- Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and six other tech titans have lost $118 billion on paper this year.
- That amount exceeds Warren Buffett’s entire fortune of $114 billion.
- Investors have sold tech stocks and piled into Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and other haven assets.
Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and six other technology titans have seen a combined $118 billion wiped off their fortunes by the painful downturn in growth stocks this year — more than Warren Buffett’s entire $114 billion net worth.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has seen $32 billion of his wealth erased in under six weeks, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. However, he still leads the global ranking with a $239 billion fortune as of Friday’s close.
Meta CEO Zuckerberg has lost $36 billion on paper in 2022, largely due to a 26% slump in the Facebook owner’s stock after its disappointing earnings last week. The social-media group’s market capitalization tanked by about $240 billion — the largest single-day drop in market value in US corporate history.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are each down between $9 billion and $10 billion this year. Similarly, Oracle chairman and cofounder Larry Ellison’s wealth has shrunk by $6 billion.
Alphabet cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have fared better. The pair have seen less than $2 billion wiped off their respective fortunes, reflecting a modest 1% dip in Alphabet’s stock price this year.
Those eight men, along with Buffett and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, hold the top 10 spots on Bloomberg’s rich list. Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has added about $5 billion to his net worth this year, and remains the only one in the green in 2022.
Investors have dumped growth stocks this year in anticipation of the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to curb inflation. Tech companies often command aggressive valuations because investors price in sharp increases in their cash flows over time. However, if prices are rising quickly and the returns on cash deposits and bonds increase, the relative value of future returns falls.
Value stocks such as Berkshire have climbed as a result. Buffett’s company owns insurers such as Geico and National Indemnity, and holds multibillion-dollar stakes in Bank of America and American Express, which stand to benefit from higher interest rates. It also owns businesses with strong brands such as See’s Candies, and has stakes in Apple and Coca-Cola, which can raise prices to offset rising costs without losing customers to rivals.
Read more: Warren Buffett is facing the twin challenges of inflation and rate hikes this year. Veteran investor Tom Russo lays out 8 reasons why he expects the billionaire to triumph.