On this Monday morning, Bernard Arnault suddenly took the lead in the Forbes ranking in real time and classified the greatest fortune in the world. The French, head of the LVMH group, took advantage of the very good start of the luxury exchange to see that his fortune exceeded that of Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon.
Last year, the French multimillionaire’s net worth rose significantly, from $ 76 billion in March 2020 to more than $ 186 billion on Monday, which is more or less 10 million years of the minimum wage.
This sudden spike coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, which therefore does not appear to have had a negative impact on LVMH, the main driver behind the volatility of Bernard Arnault’s wealth.
Luxury homes in the golden age
It must be said that the group’s luxury homes are entering an unexpected golden age. While they were gradually being forgotten with an increasingly rare clientele, the major European luxury brands, especially in Asia, were able to open up to a whole new clientele to publish figures on the record business.
In the first quarter of 2021 alone, the LVMH Group announced sales of no less than $ 17 billion. An increase of 32% compared to 2020. However, this sudden acceleration is not solely due to the work of Bernard Arnault. Many luxury real estate managers have benefited from this dramatic increase over the past year.
François Pinault, another French billionaire who owns the Yves Saint Laurent brand, among other things, had fortunes from $ 27 billion to $ 55 billion in less than two years. The same goes for little girl Betancourt, owner of the L’Oréal group, who doubled their net worth in 2020, peaking at $ 87 billion this Monday.
Europe strikes back
While the Forbes ranking of the world’s greatest wealth has so far been dominated by the American GAFA boss Jeff Bezos, the “historic” European companies such as luxury houses reappear in first place in this ranking of the ultra-rich.
European fortune takes first place ahead of the usual Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other Jeff Bezos for the first time in the history of the rankings. If the latter’s fortunes remain substantial and steadily increasing, then in recent months they have been overtaken by luxury home owners at breakneck speed.
A change that is as brutal as it is difficult to understand as we mistakenly thought that digital companies would be the big winners of the pandemic. Nobody was betting on such a phenomenal surge in LVMH or Gucci stocks in March 2020, in the early days of the crisis.
Fortune that explodes all records
While the heights seem higher and higher for the richest men in the world. Despite everything, the hectic race for their wealth is purely listed and speculative. While these people have the greatest wealth, they don’t have hundreds of billions of dollars in their bank accounts.
The majority of their assets come from investments in companies that they have founded or inherited. So this value fluctuates a lot and these billionaires are losing and winning millions of dollars every minute.
Despite the current economic context, the billionaires at the top of the Forbes rankings seem unaffected by the pandemic. On the contrary, the latter seems like a godsend for some, as their fortunes have skyrocketed in recent months.
Like Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk grew his personal fortune from $ 25 billion to over $ 180 billion last January. A dazzling development owed to the media explosion of these different brands, Tesla or SpaceX.