Think the billionaires list compiled by Forbes magazine each year was lofty territory already? Apparently not. This year’s list, the 25th in succession, broke two new records, according to the magazine. It found that in 2011 not only were there more billionaires than ever (there are 1,210), but their combined wealth, at $4.5 trillion, adds up to more than the GDP of Germany—which, by the way, was one of only six countries that had fewer billionaires this year than last.
Bill Gates (left), alas, no longer resides at the top of the heap. He literally gave away that position through philanthropy, as previously reported by AdvisorOne.com. Instead that slot has been taken by Carlos Slim Helú of Mexico, whose fortune has grown instead of shrunk. Where Gates gave away $28 billion, nearly a third of his former wealth (he would have been worth $88 billion this year if not for his generous spirit; as it is, he’s only got $49 billion left), Slim Helú has grown his net worth by $20.5 billion to come in at $74 billion.