Warren Buffett becomes sixth member of $100 billion club

NEW DELHI: Warren Buffett has been a staple of the global wealth rankings for decades, but he’s slipped off the list in recent years as tech wealth soared and his hot hand cooled.
Now at 90, his net worth has exceeded $ 100 billion.
The Berkshire Hathaway Inc chairman’s net worth rose to $ 100.4 billion on Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That makes Buffett the sixth member of the $ 100 billion club that includes Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and his friend Bill Gates.
The clan’s combined wealth has grown rapidly, fueled by government incentives, central bank policies, and the burgeoning stock market. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion aid bill for Covid-19 cleared its final hurdle in Congress as Parliament voted to approve the legislation.
Berkshire, the source of practically all of Buffett’s wealth, is off to a good start into 2021. The company’s A shares are up 15% this year, outperforming the S&P 500 index by 3.8%. This was aided by Buffett’s recent urge to spend record amounts on buying back Berkshire’s own stock. This is a notable change for an investor who previously preferred to use the $ 138 billion stack of cash to buy other companies or common stocks.
Share buybacks
Buffett has struggled to find sizeable deals in recent years to fuel Berkshire’s growth, partly due to the sheer size of the conglomerate. This has resulted in the stock underperforming the S&P 500 for the past five years. But in 2020, Buffett spent a record $ 24.7 billion on buybacks. According to records, he had already bought shares worth at least $ 4.2 billion by mid-February.
Exceeding $ 100 billion is even more remarkable when you consider how much the Omaha billionaire gave away. Buffett is a co-founder of Giving Pledge, a campaign to promote billionaire philanthropy. Since 2006, he has donated more than $ 37 billion in Berkshire stocks. Without these gifts, which nearly halved his holdings of Berkshire Class A shares, he would have done so to be worth more than $ 192 billion.
The staggering amount of wealth accumulated by the ultra-rich – $ 1.8 trillion from the 500 richest in the world in 2020 alone – underscores the K-shaped recovery that will take place when the US emerges from the pandemic . While millions of disproportionately poor workers and minorities remain unemployed, the rich have seen income and net wealth rise thanks to a buoyant stock market and rising property prices.
Meanwhile, more than 8 million Americans – including many children – fell into poverty in the second half of last year, according to an analysis by the University of Chicago economist Bruce Meyer, James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame, and Jeehoon Han of der Zhejiang University.
Buffett added $ 1.9 billion to his net worth on Wednesday as Berkshire Class A shares hit record highs and led a second day of gains for the S&P 500.

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