It was not only retail investors who lost a lot of money in the stock market. In the first half of 2022, the world’s richest 500 people lost $1.4 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
This is the largest six-month decline in wealth in the history of the billionaire class worldwide, following two years of strong gains.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his fortune plunge by about $63 billion to $62.5 billion as of July 5, according to the index. Zuckerberg’s sharp drop in wealth was caused by the 50 percent slump in Meta stock.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, saw his net worth drop to about $215 billion as a result of a loss of close to $56 billion. The sharp slide was driven by the more than 40 percent drop in Tesla shares, trading just below $700.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos lost $55 billion, lowering his wealth to $137 billion. Despite being one of the top-performing companies throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon shares tumbled nearly 34 percent from January to June.
Bill Gates shed more than $23 billion, bringing his value to $115 billion.
Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page each lost $24.9 billion and $25.5 billion, respectively.
On an international level, Changpeng Zhao topped the list, wiping out about $77 billion. The Canadian billionaire is the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
The steep losses were caused by poor company performance, violent swings in certain sectors of the market, and the broader downward trend.
This is a complete reversal of what had been transpiring since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when governments and central banks unleashed trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus and relief that sent valuations for nearly every asset higher. Now that the Federal Reserve and its counterparts have ended their pandemic-era tools, investors have been fleeing stocks and seeking shelter in conventional safe-haven assets.
By Andrew Moran