For the first time in six years, the number of people on Forbes magazine's annual ranking of billionaires worldwide fell, dropping 30% to 793 billionaires from 1,125 last year, according to a Bloomberg News story.

The rich also got a lot poorer too, or at least had less money -- the total net worth of the list fell to $2.4 trillion from $4.4 trillion last year, with the average billionaire worth $3 billion, down from $3.9 billion.

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is the world's richest person, with a net worth of $40 billion, down from $58 billion in 2008.

The recession hit Gates and the other two wealthiest people on the earth -- Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett and Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim Helu -- with the trio losing $68 billion between them in the past year.

Last year Buffett ended Gates' 13-year reign atop the list.

Here's to a better year ahead for the billionaires...and the rest of us.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum