Billionaires’ investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Some people sell wine and bags

In 2021, the new crown pneumonia epidemic will continue to affect the world. But at the same time, the wealthiest people in the world are getting richer.

According to the annual “World Inequality Report” of the World Inequality Lab, in 2021, the proportion of billionaires’ wealth has seen the largest increase in history.

The report found that the richest 0.01% (520,000 people) each have more than 19 million U.S. dollars (approximately RMB 121 million), and their wealth accounts for 11% of the world’s total wealth, an increase of a full percentage point from 2020 . At the same time, the share of billionaires’ global wealth has increased from 1% in 1995 to 3% in 2021.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of noon on December 24th, Beijing time, the top 10 global billionaires were: 1. Tesla CEO Musk (US$274 billion); 2. Amazon founder Bezos (1970 Billion US dollars); 3. LVMH Chairman Arnault (171 billion US dollars); 4. Microsoft founder Bill Gates (137 billion US dollars); 5. Google co-founder Larry Page (130 billion US dollars) ); 6, Google co-founder Sergey Brin ($125 billion); 7, Meta (Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg ($125 billion); 8, former Microsoft CEO Steve Bowen Elmer (US$119 billion); 9. Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison (US$109 billion); 10. “Stock God” Buffett (US$107 billion).

So, what areas are the top wealthy people paying attention to and investing in this year?

01 Bezos and Musk: Looking up at the stars and stepping on the earth

In 2021, Musk and Bezos, the top two of the rich list, burned the war of commercial competition into space.

In February of this year, Bezos announced his resignation as CEO of Amazon. He also specifically mentioned that in the future, he will focus on his space company Blue Origin and other matters, and will successfully fly on the “New Shepard” rocket in July. Space.

Billionaires' investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Amazon founder Bezos (Source: GETTY IMAGES)

Bezos claimed that he would sell $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each year to invest in supporting Blue Origin’s space exploration. At the same time, according to US media, between 2019 and 2024, Blue Origin will receive a total of US$500 million in funding from the US Air Force.

Bezos said that Blue Origin will work to reduce the cost of space launch missions and promote space travel, just like “we start a business on the Internet.”

In contrast, Musk SpaceX proposed the ambitious “Starship” plan, hoping to develop a new aircraft to replace the current aircraft and shorten the journey time between the country and the planet.

Although slightly later than Bezos’s “New Shepard”, Musk’s Space X rocket was successfully launched in September, sending four astronauts aboard the “Inspiration 4” capsule into orbit.

Subsequently, through a second share sale, SpaceX broke through the $100 billion market value mark in October, and Musk’s worth increased by $10.6 billion, surpassing Bezos to become the world’s new richest man in one fell swoop.

The two are chasing me in the space field, but they don’t forget their investment in the earth.

Since November 8, Musk has sold Tesla stock worth more than $15 billion, but Tesla is still the top priority of his business. According to the “Wall Street Report”, on December 23, Tesla’s valuation regained the $1,000 mark, and its market value broke through a trillion U.S. dollars.

Billionaires' investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Tesla CEO Musk (Source: Reuters)

In addition, Musk continued to pay attention to and invest in virtual currencies this year, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum. He said in a public program: “Dogecoin is the future of money. This is an unstoppable financial instrument that will take over the world.”

As for Bezos, in 2021, in addition to announcing the allocation of US$2 billion to help restore nature, transform the food system, and invest in an anti-aging start-up company called Altos Labs, it also spent US$23 million to buy the 212 Fifth Avenue building in New York. Of an apartment. This is the fifth apartment he bought in the same building. The total price of the five apartments is close to 120 million U.S. dollars.

02 Arnault continues to sell bags, and Bill Gates becomes a big landlord

When Bezos and Musk fought hard for the space business, their old friend and rival, former richest man Bill Gates, expressed disdain. Gates publicly attacked these two opponents on the TV show: “Space? We have a lot to do on Earth.”

The optimistic Gates looked back on 2021 with a slightly gloomy tone. He said that after the divorce, he became an empty-nest old man and missed the days with children around: “This is a strange and disorienting experience. My personal world has never been like in the past 12 months. It feels so small.”

Billionaires' investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation (Source: AFP)

Gates said that after the divorce, his main job is still to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the Gates Foundation) with his ex-wife.

The Gates Foundation has nearly US$50 billion (approximately RMB 323.3 billion) in assets and focuses on three areas of work: eradicating hunger, fostering education, and health. Since the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the Gates Foundation has invested in 7 vaccine research projects.

Gates said this year that he has invested about US$2 billion in the development of clean technologies and is optimistic about the development potential of technologies such as green hydrogen and carbon capture.

In addition to focusing on climate change and public utilities, Gates will continue to invest in real estate in 2021.

He was exposed by the media to quietly purchase farmland all over the United States, and owned 268,984 acres (approximately 1,089 square kilometers) of farmland, making him the largest private farmland owner in the United States. Subsidiary companies said that these land plans are used to develop new types of agriculture and extend relevant experience to impoverished areas in Africa.

Gates has also invested in various luxury hotels around the world through his personal investment company Cascade. On September 8, Four Seasons Hotel Group announced that Bill Gates’ family investment office, Waterfall Investments, will pay US$2.21 billion (approximately RMB 14.3 billion) to purchase the holdings of Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal. 23.75% of Four Seasons Hotel. After the completion of the acquisition, Bill Gates will become the absolute controlling shareholder of Four Seasons Hotel.

And Gates’ old friend and “stock god” Buffett withdrew from the Gates emergency meeting this year. He continues to favor traditional consumer, financial industries, and companies with good cash flow and relatively reasonable valuations. The top ten heavyweight stocks are ranked by market capitalization. They are still Apple, Bank of America, American Express, Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz, and Mu Di, Verizon, United Bank of America, Davita Healthcare, Bank of New York Mellon.

However, Buffett has continued to widen the border in recent years and actively enter the field of new energy. For example, it cost 1 billion US dollars to build a new type of nuclear reactor with Bill Gates.

Billionaires' investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Arnault, Chairman of LVMH Group (Source: AFP)

Also concerned about “things on earth,” Arnault, chairman of the LVMH Group, ranked third. With the popularity of LV bags, Moet & Chandon champagne and Remy Martin, the sales performance of LVMH Group has increased. In January, LVMH also completed the acquisition of the well-known jewelry brand Tiffany at a price of 16.2 billion US dollars.

According to the “Financial Times” and Reuters, due to the high demand for luxury goods in the US and China, many brands under LVMH have created high sales. Revenue in the second quarter of this year reached 14.7 billion euros, 84% higher than the same period in 2020, and 14% higher than the same period in 2019 before the epidemic.

This has also led to a 30% rise in LVMH’s stock price this year, hitting an all-time high, making Arnaud’s third position on the wealth list quite stable, and even briefly topped the world’s richest man in June this year.

03 Zuckerberg: Draw a pie for the Metaverse

2021 is called the first year of the Metaverse.

The popularity of the Metaverse concept has attracted many giants at home and abroad to “enter” this field one after another, and Facebook is no exception. On October 28, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg publicly announced: “From now on, we will give priority to Metaverse, not Facebook first…In the future, we hope to be regarded as a Metaverse company.” At the same time, Facebook ( Facebook) has also been renamed Meta. Meta is derived from the word Metaverse, which means metaverse.

The concept of Metaverse originated from Neil Stephenson’s science fiction novel “Avalanche” in 1992, which refers to a digital universe that can be accessed through virtual reality. Although the concept has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until this year that Metaverse truly “out of the circle.”

Billionaires' investment method: there are artificial rockets, some people buy farmland, and some people “paint cakes” for Metaverse

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Meta (Facebook) (Source: AFP)

Zuckerberg believes that Metaverse is the next development direction of the social networking industry. People will no longer use static user profiles that can only post text comments and photos. In order to enter the Metaverse, people need to wear VR helmets or related wearable devices to superimpose the digital space on the material world, and they can also project realistic holographic images to the real world through cutting-edge projection systems.

Zuckerberg did not disclose when his company can profit from the business of Metaverse. He only said: “In the next ten years, Metaverse will benefit 1 billion people, spawn hundreds of billions of dollars worth of digital business, and countless Millions of creators and developers provide employment.”

The “pie” has been drawn, but the current technology obviously fails to meet Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse. The outside world generally believes that it will take years or even decades to be fully realized. Before that, I am afraid that it will be a large-scale burning of money.

Currently, Meta said that in 2021 alone, the company’s investment in the Metaverse project will reduce its total profit by US$10 billion.

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison, also a technology giant, made a fortune in 2021 by betting on Musk three years ago. Ellison disclosed at the end of 2018 that he had purchased $1 billion in Tesla shares. Today, as Tesla’s market value has grown, his net worth has increased by nearly $16 billion this year.

At the same time, the software industry tycoon also set his sights on the medical industry. On December 20, Oracle announced the acquisition of Cerner (Senna), an electronic medical record company, for US$95 per share in cash. The total transaction size was US$28.3 billion, which was the largest acquisition ever made by Oracle.

Ellison said: “Through cooperation, Oracle and Senna will provide medical professionals with better information technology, change health care services, and enable them to make better treatment decisions, thereby improving patient outcomes.”

The analysis believes that Oracle can enter the growing vertical market of healthcare through this transaction, and it will also help support Oracle’s fledgling cloud infrastructure business.

This article is from the WeChat public account “Times Weekly” (ID: timeweekly), author: Ma Huan

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