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Warren Buffett Leapfrogs Mark Zuckerberg as Tech Slump Shakes Up World’s Richest List

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Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc.

Tech stock investors nursing heavy losses so far this year may want to seek solace with a quick glance at the latest world’s richest person list.

It probably won’t be of much comfort at all, in all honesty, as the names at the top still have eye-watering amounts of wealth. But the losses are staggering and serve to tell a story. 

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has seen his net worth plunge $54 billion so far in 2022, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. More than $25 billion of that was lost on Thursday alone as Tesla (ticker: TSLA) stock fell 11.5%. The SpaceX founder’s net worth still stands at $216 billion, though, so it isn’t all bad. 

It’s a similar story around the top table; Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos’ net worth has fallen $27 billion year-to-date, while Meta Platforms (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth has declined by $15 billion. 

The only person in the top 10 who has gained wealth this year is Warren Buffett, whose net worth has climbed $2.4 billion to $111 billion, according to the index. The Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) CEO’s net worth is now $1 billion more than Zuckerberg’s. The Forbes real-time billionaire’s list also has Buffett ahead of Zuckerberg but by a larger $6.5 billion margin.

That is a small win for value investors, of which Buffett is surely the most famous, and highlights the outperformance of value stocks so far in 2022. The Russell 1000 Value Index has fallen 4.9% year-to-date, while the Russell 1000 Growth Index has fallen 14.3% as of Thursday’s close.

It has been a difficult start to the year for the tech sector. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is more than 14% down year-to-date and it isn’t even the end of January yet.

In comparison, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% so far this year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 6% down.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault remains in third place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but he has closed the gap on Bezos in second place. Arnault may even be primed to overtake Bezos, as the French luxury conglomerate’s stock climbed 2.5% Friday following earnings.

Read: This Luxury-Goods Stock Has Thrived. The Gains Can Continue.

According to the Forbes list, Arnault and his family have already surpassed Bezos, moving into second place behind Musk.

LVMH ‘s sales jumped 44% in 2021 to €64.2 billion ($72 billion), while organic revenue was 14% above the level of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. Profit from recurring operations was €17.15 billion, 49% higher than in 2019, highlighting that the company hasn’t only recovered from the pandemic but its going to another level.

Write to Callum Keown at callum.keown@dowjones.com

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