Five years after the financial crisis, the mega-rich have regained all the wealth they lost during the recession, setting a new record value for combined net worth, according to Forbes’ 400 richest Americans list released Monday.
The annual report showed that America’s wealthiest have a combined net worth of $2.02 trillion, the highest value ever recorded by Forbes. That’s up from $1.7 trillion a year ago.
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates took the top spot for the 20th year in a row. His net worth is $72 billion, up from $66 billion a year ago.
Warren Buffet, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., came in second place with a net worth of $58.5 billion, up from $46 billion a year earlier.
The Forbes report said that the wealthy have been boosted by the rising stock market and real estate, which have recovered strongly since the economic downturn.
The top 10 included Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corp. He is worth $41 billion, unchanged from the year before.
Four of the top 10 spots were held by the Walton family, which include Christy Walton, the richest woman in the world. She inherited her wealth when her husband, John Walton, son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, died in a 2005 plane crash.
Also on the list was Patrick Soon-Shiong, the medical researcher, philanthropist and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. He ranked No. 45 with a net worth of $9 billion, up $2 billion for a year before.
Los Angeles billionare Eli Broad came it at No. 59, with a net worth of $6.9 billion, up $6.3 billion a year earlier.