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According to the SEC filings, the sale was a part of a so-called 10b5-1 trading plan. Within the plan, Amazon shares are automatically sold at pre-determined dates to avoid any perception of trading on insider knowledge.
This week, the world’s richest man and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has sold over $3 billion in AMZN shares. According to the filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compiled by OpenInsider, in February 2020, Bezos sold $4.1 billion in Amazon shares. In August 2020, the sale totaled $3.1 billion. And this week’s deal has brought the total cash out in 2020 to over $10.2 billion. In contrast, last year, this amount was only $2.8 billion.
After the latest sale, Jeff Bezos still remains the most affluent man in the world, with 53 million shares that worth nearly $170 billion. His current net worth totals $190.6 billion. According to the SEC filings, the 2020 sales were part of a so-called 10b5-1 trading plan. Within the plan, Amazon shares are automatically sold at pre-determined dates to avoid any perception of trading on insider knowledge.
Notably, Amazon stock has been one of the most prominent beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with the beginning of the year, Amazon shares have soared by 70%. In January, AMZN stock price was around $1,900 per share, while on November 4, Amazon shares closed at $3,241.16.
Previously, Jeff Bezos said about selling $1 billion in Amazon shares each year to fund his rocket start-up. Called Blue Origin, the company aims to make access to space cheaper and more reliable through reusable launch vehicles. In February, Bezos also launched a $10 billion Earth Fund to combat the effects of climate change. The fund provides grants to scientists, activists, and other organizations. It is expected to give $100 million each to the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as the World Wildlife Fund.
With His Amazon Shares Jeff Bezos Becomes Richer despite the Pandemic
Jeff Bezos first became the richest person in the world in 2017 when he first briefly surpassed Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) founder Bill Gates. Then, Bezos dropped back to the second position. However, he soon reclaimed the top spot and by January 2018, eclipsed Gates’ previous wealth record with a net worth of $105.1 billion.
The pandemic that broke out in early 2020 has not undermined Bezos’ leadership in Forbes rating. On the contrary, coronavirus has even helped the billionaire’s capital grow. With Amazon consumers getting stuck at home, their reliance on the e-commerce giant has significantly increased. And while the pandemic brought the global economy to a near standstill, Bezos, as well as his rich peers, has been doing just fine. In 2020 so far, Jeff Bezos has managed to add almost $24 billion to his fortune.