15. Alice Walton
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$13.5 billion (+24.8%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $54.4 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $67.9 billion
> Industry: Fashion & Retail
Alice Walton is one of three heirs to the Walmart fortune, and one three women to rank on this list. Together with her brothers, Jim and Rob, Alice owns over half of all Walmart’s stock. Between mid-March and mid-October, Walmart’s share price climbed about 20%, roughly inline with the increase in Walton’s net worth, which was estimated at $67.9 billion as of October.
While her brothers have worked at Walmart in various capacities, Alice Walton chose a different route. Walton opened a museum of American art in Bentonville, Arkansas — which is also home to Walmart’s headquarters — and has also owned ranches in Texas where she bred horses.
14. Warren Buffett
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$13.6 billion (+20.1%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $67.5 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $81.1 billion
> Industry: Finance & Investments
The net worth of famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, Warren Buffett, increased by over $13 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic. With an estimated net worth of over $81 billion as of October, Buffet ranks as the fourth wealthiest person in the world.
Like many other companies, the stock price of Berkshire Hathaway dipped in March to $240,000 per share, but it has since returned to its previous heights of over $300,000 per share in October. Buffett advises investors to think long-term, consider index funds, and to hold onto American companies even amid market volatility.
13. Michael Dell
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$16.2 billion (+70.7%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $22.9 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $39.1 billion
> Industry: Technology
Michael Dell founded personal computer company Dell Inc., which was originally known as PCs Limited when it was founded in 1984. Dell Inc. in 2016 merged with computer storage company EMC to form Dell Technologies. Dell is the company’s CEO and holds nearly half of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Between mid-March and mid-October, Dell Technologies’ share price appreciated by 144%. A large share of Dell’s fortune lies in MSD Capital, a private investment firm formed in 1998 specifically to manage Dell’s personal wealth. MSD Capital also has holdings in hotels and restaurants.
12. Eric Yuan
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$16.8 billion (+304.8%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $5.5 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $22.3 billion
> Industry: Technology
Few companies benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic as much as Eric Yuan’s video communications company Zoom. As businesses and schools switched to operating online to curb the spread of COVID-19, many used Zoom to communicate, boosting the value of the company significantly.
The company, which went public April 2019, had a stock price of less than $70 per share at the end of the year. By October, that stock price peaked at $559 per share. Yuan’s net worth of $22.3 billion in October 2020 was more than four times higher than it was in March.
11. Sergey Brin
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$19.0 billion (+38.8%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $49.1 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $68.1 billion
> Industry: Technology
Sergey Brin co-founded Google and its parent company Alphabet and ranks as one of the 10 richest people in the world after his net worth increased by $19 billion amid the pandemic. Alphabet shares fell below $1,100 in March before rising to over $1,600 per share in October.
The company has diversified assets across the tech industry, including in its Google search engine, Chrome web browser, YouTube, Android mobile operating system, and Google AdSense, a targeted online advertising platform.
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