Bill Gates is at his lowest point on The Forbes 400 rich list in 30 years following his divorce from Melinda Gates.
The co-founder of Microsoft’s time as the richest or second richest person in the US has come to an end, partly because of stock transfers prompted by the end of his marriage.
It’s the first time since 1991 that Mr Gates doesn’t occupy the number one or number two slot on The Forbes 400 that ranks the wealthiest people in the US. Mr Gates’s net worth rose by $23bn from last year and he’s now worth around $134bn. He was outpaced by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of Tesla, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, leaving Mr Gates in the number four spot.
The rising share prices of Amazon, Tesla, and Facebook left Mr Gates behind, but he also lost around $5.7bn in shares in publically traded companies to ex-wife Melinda French Gates following their divorce, which was announced in May. Without the split, Mr Gates would have ended up on the third spot on the list ahead of Mr Zuckerberg.
Forbes estimated Mr Gates’ wealth for this year’s list on 3 September, when his 1.3 per cent stake in Microsoft was worth $31bn. The rest of Mr Gates’ funds are tied up in his investment firm Cascade Investment LLC as well as as other assets, such as his “Xanadu” estate in Medina, Washington worth $143m.