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Jeff Bezos's Net Worth Dives in 2014


Jeff Bezos in 2013

Photograph by David Ryder/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos in 2013

Jeff Bezos is one bad day—or even just a middling one—from an abysmal distinction. He’ll have lost more money than anyone else on earth in 2014 if his net worth declines by just $200 million, relative to Mexican investor Carlos Slim, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Amazon (AMZN) founder has lost $6.3 billion so far this year, second only to Slim’s $6.5 billion decline. Bezos has most of his wealth tied up in company stock, which has declined 17.3 percent since Jan. 1, bringing his net worth to $29.7 billion. On a percentage basis, Slim has lost about half as much as Bezos, 8.8 percent, to cut his worth to $67.3 billion, the second-largest pile in the world.

Amazon shares fell 11 percent on Jan. 31 after the company reported earnings that didn’t meet Wall Street analysts’ expectations. The stock now trades at 581 times earnings, the second most expensive ratio in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

Others with multibillion-dollar losses this year include Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, down $5.4 billion; Spanish retailer Amancio Ortega Gaona, down $4.2 billion; and Fast Retailing (9983:JP) chairman Tadashi Yanai, down $4.1 billion.

Forty individuals have lost more than $1 billion this year, according to Bloomberg data. At the same time, 34 people have gained more than $1 billion, including Jack Ma, whose worth has climbed $7.8 billion in anticipation of an initial public offering for the Chinese e-commerce giant he founded, Alibaba Group.

Bezos’s net worth hasn’t declined for a few days—Amazon shares have gained in the last five trading sessions—but he will still take the “losingest” dunce cap from Slim if the Mexican billionaire can pare his losses at a slightly faster clip.

Summers_190
Nick Summers covers Wall Street and finance for Bloomberg Businessweek. Twitter: @nicksummers.

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