In what really isn’t much of a surprise to anybody, Amancio Ortega, the Spaniard gentleman that founded Inditex SA, has recently knocked Warren buffet off of his spot as the third richest person in the world. Why is it not a surprise? Because Warren Buffett has been giving away large portions of his wealth over the last six years now.
Ortega, who is currently 76 years old, gained a total of $1.6 billion because the share prices of his stock gained a total of 3.8 percentage points which was a record at the close of the day. This is all learned according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, where we found out that Ortega’s wealth is now a total of $46.6 billion. This major gain in stock value actually puts the Zara clothing chain owner above Warren Buffett, who is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffett’s current net worth is $45.7 billion. He has ranked number three the entire time that this index existed, which hasn’t been all that long since it only was created on March 5 of this year.
A market rout in Spain has caused Ortega’s wealth to rise an amazing 32% this year, where it has gained a total of $11.4 billion. The policy makers in this country are currently resisting a lot of pressure being put on them to get aid from the central bank in Europe. The profit of Inditex has risen for twelve quarters in a row, and they have gone on to add more stores in markets that are emerging, in places such as China, and this has allowed them to reduce their dependence on Spain. This is important since the unemployment in that country has gone up over 20%. It’s hard to make money when nobody has jobs and income to pay for your products.
“Buffett’s holdings have done well recently, but not all of them,” stated Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. Amancio Ortega “has a more concentrated holding, and that implies more risk. You may have these fits and starts between them going forward.”
Inditex spokesman Raul Estradera chose not to comment. There was an e-mail message left with the 81-year-old Buffett, which he did not respond to. His assistant Carrie Sova was the one who got the message.
Carlos Slim And Bill Gates
Shares of Inditex rose yesterday in Madrid, and it was part of a rally in European stocks. The reason why these stocks rallied is because the German Chancellor named Angela Merkel, and her government, decided to back the European Central Bank’s plan to buy bonds from countries that are weighed down with debt, such as Spain. The shares of Berkshire Hathaway actually fell a half percent in New York when news that they increased their cash hoard to the highest level in a year. Buffett cut back on his bets of consumer-products stocks. Berkshire Hathaway also reported their second quarter earnings on August 3, and they beat the street and estimates by analysts.
Carlos Slim is now $27.6 billion ahead of Ortega, and he is a Mexican telecommunications tycoon. He is also the richest person in the world. Bill Gates is the cofounder of Microsoft, and also the second richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is currently worth a total of $63 billion.
Ortega actually became the richest man in Europe on June 13. At that time he passed Ingvar Kamprad of Sweden, who is also the owner of the major retail chain IKEA. He is the founder of the largest furniture seller in the world, and he also happens to be worth a total of $37 billion.
Warren Buffett actually made a donation of 22.1 million shares of class B Berkshire Hathaway stock on July 6. He gave it to charity, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission were notified. Those shares would actually be worth a total of $1.9 billion today, since the value of class B shares are worth $85.15 at the time of this writing. The majority of the stock went to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge
During the year 2006, Warren Buffett actually made a pledge that he would give the majority of the money that he’s made to charity, and during that same year he gave 20% of his Berkshire stock at the time. Now he plans on donating 4% of the shares each year during the month of July, and he has done so every year since then. Buffett has actually made a total of $2.9 billion this year.
Before Buffett made this pledge to donate the majority of his money, he actually kept the bulk of his net worth in class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway. During March 2006, Warren Buffett owned 474,998 of those shares based on a proxy statement from the company. If he still had all those shares, that total net worth would be $60.7 billion based on the market close yesterday.
Buffett’s current share value is 350,000 class A shares, and 3.8 million class B shares of his company Berkshire Hathaway.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett both started the Giving Pledge during the middle of 2010, and they are trying to get the ultra rich to make a commitment to give away the majority of their fortunes to philanthropic ventures. They have actually gotten 81 families to sign this pledge, and this information is based on the Giving Pledge’s website.
“My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest,” Buffett says in a letter that he sent to his shareholders in June of 2010. In agreeing to donate 99 percent of his wealth, he said, “my family and I will give up nothing we need or want.”
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index measures the amount of wealth that the richest people of the world have based on the current economic climate and market conditions. They update the figures of each person’s net worth at the end of the business day at 5:30 PM in New York, plus these figures are listed in US dollars, and they are based on the current exchange rates.