Special Report

American Billionaires That Got Richer During COVID

20. Jensen Huang
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$8.8 billion (+187.3%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $4.7 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $13.5 billion
> Industry: Technology

Jensen Huang is the founder and CEO of NVIDIA, a PC graphics and AI company, and one of many tech entrepreneurs on this list. NVIDIA beat earnings estimates in each of its last four fiscal quarters, and the company’s share price nearly tripled between mid-March and mid-October. Huang owns nearly 21.5 million shares of NVIDIA, and his net worth also nearly tripled over the same period — from $4.7 billion to $13.5 billion.

Source: Araya Doheny / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

19. Len Blavatnik
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$9.1 billion (+53.4%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $17.0 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $26.1 billion
> Industry: Diversified

Len Blavatnik was born in the Ukraine when it was under Soviet rule, but now he has both U.K. and U.S. citizenship. Blavatnik made his initial fortune in Russia’s natural resource industry, and he has invested much of it in the United States and Great Britain. Today, Blavatnik owns Access Industries, a New York-based industrial group with holdings in industries spanning biotech, entertainment, and real estate, and most of the Warner Music Group record label. Through his business holdings, Blavatnik expanded his net worth by $9.1 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Courtesy of DriveTime Automotive

18. Ernest Garcia, II
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$11.5 billion (+479.5%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $2.4 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $13.9 billion
> Industry: Automotive

Ernest Garcia’s net worth in October 2020 was nearly six times higher than it was in March. The largest shareholder of the online car selling platform Carvana, Garcia’s net worth initially declined, as the company’s stock fell from its high point of $110 per share in February to less than $30 in March. Along with the share price, Garcia’s net worth fell from $5.7 billion in October 2019 to less than half that amount five months later.

But Carvana’s stock price rebounded and reached new heights later in 2020, topping $200 per share in October. With the share price, Garcia’s net worth also climbed to $13.9 billion.

17. Jim Walton
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$13.1 billion (+23.9%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $54.6 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $67.7 billion
> Industry: Fashion & Retail

Jim Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton — and one of several of his heirs who collectively own about half of all Walmart’s stock. From March 18 to Oct. 13, Walmart’s share price appreciated by about 20%.

Jim Walton is also chairman of Arvest Bank, which has branches in four states. His 44% stake in the financial services company further contributes to his current estimated net worth of $67.7 billion.

16. Rob Walton
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$13.2 billion (+24.4%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $54.1 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $67.3 billion
> Industry: Fashion & Retail

Rob Walton is the oldest son of the late Sam Walton, founder of Walmart. Rob Walton took over as chairman of the company when his father passed away in 1992. Though he still sits on the board, Walton retired as chairman in 2015.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses were shuttered around the country to slow the spread of the virus, business surged at Walmart. The company beat earnings estimates in each of the last three quarters and hired some 400,000 additional workers to meet increased demane. A major shareholder in the company, Walton’s net worth grew by $13.2 billion from mid-March to mid-October 2020.

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