NEW YORK -- The booms and busts of the stock market this year didn't stop the global billionaires' club from expanding.
The group grew by 17 members to 482 and their net worth climbed by $100 billion to upwards of $1.1 trillion.
At the top of the list: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with a net worth of $60 billion. He kept the top spot in Forbes magazine's annual ranking released Thursday, despite losing a third of his personal fortune.
But the competition is closing in.
The 14th annual list of the working rich ranks Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison as the world's second-richest man with $47 billion. Last year, Ellison ranked No. 30 on the list with $9.5 billion.
That's a much tighter margin between the top two spots -- about $13 billion -- than a year ago, when Gates' $90 billion personal fortune trumped No. 2 Warren Buffett's $36 billion. This year, Buffett fell into a third place tie with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at $28 billion.
The rankings appear in the July 3 issue of Forbes, which reaches newsstands Friday.
Five of the top 10 among the working rich are 47 years old or younger. The highest-ranking working woman was American Abby Johnson of Fidelity Investments with $7.4 billion.
The magazine said stock market fluctuations were behind many of the changes in the rankings for the year 2000.
After flirting with $120 a share late last year, Microsoft dropped as low as $60 last month during the government's antitrust challenge. That stock swoon, combined with a 500 percent increase in the value of Oracle shares, occasionally pushed Ellison ahead of Gates during the spring. Gates, however, has extensive outside investments.
There was a three-way tie for the No. 5 spot: German retailers Theo and Karl Albrecht; Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, a global investor; and S. Robson Walton, whose family started Wal-Mart, at $20 billion each.
Japanese software magnate Masayoshi Son ranked No. 8 with $19.4 billion, well below his $68.5 billion peak reached in mid-February. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computer Corp., was No. 9 at $17.8 billion, followed by Canadian media magnate Kenneth Thomson of Thomson Corp. at No. 10 with $16.1 billion.
The wealth figures were estimated on the basis of share prices and foreign exchange rates as of May 22, following Wall Street's sharp retreat from record heights.
Forbes identifies the ''World's Working Rich'' as those who made their own fortune or are working with their inheritance. Their wealth also must be liquid, or easy to cash out.
In another list, Forbes ranked the estimated net worth of what it called the world's ''Kings, Queens and Dictators.'' Leading that category were Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud with $30 billion, who is third in the overall standings, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates with $23 billion, Kuwaiti Amir Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jabel Al-sabah with $18 billion and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei with $16 billion.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.