The world's richest people have seen their net worths take a beating in the first few weeks of 2022 — except for Warren Buffett.
A recent tumble in tech stocks has dropped the fortune of the world's richest person, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, by $54 billion so far this year. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has lost $27.8 billion, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have both each lost more than $12 billion and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is down $15.2 billion.
Out of the world's 10 richest people, only one has watched his net worth increase: Buffett, who has gained roughly $2.4 billion, bringing his total figure to $111 billion. This week, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO passed Zuckerberg to jump back up to the No. 6 spot in the global wealth rankings, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
It's an overtaking four years in the making: Zuckerberg most recently leapfrogged Buffett in the wealth rankings back in 2018.
"Decade after decade, the Oracle of Omaha continues to have the golden touch," Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives tells CNBC Make It. "That's the reason Buffett will be in the history books for centuries — it's because of his firm belief in value investing."
Value investors pick stocks that appear undervalued, and are trading for less than they should be. And unlike the other CEOs, whose net worths are largely tied up in their tech firms, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has a widely diversified portfolio that has allowed him to weather the tech sell-offs.
Buffett has long recommended that investors put their money in index funds, which hold every stock in an index, making them automatically diversified. The S&P 500, for example, includes big-name companies like Apple, Coca-Cola and Google.
In 2017, Buffett told CNBC that for people looking to build their retirement savings, diversified index funds make "the most sense practically all of the time."
"Consistently buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund," Buffett said. "Keep buying it through thick and thin, and especially through thin."
Despite the tech sell-off, Musk's $216 billion fortune still makes him the richest person in the world, worth nearly twice as much as Buffett. Also, Buffett may not stay in the top 10 for long: Last year, the investor revealed he was halfway done giving away his money to philanthropic causes, and wasn't planning to stop anytime soon.
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