Forbes and Fortune Lists Mostly Underestimate Billionaire Wealth

Forbes and Fortune lists the wealth of the world’s billionaires but they can mainly track the ownership in public companies or widely publicized holdings in disclosure documents.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and founder of Palantir, was able to turn $2000 in a Roth IRA into $5 billion. Thiel purchased some of his Paypal founder shares in his Roth IRA. In 2002, EBay purchased Paypal and Thiel’s Roth IRA was worth $28.5 million. This was about half of Thiel’s $55 million share in Paypal. Thiel has invested in many startups and turned the Roth into $5 billion in value. This was only half of Thiel’s wealth in 2002. Thiel likely has over $10 billion in net worth. The Forbes and Fortune billionaire lists have Thiel at $4.9 billion in net worth.

Bill Hwang is famous for losing $10-20 billion with his Archegos Capital fund. Bill Hwang never appeared on the Billionaire lists.

In 2012, Bill Hwang closed his Tiger Asia hedge fund and had about $500 million. Bill then had 7 years of very successful trading to build up his net worth. Bill bought a lot of Netflix. He used total return swaps and other derivatives.

Bill has huge ups and downs. He was down big after the 2007-2008 crisis.

Nextbigfuture believes that although Bill and his fund lost a lot of money with his recent bet that Bill likely has other funds that still make him wealthy and able to rebuild his fortune.

Forbes and Fortune are only able to see the publicly exposed top of the iceberg of billionaire wealth and some billionaires are completely submerged and invisible to Forbes and Fortune.

SOURCES- Propublica, Forbes, Fortune
Written By Brian Wang,

8 thoughts on “Forbes and Fortune Lists Mostly Underestimate Billionaire Wealth”

  1. Your photo shows an unstable iceberg.
    In real life, it would be horizontal, with ninety percent below the surface.

  2. Not always. Perhaps the last century or so. Feudal wealth was mostly in land, and it was obvious who controlled any given piece. What drove people to hide their wealth was taxes getting to significant levels to feed central governments. Prior to that you had the heirs of the Vanderbilt railroad and shipping fortune building literal castles to flaunt their wealth.

  3. That exposure in Panama revealed Putin had funds there. It was estimated at the time he had over 200 billion in "personal" funds cached around the world. Who knows how much he could have stolen since.

    My theory is he has a strong suspicion he may have to leave the country some day, and is doing his best to find a place they can't extradite him from (that will take a lot of money by itself), and is constantly at work making it nearly impossible to ever find or reclaim his ill-gotten gains should he lose power.

  4. I think that is always the case. Wealth of the richest of the rich is always mostly hidden. Shell companies. Offshore accounts. It is the way it has always been.

  5. This hidden world goes into the soul, which is divided at birth by repression of trauma, often anoxia. The perfect crime when successful, repression hides in plain sight. Power plus money is as bad as power plus gods. But, ALL three!

  6. … And that's before looking into companies we don't know exist, the technology they gained access to and the control that they have on our life.

  7. only the billionares with publicly traded companies can be tracked easily. most dynastical wealth is oh so dark

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