Gates stays atop Forbes list of America’s richest

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates is still America’s richest man, taking the top spot in the Forbes 400 list for the 20th-straight year with a net worth of $72 billion.

Investor Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., remains in second place with $58.5 billion, while Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison stays third with $41 billion.

Brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries Inc., stay tied for fourth with $36 billion each.

Forbes says America’s super rich continued to increase their wealth over the past year, with the 400 people on the annual list posting a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago. That marks their highest combined value ever.  Forbes attributed the growth to strong stock and real estate markets.

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