For the longest possible time, all major news and media outlets have been intrigued by the question – ‘Who is going to be the world’s first trillionaire?’. Thus, from time to time, we tend to keep seeing various speculations about the possibilities of the same which consider various factors such as track records, investment decisions and so on of the world’s wealthiest billionaires.
On Thursday, a few news outlets seemed to have once again re-kindled this question by concluding that this time Jeff Bezos, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, is the individual who is the closest to achieving this humongous title. This conclusion was supported by a projection from a small business advice platform known as Comparisun.
The study claims that at the age of 62, Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of world’s largest eCommerce marketplace, would be the world’s first trillionaire. This would be followed by Xu Jiayin and Jack Ma. While Jiayin is the Chinese real estate billionaire, Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group.
The study also portrays Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder & CEO – Facebook, as the youngest trillionaire at as the age of 51. With a staggering $73.5 billion net worth, He is currently the youngest one in the list of the world’s richest people.
The List: Pinch Of A Salt
Almost every news outlet went gaga about the report, painting Jeff Bezos as the first trillionaire, making the whole world talking about him overlooking some crucial aspects of the report. However, one needs to observe that this study, while definitely being an interesting analogy, has many potholes. Let’s begin with its methodology.
The study arrived at its conclusion by calculating the average growth of the net worth of each billionaire over the last five years and then happened to project how much they would increase if they continued to grow at that rate. Therefore, according to Comparisun, if Amazon gets to have another five years similar to the last five years, only then Jeff Bezos would probably become the world’s first trillionaire in 2026. This clearly shows that the study, at no point, accounted for many other crucial possibilities and factors wherein things might go haywire for individuals of the companies these bigwigs are holding stocks of.
While it’s true that among all other billionaires, Jeff Bezos’s wealth has been more or less consistent and green even during the market calamity caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t guarantee that it will continue with its lucky streak consistently in the next five years as well. Situations like an ongoing pandemic that has made many companies revisiting their policies could have an adverse effects on the businesses any time. Besides, the increasing competition from homegrown companies and fast-changing consumer behaviour could also have a significant impact on the exploded growth rate of companies.
That being said, it is quite understandable why this prediction is being blown out of proportion. It is mainly because over the last few years Bezos has become a household name when it comes to being the world’s richest person whose net worth currently stands at $144 billion. It should also be noted that Amazon’s stock, which has been growing by a whopping 560% in the last five years, has shot up 25% this year along with Bezos’s net worth.
Founders of companies who happen to come into possession of extreme amounts of wealth and turn billionaires are often considered by the media as godlike individuals who can continue on their hot streaks to keep making more money. While it’s not entirely a wrong assumption, it is neither the right one. A few years ago, Larry Page who happened to invest into asteroid mining was being bet on to become the first trillionaire as well. Same goes for Elon Musk who plans to build a life on the planet Mars and roll out transportation technologies such as the Hyperloop.
Apart from this, one must also factor in how these billionaires plan to manage their wealth personally. For instance, many billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet happen to regularly donate a huge chunk of their net worth to philanthropic causes all the time. And this has a direct impact on their personal net worth.
This particular projection by Comparisun definitely fails to factor in many variables which are very much unpredictable in nature. Past performance, in no way, is indicative of the future performance of either companies or these billionaires. Lastly, it should be kept in mind that mature companies do not tend to grow by the same aggressive rate at which younger companies tend to typically do. Thus, while Amazon is very much likely to continue on its path of meteoric growth, claiming that Bezos’s net worth is also on track to do the same after which he might become the world’s first trillionaire is definitely a long shot.
The year 2026 is a long time away and while it still remains to be seen whether Bezos becomes a trillionaire or not, one thing is definitely sure – the race has already begun! We will keep you posted on all future developments. Stay tuned.