Zuckerberg may be the richest 20-something ever

The speed of wealth creation today -- along with the scale -- has never been greater.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 30, 2014 4:19PM
Credit: © Steve Jennings/Getty Images for MerchantCantos

Caption: Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergBy Robert Frank, CNBC

Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) is making Bill Gates and the Google guys look like laggards.

With Facebook's (FB) huge run-up Thursday, Zuckerberg's wealth has shot up by more than $3 billion to $29.7 billion, according to Wealth-X. That's up from a net worth of $20 billion that he hit at Facebook's IPO in 2012. 

And his net worth has nearly tripled since those dark days of Facebook's post-IPO depression, when Zuckerberg was down to his last $10 billion.

Sure there are plenty of people who are richer than Zuckerberg, including the Google (GOOG) guys, who are both worth more than $30 billion. And Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are still the overlords of tech wealth, with $75 billion and $42 billion respectively, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

But Zuckerberg may be the richest 29-year-old American ever -- even adjusted for inflation.

We don't know exactly what Gates was worth in 1984, when he was 29. But in March of 1986, when Microsoft (MSFT) went public, Gates' shares had a public value of around $234 million. Not bad for a 30-year-old. But in today's dollars, that would be around $500 million --not even enough to make the Forbes list. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

As for the Google guys, they weren't official billionaires until 2004. Larry Page and Sergey Brin debuted on the Forbes list that year with $1 billion each. By that time, both Page and Brin were 30.

Of course, after the Google IPO that same year, they soared well past $1 billion each.

As for Ellison, the first reports of his net worth started appearing in the late 1980s, when he was in his 40s and his net worth was put at around $400 million to $500 million.

Granted, there may be some inheritors throughout American history who may have -- on an inflation-adjusted basis -- been into the billions. But even John D. Rockefeller, Howard Hughes, the Astors and Waltons didn't have fortunes in their 20s equal to $29 billion today.

It proves once again that the speed of wealth creation today -- along with the scale -- has never been greater. Someday, perhaps another 20-something will even surpass Zuckerberg's record.

Jan 30, 2014 10:32PM
Zuckerberg --- getting rich selling our privacy. His name should be a verb.... when someone steals your info.... you get Zuckerberged. He can go Zuck himself..lol
Jan 30, 2014 10:46PM
I am glad I don't do or like Facebook. Thank God, I have a life!
Jan 30, 2014 10:32PM
Facebook is lame. Anyone who would buy that stock is foolish. Only person ever to make money on that crap has been Mark Z. He is laughing all the way to the bank while the rest of the investors are clinging on to false hopes.
Jan 30, 2014 11:29PM
Mark will leave with exactly as much as the rest of us, nothing.  Good for him, don't berate him for having an idea.  Don't be envious of him either. Be content with what you have.
Jan 30, 2014 10:44PM
Jan 30, 2014 8:01PM
Jan 30, 2014 8:18PM
Just one of the 85 who have more money than the other half of the planet combined.  
Jan 30, 2014 10:48PM

The guy is a greedy putz, he screwed his own college friends.

Payback at some point is his karma. No integrity or honor. 

Jan 30, 2014 10:25PM
Guess what? Do you really want to be mad? He did it all with the idiot moronic publics help. Called the USERS Dumb MFERS Yes! Mother Fers! Then sold your info too the Government and Private Companies.

Take a bow; some of you reading this have Facebook Pages! Grat's you all complain about the 85 people; but you dumb Animals contribute to the problem. You have no right to complain if your complicit in the Acts. 

You don't inform people;and you just go along and get along. Just wait till they unleash some plague; you will go along with that... 
Jan 30, 2014 10:37PM
He is such a liberal why don't he take 10 billion and help the poor...directly..instead of going thru fraudulent agencies....they are all talk and you people are the suckers.
Jan 30, 2014 10:58PM
Zuckerberg built his company on the backs of other men and women who pioneered the computer industry. It has been credibly predicted that Facebook's meteoric conquests have already reached their zenith and that all that company can do now is to figure out new ways to invade the privacy of its membership and their unsuspecting contacts.
Jan 30, 2014 11:07PM
The best part of this is...I don't subscibe to ****Book or Twatter. So I'm not one of the lose...people contributing to his billions. Suckers...
Jan 30, 2014 10:37PM
Sooo this is a bad thing? I hate his politics because he is on board with the elitists who would sooner slit his throat out of socialist jealousy than learn how he did it.
Good on anyone and everyone that can earn, employ and provide a service in life. Cursed are those who do not understand some are smarter than others, some have ideas far greater than any of the limited brainless who follow the class warfare agenda with relish. Given the wealth they would, due to a stunted mentality, end up broke in a very short time.

Jan 30, 2014 10:42PM
Everybody is dreaming this is not sustainable even Stevie Wonder can see that
Jan 30, 2014 10:51PM
It wasn't too long ago when writers in these comments were posting Facebook's demise; the tanking of the stock, etc., etc.  At $61 a share I guess he's getting the last laugh, and some investors have probably doubled their money.
Jan 30, 2014 10:27PM
cotton top, that's the problem, its a game to these people. Buffet keeps making more not because he needs it but he wants to see how much money he can make (earn?) in his life time.
Jan 30, 2014 10:53PM
I thought you had to have a good idea for a business, guess not.
Jan 30, 2014 4:39PM
How can 1984  $234 million be worth only $500 milion in 2014 the writer is asleep
Jan 30, 2014 6:32PM
"The speed of wealth creation today -- along with the scale -- has never been greater."

Hey Robert Frank, try reading a little history first, before making such a ridiculous statement.

Jan 31, 2014 12:16AM
Please ..please , please republicans...cut some more food stamp money from children so billionaires like Zuckerberg won't starve...they need all the tax breaks to survive.....starve a child...save a billionaire....
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