the richest Americans

The Richest Americans



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The Forbes 400

The latest “Forbes 400: The Full List of The Richest People in America” has come out for 2016.

Surprise, surprise, surprise: Bill Gates with a net worth of $81 billion, is ranked No. 1 for the 23rd year running. Meanwhile, his friend Warren Buffett fell to third place for the first time in 15 years with a net worth of $65.5 billion.


Thanks to soaring stock prices of hot tech firms, CEOs at the helm of those companies seem to have been accumulating wealth at a much faster pace than others. CEO Jeff Bezos, 52, gained $20 billion to boost his net worth to $67 billion, making him the second-richest person in the U.S.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 32, jumped into fourth place, his highest rank ever, with a net worth of $55.5 billion. However, Oracle founder Larry Ellison landed at No. 5 for the first time since 2007. His net worth is $49.3 billion.

Standing on the No. 6 spot is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 74, CEO of the eponymous firm Bloomberg L.P., who has a net worth of $45 billion.

These six richest multi-billionaires have a combined $363.3 billion at their withdrawal, most of which is still held as stakes in the companies they founded.

Real Estate

However, part of their fortune is vested in real estate.

Mr. Gates, 60, for one, owns several horse ranches across the U.S. and shares in some luxury hotel chains through his private investment firm, Cascade.

He spends most of his time at his 6,131-square-meter Medina, Washington, mansion, nicknamed Xanadu 2.0. The mansion overlooks Lake Washington.

It took Mr. Gates seven years and $63.2 million to build this house, which is filled with lots of high-tech features. He purchased the lot for $2 million in 1988, but it’s now worth an estimated $170 million, according to public records.

Mr. Ellison, 72, has an extensive real estate portfolio. He has bought up large parts of whole neighborhoods in Malibu, California and around Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He owns a $70-million Beechwood Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island; a garden villa in Kyoto, Japan; and 98% of the land of Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth-largest island, which he purchased in 2012 for $500 million, according to published reports.

His estate in Woodside, California, with an estimated value of $110 million, is modeled after 16th-century architecture, complete with a man-made 2.3-acre lake.


Meanwhile, Mr. Buffett, 86, known as the shrewdest investor on earth with multiple real estate investments, is known for living humbly.

His home sits on a corner in Omaha, Nebraska, which he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Mr. Buffett has lived there ever since.

The house, originally built in 1921, underwent several expansions to make it a cozy and comfortable 604-square-meter home for the man who has a net worth of over $65.5 billion.



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1. Everyone is really surprised that Bill Gates was the richest man in the United States in 2016. True or false?

2. What information does the article give about the six richest persons in America?

3. Do the wealthiest Americans get their fortunes from industry and manufacturing?

4. Most of their wealth consists of savings in their banks. Is this correct or incorrect?

5. How would you describe Bill Gate’s home?

6. Larry Ellison concentrates exclusively on his company, Oracle. Is this right or wrong?

7. Is Warren Buffet a spendthrift, living in lavish mansions?


A. Who are the wealthiest persons in your country? What sort of business are they in? How did they become rich?

B. Who are the most successful persons in your industry or field?

C. What sort of houses do the wealthy in your area own? If you had lots of money, what sort of house(s) would you own?

D. How could you become rich or very successful?

E. What will happen in the future?

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