- Warren Buffett has gifted nearly half of his wealth to charitable causes.
- If the famed investor had kept all 475,000 of his Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares, they would be worth about $US129 billion today, making him the world’s second-wealthiest person.
- His fortune would still be almost $US50 billion short of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ $US178 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index .
- Even at Berkshire’s peak stock price in January, Buffett would have a $US164 billion fortune and still be poorer than Bezos.
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The famed investor has given away roughly 226,000 of his Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares, worth a little over $US61 billion at the current stock price of $US272,400.
He still owns around 249,000 or 52% of his Class A shares, currently worth about $US68 billion – not far off his estimated net worth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
If Buffett had held on to all 475,000 Class A shares, they would be valued at $US129 billion today, assuming Berkshire’s stock price wouldn’t be affected by his lack of giving.
A net worth of that size would catapult him from sixth place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to second place, overtaking Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and his $US115 billion fortune.
However, Bezos is currently worth $US178 billion, or $US49 billion more than a theoretically stingy Buffett. Amazon stock has surged more than 60% this year, boosting Bezos’ fortune by roughly the same proportion.
Even at Berkshire’s peak Class A share price of about $US345,000 in mid-January of this year, Buffett’s shares would be worth around $US164 billion – still about $US14 billion shy of Bezos’ net worth.
To be fair, Bezos’ wealth would also be higher without his charitable contributions. However, he has been far quieter on the philanthropic front.
The Amazon chief’s most notable moves are launching a $US2 billion fund focused on education programs for homeless people in 2018, and pledging $US10 billion toward fighting climate change in February.
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