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World’s wealthiest people made $320 billion in 2016

Warren Buffett (No. 2) and Bill Gates (No. 1) take the top spots among the world's wealthiest. Monica Schipper/WireImage

The world’s wealthiest 500 people will celebrate New Year’s Eve a staggering $320 billion (US $237 billion) richer than when 2016 began.

Despite a volatile year, which saw the Brexit vote and the U.S. election upend both sides of the pond, billionaires were able to ride out any storm, according to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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U.S. billionaires cashed in after Donald Trump’s win, as markets rallied on hopes of eased regulations, to the benefit of American industry, Bloomberg noted.

By sector, Energy, metals and mining billionaires came out on top, adding more wealth than any other sector.

Technology fortunes saw the second-largest gains this year: Bloomberg estimated that 55 billionaires added $50 billion to their worth in 2016.

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The five wealthiest people in the world as of Dec. 29:

 

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Buffett made the biggest jump this year, increasing his worth by more than $11 billion.

According to Forbesbillionaire tracker, 2016 saw 1,180 billionaires globally, with an aggregate net worth of US $6.5 trillion.

The good news — a number of the world’s wealthiest are known to be very generous.

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Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has made philanthropy his full time job since 2006. He’s already donated more than $28 billion to various causes, with a focus on health, education and economic development in developing countries.

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Buffett has donated billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to improve the lives of people in more than 100 countries.

Gates and Buffett created the Giving Pledge in 2010, which challenges the billionaires to donate at least half their cash to charity. Facebook guru Zuckerberg is among the wealthy to sign on.

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