The Microsoft co-founder saw his fortune grow by $15.8 billion last year to $78.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Gates finished 2013 as the world’s richest person, a title he reclaimed back in May for the first time since 2007. His fortune increased by $7 billion in 2012.
Part of that growth is due to Microsoft’s stock, which increased by more than 35 percent in 2013 alone. Gates is still Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder, with more than 4.5 percent of the company, according to Microsoft’s latest proxy statement.
Apart from endowing his philanthropic foundation, Gates has also diversified his investments, putting money into a variety of companies.
Of course, he’s probably not celebrating all of this.
“I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that,” he said in response to a student’s question in 2011. “But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger. Dick’s has not raised their prices enough. But being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.”
Also sitting pretty on Bloomberg’s list is Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, who is currently in 13th with a net worth of $39.3 billion. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is No. 44 at $17.8 billion, while Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is No. 57 at $15.6 billion.
In total, the world’s 300 richest saw their fortunes grow by $524 billion in 2013.