Forbes 2009 billionaire list is out and Bill Gates regains title as the world’s richest man despite losing USD18 billion in the past 12 months. Gates is now worth USD40 billion. Well, the other fellows lost something like USD25 billion so Gates is top again. Warren Buffet’s (2nd richest) Berkshire Hathaway is down 45% since last March. For Carlos Slim Helu & family, net worth dropped to USD35 billion.

In Pictures: The 2009 Billionaire List

Software visionary regains title as the world’s richest man despite losing $18 billion in the past 12 months. Stepped down from day-to-day duties at Microsoft last summer to devote his talents and riches to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Organization’s assets were $30 billion in January; annual letter lauds endowment manager Michael Larson for limiting last year’s losses to 20%. Gates decided to increase donations in 2009 to $3.8 billion, up 15% from 2008. Dedicated to fighting hunger in developing countries, improving education in America’s high schools and developing vaccines against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Appointed Microsoft Office veteran Jeffrey Raikes chief exec of Gates Foundation in September. Gates remains Microsoft chairman. Sells shares each quarter, redeploys proceeds via investment vehicle Cascade; more than half of fortune invested outside Microsoft. Stock down 45% in past 12 months. “Creative capitalist” wants companies to match profitmaking with doing good. (Source: Forbes)

Well, that is still a lot of money. I’m rank #239025921 in the world with $20 in my wallet right now.

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