Many people wonder if it is possible to earn so much to be called a trillionaire. In this article, we will tell what the trillion’s value is and whether someone has already earned this amount.
Who is a trillionaire?
A trillionaire is a person whose capital is equal to or greater than one trillion dollars, euros, or pounds. In the United States, a trillionaire is defined as an individual with a net worth of $1 trillion or more.
Although no one has yet become the first trillionaire, the rate at which the world’s most prosperous individuals have grown their fortunes suggests it may occur within a few years. You can track changes in personal net worths on Forbes, which publishes a “Real-Time Billionaires List” that is updated every minute based on stock prices. As of April 15, 2022, there is a $97 billion gap between the net worth of Elon Musk ($264 billion), Jeff Bezos ($177 billion), and Bernard Arnault & family ($167 billion), taking the top three spots. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who are in fourth and fifth place, are trailing them by almost $35 billion.
However, it is better not to believe the ratings blindly. As an illustration of how unreliable these estimates of personal capital might be, consider Musk’s $8.9 billion loss in a single day in December 2020, when J.P. Morgan Stanley analysts determined that Tesla shares were grossly overpriced.
Net worth calculation
The total of a person’s assets (including business interests, investments, and personal property), less his liabilities and debts (credit card balances, mortgage payments, etc.), is his net worth.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the calculations, some people may find it challenging to arrive at a precise estimate of their fortune. This is because some assets hold their value pretty well over time, but the value of commercial interests, in particular, changes a lot.
Who’s on top in terms of net worth?
Take Arnault, the French fashion magnate, as an example. Most of the $167 billion he and his family are worth isn’t just sitting in a bank. His fortune is tied to the success of the LVMH conglomerate, which includes such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Hennessy. The value of labels rose during the pandemic, and so did his net worth (in March 2020, Forbes put the valuation at $76 billion). As of February 2022, that value has increased by about two and a half times.
If the value of his LVMH shares rapidly increases compared to Musk’s and Bezos’ holdings, he may regain the top spot he had in May 2021.
Topping the Forbes list with a staggering $264 billion, Musk has taken the top spot. As of February 2022, his stake in Tesla, a manufacturer of electric vehicles, is approximately 23%, and in SpaceX, a manufacturer of aerospace components, his stake is over 50%.
Bezos, the inventor of Amazon, comes in second on the list with a net worth of $177 billion and a 14% interest in the online retailer’s shares (AMZN on Nasdaq).
Who is the world’s first trillionaire?
You would think that Arnault and Bezos, with their $167 and $177 billion, are a long way from being trillionaires. But considering how quickly some of the world’s most prosperous people have amassed their fortunes, it may only be a matter of time until someone else joins their ranks.
For instance, in the eight years between 2013 and 2021, Arnault saw his net worth increase from $29 billion to $185 billion. If he can accomplish the same thing, he will have a trillion dollars by the decade’s end.
Bezos, who has stakes in The Washington Post and the aerospace business Blue Origin besides Amazon, has had a similarly rapid increase in capital. Forbes has more than doubled its estimate of Bezos’ net worth from $67 billion in 2017 to $177 billion as of 2022.
Musk, who earned from two ground-breaking enterprises (Tesla and SpaceX), may have as good a shot as anybody. The businessman was estimated to be worth $13.9 billion in 2017. And as of April 15th, 2022, experts estimate it to reach $264 billion. If the current pricing trend of those businesses continues, Musk could become a trillionaire very soon.
What is the value of a trillion dollars?
A $1 trillion is such a huge amount that it’s hard to wrap one’s head around the value of all assets it could represent.
The most recent Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve puts the median net worth of American families in 2019 at $121,700. Thus, any trillionaire would be 8.2 million times more prosperous than the average American household.
To estimate this amount on a national scale, consider that the combined GDP of Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria is less than a trillion dollars. As of 2020, $1 trillion is more than the GDP of all countries but 16 ones.