The biggest billionaire winners, losers of 2018

Wall Street and investors experienced a volatile 2018; in the span of one year, the Dow climbed to record highs before plummeting once again, rocked by fears about a U.S-China trade war that’s culminated in billions of dollars in tariffs and uncertainty about Britain’s impending withdrawal from the European Union.

Perhaps nowhere are the gains and losses more evident than among the richest in the world. In total, the 10 biggest winners added a whopping $64 billion to their fortunes over the past year.

Here’s a look at the people who added to their fortune over the course of 2018 – and those who lost billions, according to Forbes.

Biggest winners:

Jeff Bezos: The Amazon CEO added more than $27 billion to his already significant fortune, bringing the total to $127.2 billion. The world’s largest online retailer booked record profits and announced a second headquarters, to be split between New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

Tadashi Yanai: Yanai added $7 billion and is now worth $27.1 billion. That’s largely because shares of his Japanese company Fast Retail Col., have risen by about a third since last December, driven by strong earnings.

Vagit Alekperov: The CEO of the Russian energy company Lukoil gained an extra $4.6 billion this year. He’s now worth $19.5 billion. Lukoil saw a huge surge in profits, thanks to higher oil and gas prices and a weak Russian ruble.

Rupert Murdoch: The media magnate saw a $4.6 billion increase in his net worth, bringing the total to $19.3 billion. Although shares of News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, declined, the stock of 21st Century Fox jumped ahead of a huge merger with Disney. 21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business.

Leonid Mikhelson: Another Russian billionaire, Mikhelson’s fortune jumped $4 billion to $21.4 billion. He heads Novatek, a Russian gas company that likewise saw record gains because of higher domestic prices and growing international demand.

Gennady Timchenko: Timchenko’s net worth increased by nearly $4 billion to $18.9 billion over the course of 2018, thanks to his significant stake in Novatek and Sibur, a private petrochemicals company.

Steve Ballmer: The former Microsoft CEO said earlier this year that he’s held onto his stake in the company, which saw a 20 percent rise in its shares this year. Ballmer’s net worth also rose, increasing $3.4 billion to $40.7 billion.

Mukesh Ambani: The, richest person in India, saw his net worth jump $3 billion to $44.4 billion. His Reliance Industries made a $33 billion bet on Jio, a 4G broadband service, that paid off well.

Bill Gates: Gates, once the richest person in the world, is still benefiting from Microsoft stock, four years after he stepped down as chairman. His net worth climbed by $2.9 billion, to $93.9 billion.

Elon Musk: The eccentric CEO of Tesla may have had some trouble with federal regulators this year -- a tweet cost him $20 million -- but the electric-car makers’ stock ended the year on a high note. Musk, whose net worth is now $22.5 billion after he added $2.8 billion this year, also benefited from an increase in value of SpaceX.

Biggest losers:

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook was plagued by scandals in 2018, rocked by repeat allegations that it didn’t do enough to protect users’ personal data -- all while it reportedly tried to silence its critics. Although it’s denied most of the claims, Facebook still saw its shares plunge this year. Zuckerberg lost $18.7 billion, bringing his net worth to $52.5 billion.

Amancio Ortega: Ortega, the founder of clothing retailer Inditex, saw his net worth drop by $16.2 billion to $59.6 billion. Inditex, whose share price fell in 2018, is largely known for its fashion chain Zara.

Georg Schaeffler: The German billionaire and owner of Schaeffler AG lost $14 billion in 2018, largely because of a decline in car sales in Europe and China. His net worth is now $12.4 billion.

Ma Huateng: Ma leads the internet giant Tencent, whose shares tumbled after a drop in quarterly profits. It went public on the New York Stock Exchange in December, but Ma still lost $10 billion in 2018. His net worth is $35.1 billion.

Carlos Slim Helú: Slim Helú owns the largest telecom company in Latin America, America Movil, but it’s been hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar. His net worth declined by about $9.3 billion to $56.8 billion.

Jorge Paulo Lemann: Lemann is a controlling shareholder of Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has suffered from declining beer sales. He lost $9.2 billion. His net worth is $20 billion.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi: The Thai billionaire, who founded Thai Beverage, lost about $7 billion due to declining profits amid a tough domestic alcoholic beverage market. His net worth is now $12.8 billion.

Pollyanna Chu: The Hong Kong entrepreneur’s Kingston Financial Group lost a significant piece of market value in 2018, bringing Chu’s net worth down to $2 billion from $7.2 billion.

Wang Wei: The Chinese delivery service firm S.F. Holdings, which was founded by Wang, saw its sales slump in 2018, as it competes with e-commerce businesses. Wang lost $6.7 billion, bringing his fortune to $13 billion.

Zhou Qunfei: Qunfei, once the richest self-made woman in the world, lost a $6.3 billion. She’s now worth $3.5 billion.