Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim speaks during news conference at the Soumaya museum in Mexico City. Forbes magazine says Monday, March 4, 2013, that Mexico's Carlos Slim remains the world's richest man for the fourth year in a row, while Warren Buffett dropped out of the top three for the first time since 2000.
It was a record-setting year for the billionaire club.
Forbes' 2013 list of billionaires was published on Monday and it includes a record 1,426 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion. There are 210 new people who made the list with fortunes that reached 10 figures in the last 12 months.
The United States once again led with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia's 386. Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East & Africa (103), round out the regions with the most numbers of the super rich.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates came in second to Mexico's telecom mogul Carlos Slim who has held the lead since 2010. And while Spain faces crippling unemployment and a shrinking economy, their richest billionaire Amancio Ortego of retailer Zara made the list at No. 3 for the first time.
Warren Buffett came in at No. 4, which marks the first year since 2000 that the investment tycoon did not make the top three. He is, however, the year's biggest gainer, adding $19.5 billion to his fortune. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made headlines last month when it announced that it will buy Heinz Ketchup for $23.3 billion.
New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg made the list at lucky No. 13. The businessman-turned-politician's fortune increased by $5 billion in 2012 to $27 billion.
Miami Heat owner and CEO of cruise operator Carnival Corp. Micky Arison made a surprise appearance on the list at No. 211. Arison made Forbes Magazine's five biggest money-losers in 2011 as he lost $1.3 billion due to the declining stock price of Carnival Corp. and losses from the NBA lockout.
Carnival also made headlines when the Costa Concordia ran aground in 2012 and more recently when their Triumph cruise ship caught fire and left passengers stranded at sea for five days.
The list also has its share of critics. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, No. 26, wanted to be removed from the list citing a flawed and biased valuation against Middle Eastern businesses, according to Reuters.
Mayor Bloomberg is also not a big fan.
“Look, the numbers in these things are always suspect,” Bloomberg told a New York Post reporter. “And I never liked any of these lists.”
This is the 27th year that Forbes has published the billionaires list. They compile net worths by evaluating individual assets including "stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash–and account for debt," according to their website.