Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

Methodology

As of June 19, 2018

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world's richest people. In calculating net worth, Bloomberg News strives to provide the most transparent calculations available, and each individual billionaire profile contains a detailed analysis of how that person's fortune is tallied.

The index is a dynamic measure of personal wealth based on changes in markets, the economy and Bloomberg reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day after the close of trading in New York. Stakes in publicly traded companies are valued using the share's most recent closing price. Valuations are converted to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

Closely held companies are valued in several ways, such as by comparing the enterprise value-to-Ebitda or price-to-earnings ratios of similar public companies or by using comparable transactions. Calculations of closely held company debt -- if net debt cannot be determined -- are based on the net debt-to-Ebitda ratios of comparable peers. The value of closely held companies adjusts daily based on market moves for peer companies or by applying the market movement of a relevant industry index. The criteria used to choose peer companies is based on the closely held asset's industry and size.

When ownership of closely held assets cannot be verified, they aren't included in the calculations. The specific valuation methodology for each closely held company is included in the net worth analysis section of a billionaire's profile. Additional details included in the valuation notes for each asset are available to subscribers of the Bloomberg Professional Service.

A standard liquidity discount of 5 percent is applied to most closely held companies where assets may be hard to sell. When a different percentage is used an explanation is given. No liquidity discounts are applied to the values of public stakes. In some instances, a country risk discount is also applied based on a person's concentration of assets and ease of selling them in a given geography. A country's risk is assessed based on Standard & Poor's sovereign debt ratings.

If a billionaire has pledged as collateral shares he or she holds in a public company, the value of those shares or the value of a loan taken against them is removed from the net worth calculation. If reliable information can be obtained about the ultimate use of those borrowed funds, that value is added back into the calculation.

Hedge fund businesses are valued using the average market capitalization-to-assets under management ratios of the most comparable publicly traded funds. Fee income is not considered because it cannot be uniformly verified. Personal funds invested along with outside capital are not included in the calculation. A "key man" risk discount of 25 percent is applied to funds whose performance is tied to a single individual. Assets under management are updated using ADV forms filed with the federal government and news reports, and returns are factored when sourced to reports from credible news outfits, the HFRI Index and industry analysts.

Net worth calculations include dividend income paid and proceeds from the sale of public and closely held shares. Taxes are deducted based on prevailing income, dividend and capital gains tax rates in a billionaire's country of residence. Taxes are applied at the highest rate unless there is evidence to support a lower percentage, in which case an explanation is given in the net worth summary. For calculations of cash and other investable assets, a hybrid return based on holdings in cash, government bonds, equities and commodities is applied.

No assumptions are made about personal debt. Family members often hold a portion of a billionaire's assets. Such transfers don't change the nature of who ultimately controls the fortune. As a result, Bloomberg News operates under the rule that all billionaire fortunes are inherently family fortunes and credit family fortunes to the founders or ranking family members who are determined to have direct control over the assets. When individual stakes can be verified and adult family members have an active role in a business, the value is credited to each individual.

Each billionaire -- or a representative -- is given an opportunity to respond to questions regarding the net worth calculation, including assets and liabilities.

Bloomberg News editorial policy is to not cover Bloomberg L.P. As a result, Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., isn't considered for this ranking.

Because calculating net worth requires a degree of estimation, bull and bear case scenarios that would make a person's fortune higher or lower than the Bloomberg Billionaires Index valuation are included on the Bloomberg Professional Service. A confidence rating also is included on each profile:

5 Star
The majority of the individual's fortune is held in publicly traded companies and/or valuations for personal assets can be verified. The billionaire or their representatives provide feedback on the net worth calculation.

4 Star
The majority of the individual's fortune is held in publicly traded companies or in closely held operations that publish transparent information. The billionaire may control listed assets through a holding company in which ownership is not fully transparent, or have partnerships and structures that require calculated assumptions of ownership. The billionaire or their representatives have provided feedback on the net worth calculation or there is independent information that supports it.

3 Star
The majority of the individual's fortune is tied to closely held companies or public companies for which transparent information is unavailable. Assumptions may be needed to calculate ownership and/or the value of personal investments, and the assumptions are supported by outside documentation, research or reporting. In some cases, information from a single source hasn't been corroborated or the analysis derives financial information from media reports. The billionaire or their representatives may have provided limited feedback, or information they provided in the past can no longer be verified.

2 Star
The majority of the individual's fortune is derived from closely held assets, or ownership interest in publicly traded companies is calculated without outside documentation available to support it. A substantial portion of the fortune is held in unknown investments, or assumptions have been made to calculate revenue, financial results or ownership interests. Information provided in the past can no longer be verified, or the analysis uses data drawn almost entirely from media reports. The billionaire or their representatives won't comment on the net worth calculation, or the valuation relies on information they provide that can't be verified independently.

1 Star
The majority of the individual's fortune is tied to closely held assets for which limited information is available. The analysis requires assumptions to calculate revenue, ownership, other financial metrics, or the value of cash and personal assets. The billionaire or their representatives won't comment on the net worth calculation.

Updates
The index is a dynamic measure of the world’s wealthy based on changes in markets, the economy and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth calculation is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York. Stakes in publicly traded companies are valued using the share's most recent closing price. Valuations are converted to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.