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Bill Gates would be world’s richest person 2011 in Forbes magazine if he wasn’t so charitable

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The Daily News | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]


Bill Gates won’t be the world’s richest man when Forbes magazine releases its 2011 billionaires list on Wednesday. But he might be one of the most generous.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu is expected to pass Gates again after the Microsoft founder poured $28 billion into his philanthropic foundation.

Gates lost the richest man title to Slim last year by half a billion dollars after donating roughly one-third of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was only the second time since 1995 that Gates lost his crown.

Experts said Gates easily would have won first place this year if he weren’t so charitable.

“It wouldn’t be a competition,” said David Lincoln, the director of global valuations at wealth research company Wealth-X. ” would have had a comfortable margin if he had never discovered philanthropy.”

If Gates never gave any of his money away, he’d be worth $88 billion, Lincoln said.

Gates, 55, is currently worth about $49 billion, while Slim’s fortune is about $60 billion. Philanthropist Warren Buffett is worth about $47 billion.

Gates, Slim and Buffett are still expected to be the world’s three richest people.

Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani came in fourth place last year, though with a sizable $18 billion separating him and Buffett.

Gates and Buffett have been encouraging other billionaires to publicly promise to give away at least 50% of their wealth during their lifetimes or upon their death as part of a campaign called The Giving Pledge.

With News Wire Services

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