That's rich: Gates tops Forbes list once again

Microsoft's leader brings home the gold medal for the 11th year running. Google's founders aren't doing too badly, either.

Bill Gates may not have had much of a pay raise this year, but he did manage to add $2 billion to his fortune, bringing the total to $48 billion and keeping him on top of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

Here's to your wealth
Bill Gates leads the Forbes list of the richest 400 Americans, but he's got company from the tech ranks.
Bill Gates
Paul Allen
Vulcan Ventures
Michael Dell
Larry Ellison
Pierre Omidyar
Jeff Bezos
Sergey Brin
Larry Page
Gordon Moore
And while being a billionaire isn't as prestigious as it used to be--there are 313 on the list this year, compared with 262 last year--Gates is a couple of lengths ahead of his nearest competitor, the legendary "Sage of Omaha" investor Warren Buffett, who has $41 billion. And Gates is half the track ahead of No. 3 Paul Allen, who sits on a mere $20 billion, after dropping $2 billion since last year.

This is the 11th year that Gates has topped the Forbes list.

Once you strip out the five Waltons, the offspring of the founder of Wal-Mart Stores, each of whom is reckoned to be worth $18 billion, the next two people on the list are also high tech. Michael Dell comes in at No. 9 with $14.2 billion, and Larry Ellison rounds out the top 10 with $13.7 billion.

Ellison's standing, in particular, is lower than expected. Last year, he was believed to be worth the same as a Walton, $18 billion, but the decline of Oracle stock has brought down his net worth.

The new boys on the block, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, appear on the list for the first time, sharing the 43rd spot with $4 billion each. The youngest on the list, they are behind the long-established Jeff Bezos of, who holds the No. 38 spot with $4.3 billion.

The total net worth of the richest 400 Americans topped $1 trillion for the first time since the height of the dot-com boom four years ago.

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it would keep both Gates' and Ballmer's pay almost static at just over $900,000 apiece.

Ron Coates of reported from London.

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