I fared pretty well with my portfolio during the recession. Instead of being fearful and pulling my money out of the market, I took Warren Buffett’s advice and bought more. I bought shares in my IRA when the market was down (vs. dollar averaging throughout the year). I also purchased some US Steel stocks when they were valued at $39 and sold them when they were valued at $63.
Still, my earning potential or loss during the recession was chump change compared to the earning potential or loss of a billionaire. And since many personal finance gurus like to listen to what billionaires have to say when it comes to the stock market (after all, they are doing something right), I thought it would be interesting to see where the world’s top billionaires have landed.
All numbers below are based off of the annual World Billionaire list provided by Forbes .
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
- 2007 Net worth: $56 billion
- 2010 Net worth: $53 billion
- Change: -$3 billion
Warren Buffett (Major Investor)
- 2007 Net worth: $52 billion
- 2010 Net worth: $47 billion
- Change: -$5 billion
Carlos Slim Helu (Mexican Telecom)
- 2007 Net worth: $49 billion
- 2010 Net worth: $53.5 billion
- Change: +$4.5 billion
Ingvar Kamprad (Founder of Ikea)
- 2007 Net worth: $33 billion
- 2010 Net worth: $23 billion
- Change: -$10 billion
Lakshmi Mittal (Arcelor Mittal)
- 2007 Net worth: $32 billion
- 2010 Net worth: $28.7 billion
- Change: -$3.3 billion
Are you surprised by the results? I was…at least at first. It appears that Carlos Slim Helu is the only billionaire on this list that came out on top from the recession.
However, after looking into this some more, I found that many of these billionaires had huge losses during the crash of the stock market, and so actually they have bounced back quite well.
For example, in November of 2009, Lakshmi Mittal was only worth $19.3 billion (a loss of $12.7 billion from the crash), and less than one year later he was worth $28.7 billion. That is a $9.4 billion bounce-back!
Here are a few more examples: Warren Buffet lost $16.5 billion during the market crash, and Bill Gates lost $12.3 billion.
Has your portfolio bounced back? Did you come out ahead of where you were before the recession, or has your 401(k) not recovered?
Other Recession Articles You May Enjoy