Bill Gates loses richest man title to Warren Buffett

07 March 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Business tycoon Bill Gates is no longer the world’s richest man. According to, Warren Buffett, 77, is now the richest man on the planet, and Bill Gates has fallen to third place.

Berkshire Hathaway shares are currently some of the most valuable on the New York stock exchange, making Buffett’s fortune an estimated $62 billion, an increase of $10 billion in one year. Gates and his brainchild software company, Microsoft, are now worth $58 billion, up $2 billion from last year.

Forbes estimated the entrepreneurs’ fortunes based on the stakes they hold in their signature companies, Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway, as well as any assets they hold outside of these.

According to, Microsoft shares fell by 15 per cent between January 31st and February 11th, the cut off point for the Forbes 2008 World’s Billionaires list. On February 1st 2008 Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for search engine giant, Yahoo!

Berkshire Hathaway was initially a textile company which Warren Buffet originally bought shares in during 1962. He purchased a controlling stake in 1965 and soon began investing in insurance companies, which Berkshire Hathaway is famous for today.

The world’s second richest man is currently the Mexican telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim Helú, whose fortune is estimated at $60 billion, a rise of $11 billion since March 2007. The competition for this years Forbes world’s billionaires list has been close, all three business men have seen frequent rises and falls in their estimated value over the last few months before the cut off point.

Warren Buffett currently gives 5 per cent of his profits to charity each July, and has admitted he intends to donate the majority of his wealth to charity posthumously, adding, in 2006, that most would go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd