10 Largest financial losses incurred by billionaires in the past 12 months

The total amount of the ten largest financial losses incurred by billionaires within the past 12 months is nearly $280 billion. Shaky stock markets, the war in Europe, and bad business decisions have all had their impact. Elon Musk is no longer the wealthiest billionaire, with Bernard Arnault (LVMH) taking the lead. Plenty of recent reversals of fortune piqued TradingPedia‘s interest, and our team decided to examine the underlying reasons.

The current study comprises detailed financial information including the net worth of the ten billionaires who have lost most last year as well as the amounts they have parted with between March 2022 and March 2023. The individuals within our selection come mainly from the tech industry, with businessmen from the automotive, finance, and commodities sectors also present. Financial data is provided by Forbes.

Key Moments From The Report:

  • The total amount lost is $279.9 billion
  • Jeff Bezos has parted with the largest amount – $57 billion
  • The highest percentage lost is Gautam Adani’s – 44.67%
  • The lowest percentage lost is Warren Buffett’s – 10.17%
  • Jeff Bezos lost $18 billion more than Elon Musk

“It has been a tough year for everybody and the world’s wealthiest people are no exception. This is evidenced not only by the brand owners’ losses of fortune, but also by the fact that thousands of employees have had to be dismissed within the period studied. For the first time in its history, Google is challenged by really strong competition in the face of ChatGPT and TikTok. The technology behemoth seems to be losing ground and we do not expect this trend to stop anytime soon”

– comments Brian McColl, analyst at TradingPedia.

Jeff Bezos – $57 Billion Lost

Jeff Bezos has lost the most money over the last year, and the primary reason is Amazon’s dropping stock price. His wealth amounts to $118 billion, which is a decrease by $57 billion compared to 2022. Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s CEO in 2021, holds about 10% of the shares in the e-commerce giant, which struggles with increased expenses and staff cuts in times when all IT companies are plagued by inflation and high interest rates. One of the latest events to negatively affect Amazon’s stock price is a return to office mandate announcement (February 17, 2023) that was met with rampant backlash by most employees.

Gautam Adani – $42.8 Billion Lost

Gautam Adani is the second biggest net-worth loser since March 2022. The Indian tycoon has parted with nearly half his personal fortune – $42.8 out of $90 billion. Unlike the other entrepreneurs in our selection, whose hard times are related to the general economic downturn and stock market volatility, Adani’s failure is due to accusations of accounting fraud, stock market manipulation, and bypassing Indian securities laws.

Hindenburg Research LLC, an investment research firm from the US, claims that the Adani Group is hiding substantial financial resources in offshore investment funds. The report was released on January 24, 2023, and the Adani Group lost $112 billion of its market value in just two weeks.

Elon Musk – $39 Billion Lost

We are used to seeing Elon Musk at the top of Forbes’ annual “World’s Billionaires List.” However, he currently occupies the second position as his net worth has decreased from $219 to $180 billion, and financial analysts explains this by the $44 billion Twitter purchase. The deal was funded by Tesla shares, a business decision that scared investors and caused a sharp price drop. Although much of the loss has been recuperated, Tesla’s stock is far from its top levels.

At the beginning of 2023, Guinness World Records announced that Elon Musk had broken the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history. His losses for the period between November 2021 and January 2023 are estimated at approximately $182 billion.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin – $62.8 Billion Lost

A major culprit behind the relatively low interest in Alphabet stock is accuracy concerns about Bard, its experimental AI service. Larry Page and Sergey Brin surely want to forget February 6, 2023, when the chatbot gave the wrong answer during a promotional showcase. Bard’s future does not seem to be very bright, not only because of its embarrassing start but also due to strong competition in the face of Microsoft and the ChatGPT-powered version of its search engine Bing.

Page’s and Brin’s fortunes have declined almost equally in the last year – $31 and $31.8 billion. Thus, they are currently occupying the 12th and 14th positions on the latest edition of Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List (The Richest in 2023).

Bill Gates – $25 Billion Lost

The fifth wealthiest person in the world lost $25 billion between March 2022 and March 2023. Bill Gates is one of the few billionaires whose personal fortunes have dropped because of charity. On July 13, 2022, Gates shared that he is planning to donate his money to the Gates Foundation, which he founded with his ex-wife Melinda.

MacKenzie Scott – $19.2 Billion Lost

Another philanthropist on our list is MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife. She has a 4% stake in Amazon which has laid off 18,000 workers since November 2022. However, the decline in her fortune is mainly due to donations to non-profit organizations.

Warren Buffett – $12 Billion Lost

A loss of $12 billion since March 2022 shows that even an “investment guru” like Warren Buffett can have a tough year. The reported decline is a result of a significant drop in the paper value of Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio. However, Buffett claims that the true numbers are $30.8 billion in operating earnings since losses on unrealized stock investments must not be taken into account.

Robin Zeng – $11.4 Billion Lost

The founder and chairman of CATL, the world’s biggest manufacturer of electronic vehicle batteries, has parted with $11.4 within the last 12 months. In 2022, the company invested nearly $2 billion in building a factory in Thuringia (Germany), the first outside of China. Apart from its expansion costs, CATL has had to cope with increased raw material prices and some scrutiny from foreign policymakers.

Steve Ballmer – $10.7 Billion Lost

Despite a decrease of $10.7 in his wealth since March 2022, Steve Ballmer is currently the second richest sports team owner in the world. He bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 after stepping down as Microsoft’s CEO. Aside from Microsoft’s stock devaluation, a reason for Ballmer’s fortune decline is a donation of $425 million to the University of Oregon.

Also read: How Buzzfeed News has fallen into financial difficulties


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