group. “Interest rates will remain low, equity markets will keep rising, and the economy will grow at less than 2 percent.”
Bill Gates, the founder and chairman of Microsoft, was the year’s biggest gainer. The 58-year-old tycoon’s fortune increased by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion, according to the index, as shares of
Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, rose 40 percent. Gates, who in May recaptured the title of world’s richest person, has also benefited from a rally in stock holdings that include the Canadian National Railway, which rose 34 percent, and a maker of sanitizing products, Ecolab, which rose 45 percent