Here’s how much money Jeff Bezos raised selling Amazon stocks


Since Amazon’s IPO in 1997, Bezos has sold or ceded three-quarters of its Amazon shares. He now has enough money to buy just about anything in the world he wants.

For Jeff Bezos, wealth doesn’t come from a monthly salary. Amazon only pays its founder a salary of $ 81,000 per year (not counting the $ 1.6 million Amazon pays Bezos for security), a drop from his estimated overall net worth of $ 200 billion. of dollars. Instead, nearly 90% of Bezos’ fortune resides in his holdings of Amazon stocks.

This is true not only for Bezos, but also for many of America’s richest people – and it’s a big reason why they pay so little in taxes relative to their total net worth. It’s also why many tycoons, including Bezos, regularly sell stocks in the companies they run.

In total, the founder of the e-commerce giant has sold nearly $ 27 billion in Amazon stock since the company went public in 1997, Forbes calculated. The total proceeds from the sale of Bezos shares, which have not been previously reported to the best of Forbes’ knowledge, offers a glimpse of the CEO coming out of Amazon’s enormous fortune. (He will step down as CEO on July 5 but will remain executive chairman of Amazon). Since 1998, Bezos has sold Amazon shares every year, with the exception of four: 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011. This partly explains why at least two of those years – 2007 and 2011 – Bezos did not pay d ‘federal income taxes because ProPublica reported earlier this month.

A spokesperson for Bezos did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Bezos began selling part of his stake on Amazon the year after his young ecommerce business went public in 1997. Sales started at tens of millions of dollars a year: just under $ 46. million dollars in 1998, 21 million dollars in 1999, 29 dollars. million in 2000. Over the next decade, Bezos slowly sold more shares, often two to three times a year, peaking in 2010 when he unloaded a total of 6 million shares for a total before taxes of $ 793 million. But as Amazon’s stock price began to rise significantly, Bezos sold fewer stocks, but made more money each time. He sold 4 million shares, for example, in 2008 for $ 304 million. Last year he also sold 4 million shares, but because the stock had climbed more than 3,000% since 2008, he got $ 10 billion (before taxes) from the sale.

In total, Bezos’ stake in Amazon fell from 42% in 1997 to 10% after its sales this year, although the biggest blow to his ownership did not come from the offloading of shares. When the billionaire divorced in 2019, he transferred 19.7 million Amazon shares, a quarter of his then-worth $ 36 billion stake, to his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott. It was the costliest divorce in history.

So where has all this money gone, other than her ex-wife and indirectly to the nonprofits she supports? We know where Bezos spent some, but not all, of his billions.

In 2017, Bezos said he was selling around $ 1 billion in Amazon stock a year to invest in his commercial space company Blue Origin, which will take him and his brother Mark to space on his first crewed flight. next month. We don’t know how much he’s invested in the company since its inception in 2000, but it’s probably at least several billion, if not more. Bezos paid $ 250 million to buy the Washington post in 2013, which is still only a fraction of the $ 711 million in shares he sold that year.

There are also luxuries that only someone with billions at their disposal can afford. Earlier this year, Bezos bought the famous Warner Estate in Beverly Hills for a record $ 165 million from mogul David Geffen, according to the the Wall Street newspaper. (Property records list Perkins Cole, a law firm that frequently represents Amazon as a buyer). Bezos also has homes in Washington, New York, and Washington DC, as well as a sprawling ranch in Texas, all of which are worth $ 504 million. Still, it’s unclear whether he paid cash or has a mortgage on these properties. It is also spending more than $ 500 million on a bespoke 417-foot superyacht, according to Bloomberg, which will be the largest sailing ship ever built in the Netherlands when completed.

Absolutely, Forbes estimates that Bezos paid $ 6 billion in federal capital gains taxes on his nearly $ 27 billion in sales of Amazon shares, assuming he did not use the losses on other investments to offset these gains. ProPublica reported that between 2014 and 2018, Bezos paid $ 973 million in federal taxes.

Bezos has long been criticized for skimping on charitable giving and for avoiding the Giving Pledge, a pledge to give the majority of his fortune. Although he has offered Amazon stocks to charity over the years, Bezos has only recently embraced great philanthropy. Since 2018, he has pledged $ 12 billion to start his own charities. The Bezos Day One Fund, with a $ 2 billion commitment from Bezos, creates a controversial network of non-profit preschools in low-income communities and provides grants to groups helping homeless families. Last year, Bezos pledged $ 10 billion to launch the Bezos Earth Fund, which provides grants to organizations fighting climate change. The fund has so far distributed $ 791 million. Prior to 2018, Bezos gave a handful of $ 1 million freebies, including $ 33 million to TheDream.us, a nonprofit scholarship for dreamers, and $ 15 million to create the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics at Princeton University.

Absolutely, Forbes may account for roughly $ 14 billion in Bezos spending. In addition, part of his money was invested in startups. Bezos was an early investor in Google, according to Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone’s book The store of everything, although we don’t know if Bezos kept or sold his stake when the search giant went public in 2004. He also invested in his family office, Bezos Expeditions, which has invested in more than 100 companies since 2006, according to PitchBook, including Twitter, Airbnb and Uber. It is not known how much money Bezos has invested in Bezos Expeditions so far, but it is likely that he has done well with his investments. Which means it could be worth billions of dollars more than the $ 200 billion that Forbes currently fixes his net worth.

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