If you look closer, it’s easy to trace the tracks of billionaires’ tiers

Tracking your wealth can be an addictive pursuit, especially when the market gods are smiling on you. And, well, it turns out that tracking the wealth of billionaires in real time can be quite captivating too.

Tracking your wealth can be an addictive pursuit, especially when the market gods are smiling on you. And, well, it turns out that tracking the wealth of billionaires in real time can be quite captivating too.

The world’s richest person, Elon Musk, has reason to tweet a positive post today, with his net worth ($209.1 billion) rising a cool $189 million since yesterday, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires rankings list, which tracks the daily ups and downs of the world’s richest people.*

Still, not quite as good a day as is being had by Indian businessman Gautam Adani, currently the world’s third-richest person ($136.5 billion), who finds himself up a hefty $3.7 billion.

Happy days, too, for luxury conglomerate LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, the second-richest ($155.9 billion), up $2.8 billion, and Tencent CEO Ma Huateng ($25.8 billion), up $2 billion.

At the other end of the spectrum sits Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who is unlikely to tweet anything positive and not just because Twitter is now owned by his rival – the net worth of the world’s fourth-richest person ($120.3 billion) has fallen an eye-watering $5.6 billion since yesterday.

Tough day at the office for other US tech magnates too, with Larry Page ($78.9 billion) down $3.2 billion, Sergey Brin ($75.8 billion) down $3 billion, Bill Gates ($101.1 billion) down $1.2 billion, and Larry Ellison ($102.2 billion) and Steve Ballmer ($75.6 billion) down $1 billion each.

Investor extraordinaire Warren Buffett, the world’s fifth-richest person ($102.4 billion), isn’t immune to a little drop in his fortunes either, dipping in recent hours to the tune of $468 million.

On home soil, Australian software entrepreneurs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar might not be in the mood to shout drinks today, having lost $611 million and $613 million respectively, but mining magnate Andrew Forrest might be, with his net wealth up $580 million.

Rounding out the top 10 wealthiest are Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani ($89 billion, down $681 million) and Mexican magnate Carlos Slim Helu ($83.5 billion, up $947 million).

So, is Musk the richest person to ever live?

Impressive figures in that lot, and you’d think Mr Musk’s $209.1 billion must surely make him the wealthiest human to ever inhabit planet Earth – but no.

That honour belongs to Musa I of Mali, also known as Mansa Musa (‘mansa’ meaning ‘king’), who lived in the 14th century and ruled over the ancient West African kingdom of Mali.

Taking the throne in 1312 AD after King Abu Bakr II got lost at sea while out with an exploratory fleet of ships in the Atlantic Ocean, Mansa Musa inherited substantial monetary holdings before going on to conquer 24 new territories and cities during his reign.

He also expanded his nation’s trade networks and ramped up its mining activities. Admirable work, if it hadn’t been fuelled by the enslavement of thousands of men and women.

When Mansa Musa died in 1337 AD, he was made an emblem of unimaginable wealth for centuries. Much like John D. Rockefeller or the Sultan of Brunei in more recent times.

And if he lived in 2022? The Mali king would be worth an estimated $400 billion – putting his fortune at almost twice as much as the current ‘king’ of SpaceX, Tesla and Forbes rich lists.

* All figures are in USD and accurate as at 9.15am (AEDT) today, 2nd November 2022. Values reflect changes since 5pm (US EST) of the prior trading day.



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