Jeff Bezos' first stint as the world's richest man may have only lasted a matter of hours, but the Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) CEO is back on top of the world and is on track for a much bigger milestone: the world's first trillionaire. After Amazon reported third-quarter sales of $43.7 billion, its share price jumped 34 percent to cross the $1,000 mark, taking Bezos' wealth to $91.4 billion, surpassing Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) founder Bill Gates, according to the Forbes rich list.
With $910 billion to go, a trillionaire may seem unlikely, but according to a January 2017 Oxfam report on global inequality, the world's first trillionaire may be hiding in plain sight as a mere billionaire today.
The report, titled "An Economy For The 99%," argued that at the current rate of growth, the rich will continue to get richer at a mind-blowing pace. "In 2009, there were 793 billionaires with a total net wealth of $2.4 trillion. By 2016, the richest 793 individuals had total wealth of $5 trillion, an increase of 11% per year for the wealth of this super-rich group," the report said.
"If these returns continue, it is quite possible that we could see the world's first trillionaire within 25 years."
While the two tech moguls remain neck and neck, it seems Bezos has the long-term advantage. He [Bezos] continues to steer Amazon to new and greater things, while Bill Gates, who now holds the number two spot, has his focus on charitable and humanitarian efforts. (See also: This is What Bill Gates's Portfolio Looks Like.)
To many, the $1,000,000,000,000 milestone looks improbable, but as Oxfam notes, the wealthy can achieve higher returns than the average person; at the 11 percent annual average, Bezos would reach the 13-digit mark at the age of 78 - just 25 years from now. (See also: 7 Companies Amazon Is Killing)
However, despite all the possible scenarios for the rich, the takeaway from the report remains the growing inequality around the globe. "New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world."