That's rich: Gates tops Forbes list once again

Microsoft's leader brings home the gold medal for the 11th year running. Google's founders aren't doing too badly, either.

Bill Gates may not have had much of a pay raise this year, but he did manage to add US$2 billion to his fortune, bringing the total to US$48 billion and keeping him on top of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

Here's to your wealth
Bill Gates leads the Forbes list of the richest 400 Americans, but he's got company from the tech ranks.
Who Rank Riches
(billions)
Bill Gates
Microsoft
1 US$48
Paul Allen
Vulcan Ventures
3 US$20
Michael Dell
Dell
9 US$14.2
Larry Ellison
Oracle
10 US$13.7
Pierre Omidyar
eBay
16 US$10.4
Jeff Bezos
Amazon.com
38 US$4.3
Sergey Brin
Google
43 US$4
Larry Page
Google
43 US$4
Gordon Moore
Intel
49 US$3.8
Source: Forbes.com
And while being a billionaire isn't as prestigious as it used to be--there are 313 on the list this year, compared with 262 last year--Gates is a couple of lengths ahead of his nearest competitor, the legendary "Sage of Omaha" investor Warren Buffett, who has US$41 billion. And Gates is half the track ahead of No. 3 Paul Allen, who sits on a mere US$20 billion, after dropping US$2 billion since last year.

This is the 11th year that Gates has topped the Forbes list.

Once you strip out the five Waltons, the offspring of the founder of Wal-Mart Stores, each of whom is reckoned to be worth US$18 billion, the next two people on the list are also high tech. Michael Dell comes in at No. 9 with US$14.2 billion, and Larry Ellison rounds out the top 10 with US$13.7 billion.

Ellison's standing, in particular, is lower than expected. Last year, he was believed to be worth the same as a Walton, US$18 billion, but the decline of Oracle stock has brought down his net worth.

The new boys on the block, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, appear on the list for the first time, sharing the 43rd spot with US$4 billion each. The youngest on the list, they are behind the long-established Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, who holds the No. 38 spot with US$4.3 billion.

The total net worth of the richest 400 Americans topped US$1 trillion for the first time since the height of the dot-com boom four years ago.

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it would keep both Gates' and Ballmer's pay almost static at just over US$900,000 apiece.

Ron Coates of Silicon.com reported from London.

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