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Mark Zuckerberg Has Never Been Richer Than He Is Right This Moment. And That’s Not His Only Good News

Mark Zuckerberg has been one of the richest people in the world for the last decade. But he has never been as rich as he is right this moment.

Facebook’s stock (I still refuse to call the company “Meta”) is soaring after a strong earnings report last night. Earlier in the day Thursday, before releasing its earnings, a single share of Facebook would have cost you $395. As I type this article, a single share costs $477. Mark owns around 350 million shares, roughly 13% of the company.

Therefore, as I type this article, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth is $170 billion. That is an all-time high for the 39-year-old. It’s also an extraordinary turnaround for Zuck, whose net worth fell to $35 billion in late 2022 as tech stocks were routed by inflation and interest rate hikes.

That’s not the end of the good news for Mark. Yesterday Facebook also announced next month it will begin paying a quarterly dividend of 50 cents a share. As the owner of 350 million total shares, Mark will receive a quarterly dividend payment of $175 million beginning next month for an annual total payment of $700 million.

If Mark ever chose to leave California for a zero-income-tax state like Texas or Florida, he would save $90 million per year in taxes. Mark is more likely to move to Hawaii, where he owns a 1,400-acre secluded estate. Unfortunately for Mark, in Hawaii he would still pay an 11% income tax rate, which is only moderately better than California’s 13%. Take Larry Ellison’s example as a comparison. Larry Ellison receives around $1.6 BILLION per year in dividends from Oracle. In mid-2021, Larry changed his full-time residence to Florida. By doing so, Larry saves $230 million every year that would otherwise go to the state of California.

And actually, the good news for Mark is not over yet! Thanks to a Delaware judge’s recent decision connected to Elon Musk, one could argue that Mark just slid into a new all-time high position on our list of the richest people in the world

(Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon’s Loss/Mark’s Gain

You may have heard the news or read our story about how a judge in Delaware just voided $56 billion from Elon Musk’s net worth. In case you missed it, long story short: Back in 2018, Tesla’s board of directors granted Elon Musk a compensation package that would give him an additional 12% equity stake if the company increased in market cap from $50 billion (its level at the time) to $650 billion (what seemed like an extremely lofty, borderline make-believe goal). Against all rationality, Elon and Tesla pulled it off in just two years. So the company gave him options, which are worth around $56 billion today. Unfortunately, a shareholder thought this pay package was excessive and filed a lawsuit in Delaware court (where the company is based). And the judge ruled in the shareholder’s favor! Elon can appeal, but it seems extremely likely that he will be forced to renegotiate a much lower compensation for the work performed between 2018 and 2023.

One could argue that wealth trackers like CelebrityNetWorth should slice $56 billion from Elon’s net worth right now. If we did that, Elon would go from $204 billion to $148 billion. Under that math, here’s how the richest people in the world would stack up:

#1: Jeff Bezos: $190 billion

#2: Bernard Arnault: $182 billion

#3: Mark Zuckerberg: $170 billion

#4: Elon Musk: $148 billion

#5: Bill Gates: $145 billion

#6: Steve Ballmer: $140 billion

#7: Larry Ellison: $129 billion

#8: Warren Buffett: $128 billion

#9: Larry Page: $127 billion

#10: Sergey Brin: $120 billion

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