Amazon's Jeff Bezos: America's Only $100 Billion Man?

11/1/17

By Matthew Frankel, MotleyFool

Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos recently overtook Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world's richest person after the company posted better-than-expected third-quarter results. Bezos is currently worth over $93 billion, and it's certainly possible that his net worth could top $100 billion in the not-too-distant future.

Here's how much Bezos is worth now, how much of this amount is in the form of Amazon stock, and how high Amazon's stock price would need to climb in order for Bezos' net worth to surpass the $100 billion mark.

A pile of of $100 bills.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

How much is Jeff Bezos worth now?

According to a real-time estimate by Forbes, Jeff Bezos is worth $93.1 billion as of this writing (Oct. 30, 2017). Bezos' net worth soared by more than $10 billion after Amazon's third-quarter earnings report, which sent the stock up by 13.2% in a single day, making him the richest man in the world by a margin of more than $3 billion.

Amazon's stock price is currently hovering around $1,120. Bezos owned about 80.8 million shares of Amazon at the beginning of 2017, and unloaded one million of these during the year as part of a planned sale, which implies that Bezos' current Amazon stake is approximately 79.8 million shares worth a total of $89.4 billion.

This also implied that Bezos' other (non-Amazon) assets are valued at about $3.7 billion. This includes Bezos' property -- homes, cars, etc. -- as well as cash, other investments, and other business ventures Bezos is involved in.

What would it take for Bezos to get to $100 billion?

Some simple arithmetic shows that in order to achieve a $100 billion net worth, Bezos' Amazon stock would need to climb to $96.3 billion, assuming the value of Bezos' other assets remains constant. This means that if Amazon's stock price reaches $1,207, Bezos' net worth would eclipse the 12-figure mark.

That is less than 8% higher than Amazon's current price, and is certainly a possibility. While there is no way to reliably predict stock performance, another surprisingly good quarter, unexpected good news, or simply strong stock market performance could be enough to catapult Bezos' net worth past $100 billion.

Bezos wouldn't technically be the first to a 12-figure fortune

Bezos wouldn't exactly be the first American to achieve a $100 billion net worth. Bill Gates, who is currently second on the list, briefly achieved a $100 billion net worth in 1999 at the peak of the dot-com boom. It's also worth mentioning that Gates has given away at least $35.7 billion to his charitable foundation, so if it weren't for his philanthropy, Gates would be well over $100 billion at this point.

In addition, several other Americans throughout history have achieved inflation-adjusted 12-figure fortunes. Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller's net worth upon his 1918 death is estimated to be equivalent to about $341 billion in today's dollars, and Andrew Carnegie's peak net worth was approximately equal to $372 billion today.

So, a more accurate way to say it is that Bezos could become the only American worth $100 billion, not the first. Even so, this is an inconceivable amount of money to most people, and illustrates just how amazing Amazon's growth story has been.

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