For 23rd straight year Bill Gates continues to be richest American

Wednesday, Oct 5, 2016,12:58 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New York | Bill Gates retains the top spot with a net worth of USD 81 billion on Forbes’ annual list of the richest 400 Americans. He has headed the list for 23 straight years, Forbes said.

The billionaires on the 2016 ranking have a record-breaking, combined total net worth of USD 2.4 trillion, up from USD 2.34 trillion in 2015. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member hit USD 6 billion, also a record high, said Forbes.

It seems running for president is hurting Donald Trump’s finances big time. The Republican nominee’s fortune fell USD 800 million last year sending him tumbling 35 spots on a list of richest Americans, Forbes said Tuesday.

The business magazine said the New York real estate mogul is worth USD 3.7 billion — down from an estimated USD 4.5 billion in March — and just over a third of the USD 10 billion that Trump has bragged of amassing.

Trump, who has made his fabulous wealth a key selling point in his bid for the White House, plummeted to number 156 on Forbes’ annual list of the richest 400 Americans.

It is more bad news for the Republican as his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton pulls ahead in the polls after winning last week’s first presidential debate.

“A softening of New York City’s real estate market, particularly in retail and office, where valuations are trending down, has diminished his estimated net worth,” Forbes wrote.

Of 28 Trump assets scrutinized by the magazine, Forbes said 18 fell in value, including his Trump Tower headquarters on New York’s Fifth Avenue and Mar-a-Lago, his beachfront club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump poured USD 7 million into his campaign and loaned the campaign an additional USD 48 million, which he is unlikely to get back, the magazine added.

He did just one real estate deal this year, buying a warehouse in Charleston, South Carolina that was in foreclosure, Forbes said.

In a further dig at the most loathed US presidential candidate in modern times, Forbes chose this year to highlight immigrant success stories and said a record 42 naturalized Americans made this year’s annual list.

Immigrants account for 10.5 percent of the list, whereas naturalised citizens make up only six percent of the population, Forbes said. Those on the list come from 21 countries, led by Israel, India, Hungary and Taiwan.

Trump has made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, promising to build a wall on the southern US border with Mexico and threatening to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

Fellow New York billionaire and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, who mulled for months whether to run for president in 2016, was number six on the list.

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