What is Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth?
As you may already have heard, Jeff Bezos is now the wealthiest person on earth. He has amassed a personal fortune eclipsing even those of high net worth individuals such as legendary investor Warren Buffet and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Bezos is the ultimate success story.
With a calculated net worth of over $130 billion, Jeff Bezos is the brains behind online retail giant Amazon, which accounts for most of his wealth. Jeff Bezos’ net worth is thanks to a broad range of investments spanning from real estate to the space travel.
In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at the man himself. We will see how he makes his money, invests, and spends it.
About Jeff Bezos
To understand how Jeff Bezos’ net worth grew to be what it is today, let’s look at his early life and education.
Jeff Bezos came into the world on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His father, Ted Jorgenson, was a circus performer and a member of the troupe, who would perform at county circuses and fairs while Jeff was in his infancy.
Jeff’s mother, Jacklyn Bezos, was barely out of her teens when she met and married Ted. Their marriage lasted for just a little over a year before they divorced. She then met and married Jeff’s stepfather, Mike Bezos, who was born in Cuba.
Mike Bezos had fled to the United States at the age of 15 and worked at the University of Albuquerque. He married Jeff’s mother, and the family moved to Houston, Texas where Mike got an engineering job at an oil and gas company.
Jeff Bezos went to school in Houston at the River Oaks Elementary School. He would spend summers working at the family ranch. His grandfather was a huge role model in his life and often shared his wide-ranging knowledge of science with a young Jeff.
The family later moved to Florida, and Jeff attended Palmetto Senior High School in Miami and Princeton University. It was while here, his love for computers was born. He was an exemplary student who excelled in his studies and was an honored invitee at the Student Science Training Program at the Florida University. Bezos the tech visionary we all admire today graduated from Princeton with a major in computer science and electrical engineering.
Early Working Life
Upon graduation, he rejected job offers from blue-chip Wall Street companies such as Intel and Bell Labs to join a little known startup called Fitel. He also went on to launch a news-by-fax service company in partnership with CNET founder Halsey Minor.
After the venture failed, Bezos joined a hedge fund called D.E. Shaw rising in just four years, to become its youngest ever senior vice president. Bezos was all set for a career in Wall Street until the realization that the Internet was the future of business hit him.
The Idea of Amazon
Bezos, having quit D.E. Shaw in 1994, moved to Seattle to tap into the potential of the internet market and opened an online bookstore. Little did he know it would lead to his becoming the person with the highest net worth on the planet.
Bezos drew up a list of products he could sell on the online platform. Some of the items included software, hardware, and books. Eventually, he opted to focus on books because of the range of titles in existence.
Another plus was a US Supreme Court ruling at the time that exempted mail-order catalogs from paying taxes in states where they did not have a physical presence. In other words – the law allowed Bezos to pay zero tax for the products he sold via the Internet.
Settling on Seattle was informed by the availability of a rich pool of tech talent and innovation. Bezos developed and laid out a business plan on his laptop before reaching out to potential investors. Jeff Bezos managed to raise an initial capital of $1 million from his family and friends. With that, from the garage of his Seattle home, Amazon was born.
From an Idea to a Behemoth
The Amazon brand that is instantly recognizable anywhere in the world today started its life as Cadabra. It took a person’s mispronunciation of the name as ‘Cadaver’ to convince Bezos to reconsider a name change promptly.
Earlier name contenders were the likes of “MakeItSo” and “aard.com” which Jeff Bezos considered as a way to push up search results. Jeff and his wife Mackenzie registered and toyed with names such as Awake.com, Browse.com, and others before finally settling on Amazon.
The Amazon Business
Amazon which had humble beginnings as a bookstore, is today an e-commerce titan with the biggest net worth. Dabbling in logistics, payments, hardware, data storage, and media, Amazon has its hand in multiple industries. It is the go-to site for both online shoppers and merchants alike.
Prime, Amazon’s signature $99-a-year membership program, for example, has an estimated 80 million subscribers in the US alone. That is the equivalent of two-thirds of all American households.
At the heart of any Amazon, business decision is the interesting “flywheel” philosophy. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who borrowed the term from a business consultant and described it as a strategy in which a company cuts prices to attract clients.
He goes on to explain the concept as one that increases sales and attracts more customers, allowing the company to benefit from economies of scale. In bundling logistics and other routine costs, the company can ultimately cut prices again, spinning the flywheel anew.
Bezos took Amazon public in May 1997, bled money for the next six years, and struggled to make any profit for the decade that followed. Today, Amazon sales are over $200 Billion. The company’s stock value, along with Jeff Bezos’ net worth is a testament to his business genius.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth is also thanks to the many shrewd and timely investments he has made in various companies and sectors. In addition to significant investments in giant corporations such as Google, Uber, AirBnB, Twitter and the like, other notable ones are;
The Washington Post
Jeff Bezos acquired Washington Post Company’s flagship newspaper. The Graham family previously ran the paper for four generations. Bezos paid a reported $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth is set to increase as he is the sole owner of the famous newspaper publishing outfit.
In 2004, Bezos founded the aerospace company Blue Origin, aimed at developing new technology for commercial spaceflight. In Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos hopes to realize his long-held dream of establishing a permanent and human presence in outer space.
The company owns a campus which sits on 26 acres on the outskirts of Seattle. It also has a private rocket facility called the Blue Origin in West Texas.
Amazon’s purchase of its South Lake Union headquarters building in Seattle for $1.5 billion, cemented its place as one of city’s largest commercial property owners. Amazon has steadily acquired more than twelve buildings translating to almost 2.25 million square feet of office space and approximately 150,000 square feet of retail space.
Bezos, as an individual has substantial personal holdings in real estate. His 165,000-acre Corn Ranch in Texas is a prime example. Acquired as the operational base for his aerospace company, Blue Origin, it also serves as the test site for the vertical-landing crewed suborbital New Shepard rocket.
His real estate portfolio is impressive with investments including holdings on both the east and west coast. Bezos has not one but two multi-million dollar homes in Beverly Hills along with a stunning 11,000-square-foot apartment in the Century Tower in Manhattan.
He also has a breathtakingly beautiful property in Washington State, on which he spent a reported $28 million on sprucing up and increasing the living space by a couple of thousand square feet. Jeff Bezos is, as a result, one of the wealthiest real estate investors in the United States.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth has allowed him to be more than generous when it comes to giving back. Through the Bezos family foundation and in his private capacity, Jeff has given away hundreds of millions of dollars by way of charitable donations.
Notable beneficiaries of his charity are the Seattle Museum of History and Princeton University. TheDream.Us, an organization that provides college access to immigrant youth brought into the country as babies or young children is a recent beneficiary.
Jeff Bezos’ net worth took a hit as accepted to pay the world’s most significant divorce settlement. Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos handed over a 4% stake worth an estimated $38 Billion ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos. Following the agreement, the former Mrs. Bezos, 49, an author, became the world’s, fourth-richest woman.
Jeff Bezos net worth and life story show that he achieved tremendous success thanks to trusting his instincts, working hard, and reinvesting his earnings. His distinctive leadership qualities and work ethic are admirable. We hope the story of Jeff Bezos, his journey on Amazon and his Blue Origin dream will inspire you too.