If you had Jeff Bezos’s billions, what would you do?

Jeff Bezos has almost unimaginable wealth. So what does Jeff Bezos own? How is he so rich? And what would you do with his billions?

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According to Bloomberg’s latest Billionaires Index, Jeff Bezos is now worth $191 billion (£138 billion). This makes him the world’s second-richest individual after Tesla founder Elon Musk, who is considered to be worth an eye-watering $195 billion (£141 billion).

So what would you do if, like Jeff Bezos, you had a bank balance boasting nine zeros? Maybe you’d attempt to solve some global humanitarian issues. Or perhaps blasting into space is more your thing. Let’s explore these million-dollar billion-dollar questions.

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Just how rich is Jeff Bezos?

The wealth of Jeff Bezos now sits at a figure just shy of $200 billion.

While this is an enormous sum, much of Bezos’ wealth is tied up in Amazon, the company he founded in 1994. This is partly the reason why there are regular news articles reporting massive increases or decreases in his net worth in a single day.

For example, towards the end of July 2021, it was reported that Jeff Bezos lost $13.9 billion in one day due to Amazon’s stock falling by 7%. Analysts suggest that this large drop was a result of the retail giant revealing lower than expected quarterly growth.

Not only did this sharp movement in Amazon’s stock price impact Jeff Bezos’ wealth, but it was also enough to lose his status as the world’s richest person. However, many believe that it is only a matter of time until the multi-billionaire dethrones Tesla founder Elon Musk to reclaim the top spot.

How long has Jeff Bezos been a billionaire?

Jeff Bezos has been extremely wealthy for around 25 years. That’s because he technically became a millionaire in 1997, following Amazon’s initial public offering (IPO), in which the company raised over $50million.

Since Amazon’s IPO, its stock price has rocketed by over 120,000%. This means that anyone with the foresight to have invested $1,000 into Amazon stock during its IPO would now be millionaires themselves.

In terms of the wealth of Jeff Bezos, he first became a member of the billionaire’s club in 1999, when he was reportedly worth over $10 billion. It was during this time that he first made an appearance on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

Yet just a year later, his net worth fell by over 40% to $6.1billion. In 2001, his wealth decreased even further, to $2 billion, and then to 1.5 billion by 2002.

Five years later, Jeff Bezos’ wealth increased steadily to over $8 billion by 2007. Fast-forward a decade, and 2017 was the year that his net worth exceeded $100 billion. A year later in 2018, he officially overtook Microsoft founder, Bill Gates as the world’s richest person.

In 2021, Jeff Bezos is now worth almost $200 billion – around $85 billion more than at the start of 2020. The acceleration in the Amazon founder’s wealth over the past year is no doubt a result of the retailer’s strong performance during the coronavirus pandemic, due to enforced changes to shopping habits. 

The scale of Amazon’s success resulting from the pandemic can be seen by its share price. Since the beginning of 2020, Amazon’s share price has increased by almost 73%.

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What companies does Jeff Bezos own?

While most famous for founding Amazon, Jeff Bezos has a number of other business interests. Through his investment vehicle Bezos Expeditions, which manages his venture capital investments, Jeff has interests in ‘Stack Overlow’, a questions and answer website, online currency broker ‘Remity’, as well as ‘Rethink Robotics’ amongst others.

Jeff Bezos also owns Nash Holdings, which purchased The Washington Post, in 2013. 

Blue Origin is another company belonging to Jeff Bezos. Its ‘New Shepherd’ spacecraft recently launched Bezos into space. It is believed the space exploration company costs the Amazon founder $1 billion per year to run.

While not directly owned by Bezos, there are a number of well-known companies owned by Amazon including Whole Foods, Audible, IMDb, and Twitch.

What can you do with $200 billion?

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that $200 billion can buy a lot. Here are a few things that Jeff Bezos could do with his money:

  • Purchase 1,550 Superyachts
  • Give all 1.3 million Amazon employees a $153,000 bonus
  • Buy 500 Airbus A380 Jumbo Jets
  • Hand $28.50 to every person on the planet
  • Buy all 20 teams in the Premier League eight times over 
  • Vaccinate everyone in the world against Covid-19 (and have $134 billion left)
  • Buy 75,000 Ferarri Enzos 
  • End world hunger for seven years
  • Purchase 3,000 private islands

So, if you had similar wealth to Jeff Bezos, which of the above would you choose to do?

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