These 10 Billionaires Have Gained The Most Money Since Trump’s 2016 Election

These 10 Billionaires Have Gained The Most Money Since Trump’s 2016 Election

America’s first billionaire president has been great for the nation’s billionaires, especially these top 10 gainers.


Donald Trump’s stint in the White House has been a smashing success for America’s billionaires, who were collectively worth $2.9 trillion the day Trump was elected and are now worth nearly $1 trillion more, thanks to a 60% rise in the U.S. stock market.

An even more elite group of billionaires has had it especially good. The ten tycoons who have gotten the richest since Trump won the presidency are $490 billion wealthier today than they were on election night 2016—a sum worth more than all of the billionaires in Russia combined.

Many of these moguls have been building their fortunes for decades, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and congresses, and they were already enormously wealthy before Trump won the election. And although they’ve made a tremendous amount of money in the last four years, they very well could be as rich, or richer, had another candidate won in 2016.

Here are the 10 biggest American billionaire gainers since Donald Trump’s 2016 election (net worths as of October 19, 2020):

Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

1. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $189 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$121 billion

When Donald Trump won the election, the Amazon founder and CEO had just passed Warren Buffett to become America’s second-wealthiest citizen. He has gained more money over the last four years, $121 billion, than any other person is worth today. The president has repeatedly attacked Amazon, claiming it’s destroying the post office and noting its impact on brick-and-mortar stores (a sore subject for Trump, who owns retail real estate). Nonetheless, stock in the e-commerce goliath has soared more than 300% since 2016. In August, Bezos became the first person ever worth more than $200 billion. And this is all after accounting for the costliest divorce in history. In 2019, Bezos agreed to give a quarter of his Amazon stock to MacKenzie Scott, his ex-wife. Had he held onto the shares, he would be worth about $250 billion today.


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2. Elon Musk

Net worth: $90 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$79 billion

Trump’s first term has been a whirlwind for Musk, who served on Trump advisory councils but stepped down in 2017 following the president’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. On election day, his Tesla Motors had a market capitalization of about $28 billion. Today, after a massive run-up in the company’s stock price, Tesla is worth nearly $400 billion—more than any other automaker in the world. The rising share price and massive stock awards from Musk’s compensation plan have made the car mogul billions of dollars richer. Meanwhile, his private spaceflight firm SpaceX has raised more than $3.8 billion in new funding, most recently at a valuation of $46 billion. Musk also launched another venture, The Boring Company, to construct a network of underground transportation tunnels.


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3. Steve Ballmer

Net worth: $73 Billion

Change since 2016 election: +$44 Billion

Like other tech giants, Microsoft stock has steadily climbed throughout Trump’s term. Shares are up more than 250%, helping line the pockets of Microsoft’s high-wattage former CEO, who still owns a chunk of the company’s stock. Another good investment: the Los Angeles Clippers, which Ballmer bought in 2014 for a then-record $2 billion. The NBA team is now worth $2.6 billion. His wife, Connie, has given $105,600 to Joe Biden—the only known donation to either 2020 presidential candidate among these 10 big gainers.


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4. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $96 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$44 billion

It’s been a tumultuous four years for the Facebook cofounder, who has come under fire from both the left and the right. Republicans have criticized Facebook for a perceived anti-conservative bias, while liberals have decried what they see as weak policing of hate speech and misleading political ads. In 2018, Zuckerberg received a tongue-lashing before Congress. Still, Facebook shares are up 110% since Election Day 2016, helping make Zuckerberg almost twice as rich today as he was then. 


Andy Goodwin for Forbes

5. Dan Gilbert

Net worth: $44 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$39 billion

New mortgage originations have skyrocketed amid historically low interest rates, and no one is cashing in more than Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert. He took Quicken’s parent organization, Rocket Companies, public in August, immediately adding more than $33 billion to his net worth as public markets valued the company at some $36 billion. Gilbert—who Trump called a “great friend” and “huge supporter” during a 2017 White House photo op—still owns 95% of the business.


Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

6. Bill Gates

Net worth: $117 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$35 billion

Strong markets have boosted the value of Gates’ portfolio, which includes stakes in dozens of public and private holdings. Like Ballmer, he remains a major owner of Microsoft stock, despite stepping down from the company’s board in March to focus more on his philanthropic efforts. His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to spending more than $350 million to fund Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and help distribute them in developing countries.


From left: Tim Pannell; Bloomberg; Getty Images

7. Alice Walton

Net worth: $67 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$33 billion

8. Jim Walton

Net worth: $67 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$32 billion

9. Rob Walton

Net worth: $66 Billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$32 Billion

The three Waltons—heirs to the Walmart fortune, which their father Sam Walton (d. 1992) founded in 1962—have seen their net worths double during Trump’s first term in office. Walmart stock is up 105%. Online sales have surged during the pandemic, and the retail giant is now worth more than ever before. Known as longtime Republicans, the three siblings haven’t given any money to Trump’s campaign in 2020. Other family members have backed Biden. Their sister-in-law Christy Walton gave $20,000 to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project in January and her son, Lukas Walton, has given $5,600 to the former vice president.


Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

10. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $79 billion

Gain since 2016 election: +$30 billion

A rare Silicon Valley billionaire who has expressed support for Trump, the Oracle chief is $30 billion richer than he was in 2016, thanks to rising Oracle stock. The business software giant recently won approval from the Trump administration to store data for the popular Chinese video app TikTok on its cloud platform as part of a deal between TikTok-parent ByteDance, Walmart and Oracle. Shares are up 52% since election night in 2016. Ellison hasn’t made any direct contributions to Trump, but he allowed the president to use one of his compounds for a fundraiser in February, leading to an employee walkout. Ellison still stood by the president in a Forbes interview the next month. “We only have one president at a time,” Ellison said. “I don’t think he’s the devil—I support him and want him to do well.”


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