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Forbes tally grows to 1,226 billionaires

NEW YORK -- One made the list on the strength of girdle sales, another powered by electric sports cars. Still others lost billions or fell off the list altogether thanks to the weak global economy and the gyrations of financial markets.

Forbes magazine released its annual tally of billionaires on Wednesday, reporting that a record 1,226 people around the globe have a net worth in the 10 digits. That's up 1 percent from last year's total.

But it wasn't an easy year for the super-rich -- about 441 list members lost wealth during the year, nearly equal to the 461 who expanded their fortunes. And only a fraction, 180, held steady, according to the magazine.

The group's total combined net worth is up 2 percent at $4.6 trillion. The average worth of a list member is $3.7 billion.

The top of the list contains many of the same names from recent years.

Carlos Slim of Mexico remained the world's richest man for the third year in a row with a $69 billion fortune, down $5 billion from last year. Forbes attributed the drop in Slim's fortune to the decline in share prices for cell phone carrier America Movil, his largest holding.

Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. came in second at $61 billion, up $5 billion as his company's shares hit a 10-year high. And Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway came in at third place with a $44 billion fortune, down $6 billion.

In fourth was Bernard Arnault of LVMH Moet Hennessy at $41 billion and fifth was Armancio Ortega of Zara International at $37.5 billion.

In the Bay Area, Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. was the richest at $36 billion.

There were a number of new faces on the list as well. Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and founder of Tesla Motors, joined the list as the world's 634th richest person as the value of stock in his electric car company rose. The widow of Apple's Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, took his spot on the list.


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