Asked nearly two years ago what he might do with his considerable wealth, the world’s richest person Jeff Bezos said “space travel” was his only option.
“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” the Amazon founder said, adding that he was “liquidating” about $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to fund his space business, Blue Origin. “That is basically it.”
But space travel might not be enough for Bezos these days. Over the past week, he unloaded roughly $4 billion of stock as Amazon’s market cap closed above $1 trillion for the first time, Bloomberg reported. That brings Bezos’s total stock sales to more than $14 billion, mostly over the past four years. His net worth is estimated at $127 billion, or roughly 2 million times the median US household income.
What to do with all that wealth? Even with $1 billion or so into Blue Origin a year, Bezos is still positively swimming in cash. So the ultimate billionaire is figuring out new ways to deploy some of those financial resources.
For instance, property. Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez are reportedly mega-mansion hunting in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, and considering a 40,000-sq-ft property listed for $225 million. Last year, Bezos bought three condos in Manhattan for a combined $80 million a few months after Amazon backed out of its deal for a second headquarters with New York City.
Also, art. According to an art dealer’s newsletter, Bezos bought two works of art last November: Hurting the Word Radio #2 by Ed Ruscha at Christie’s for $52.5 million and Vignette 19 by Kerry James Marshall at Sotheby’s for $18.5 million.
Of course, with the stock he liquified just last week, Bezos could invest $1 billion into Blue Origin for the year, buy four $225 million mega-mansions, 20 more works of art averaging $50 million each, and still have more than $1 billion to spare. How else could a man so rich possibly convert those Amazon winnings? There’s philanthropy: Bezos committed $2 billion to his own foundation in 2018, then just 1.3% of his net worth. But he remains notably absent from the list of billionaires who have signed the Giving Pledge to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Update: This post was updated to include details of Bezos’s commitment to his own philanthropic venture.