How Jeff Bezos, now the richest person in the world, spends his billions

 How Jeff Bezos, now the richest person in the world, spends his billions
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, duringa press conference in this September 06, 2012 file photo in Santa Monica, California.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in the world, with a current net worth of US$90.7 billion (S$123.2 billion), according to Forbes.

When his Amazon shares hit US$1,065.92 each on Thursday, reports Bloomberg, Bezos knocked Microsoft founder Bill Gates (current net worth: US$90.1 billion) out of the top spot.

More than 90 per cent of the billionaire's wealth is tied up in Amazon stock, since he owns about 80 million shares.

The rest is in cash or comes from proceeds from investments, salary and bonuses, according to research firm Wealth-X.

So how does the world's new wealthiest man spend his money?

Real estate

Bezos has homes across the US.

His home base, a lake house in Medina, Wash., is estimated to be worth US$25 million, according to Wealth-X. Neighbors include the now No. 2 richest guy in the world, Bill Gates.

In Washington D.C., Bezos owns a 27,000-square-foot home that, with a purchase price of US$23 million, according to the Washington Post, is the most expensive house in his fancy Kalorama neighborhood.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama just bought the second-most expensive house in the enclave, and Ivanka Trump is also a neighbour.

Bezos's mansion was formerly a museum.

The Amazon founder also owns a 2.03-acre property in Beverly Hills, Calif., worth about $25 million. And in Manhattan, Bezos' three linked apartments in The Century building on Central Park West are worth US$17 million, according to Wealth-X.

The space race


Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic are famous for their otherworldly missions.

But space travel is a passion for Jeff Bezos too. He founded aerospace company Blue Origin to make space tourism more affordable.

Bezos is selling about US$1 billion in Amazon stock a year to fund the venture, reports The New York Times.

He believes Blue Origin could have "paying customers" on short trips to space by 2018.

For his love of space, Bezos also financed the recovery of "the remains of several Apollo booster-rocket engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 14,000 feet down," starting in 2013, according to the Seattle Times.

NASA donated a restored F-1 booster to the Museum of Flight in Seattle in 2015 at the CEO's request.

Expensive toys

Bezos is famous for having his wife drive him to work in a 1996 Honda Accord long after he became a multimillionaire. But he does have some more expensive vehicles.

Gulfstream G-650ER jet. PHOTO: Gulfstream

For example, he owns a top-of-the-line, US$65 million private jet, the 2015 Gulfstream G-650ER, via his holding company, Poplar Glen, says Wealth-X.

The model is the "longest range business jet and has a top speed of Mach .925, according to the Robb Report.

Inside a mountain on Bezos's property in Texas, workers are constructing one of several 10,000-year clocks.

The clock, which is meant to run for 10,000 years, is the brainchild of The Long Now foundation, and Bezos has invested a reported US$42 million into the project.


The CEO has helped bankroll some big names.

Bezos Expeditions has invested in businesses including Basecamp, Juno Therapeutics (which sold to Google), Workday and Twitter.

Bezos himself has invested in the likes of Airbnb, Uber and Google, among many others, reports Business Insider (in which Bezos has also invested).

And the CEO also has Nash Holdings, LLC, through which The Washington Post was acquired for a reported US$250 million.


In May, Bezos was spotted vacationing in Rome, Italy, with his wife MacKenzie, his parents and his siblings and their spouses. The group visited Campo dei Fiori Market and Piazza Novona, among other sights.


Compared to fellow billionaires like Gates and Warren Buffett, Bezos' charitable contributions have been relatively limited. Bezos recently gave US$35 million to Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reports The New York Times. And in May, Bezos gave US$1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

According to Weath-X, in 2015 the Bezos Family Foundation had more than US$54 million in assets and donated more than US$20 million.

Recipients include Teach for America, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, the Long Now Foundation, Aspen University and Woodland Park Zoological Society.

Bezos also donated US$2.7 to the University of Washington Foundation (2013), US$2.5 million to Washington United for Marriage (2012) and US$15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, according to Wealth-X.

And the Amazon CEO may be looking for more philanthropic endeavours - he recently tweeted a request for ideas that will produce more immediate results.

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