15 people who became billionaires in 2019 - and 14 who lost their status in the three-comma club
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- A proliferation of IPOs created several new billionaires in 2019 - but a turbulent stock market also knocked many entrepreneurs out of the three-comma club.
- Several one-time billionaires (including Juul cofounders Adam Bowen and James Monsees) saw their net worths drop because of company crises.
- A few noteworthy newly-minted millionaires this year hail from the entertainment industry, including Kylie Jenner and Jay-Z.
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Not everyone who becomes a billionaire stays one.
Last year was not an easy year to be a billionaire, Business Insider previously reported. 2018 was the first time in seven years that high net worth individuals saw their fortunes shrink, according to French technology consulting firm Capgemini. Billionaires across the globe lost 7% of their collective net worth in 2018 due to market instability at the end of the year, Wealth-X also found in its 2019 Billionaire Census. Slowing economic growth across the globe and trade tensions also contributed to the wealth drop, according to Wealth-X.
Keep reading to learn more about the people who became billionaires - and those who lost their billionaire status - in 2019.
Social media and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner made headlines when she was declared "the world's youngest self-made billionaire" by Forbes in March.
Proactiv founders Katie Ronan and Kathy Fields were also declared billionaires by Forbes in March.
Zoom's stock soared in the video-conferencing company's public trading debut in April, making CEO Eric Yuan a billionaire.
Jay-Z became "hip-hop's first billionaire" in June, according to Forbes.
Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield was also declared a billionaire in June, after the workplace messaging app's direct listing.
The launch of a new tech-focused stock market in China minted three billionaires in a single day in July.
SmileDirectClub founders Jordan Katzman and Alex Fenkell became two of the youngest billionaires in the US in September after the company's IPO.
A 24-year-old Wharton graduate who has posted photos of himself partying with Rihanna and Bella Hadid became a billionaire on October 23, thanks to a generous "gift" from his parents.
Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz is one of only a few people to become a billionaire from a company she did not found.
Early Uber employee Ryan Graves was added to Forbes' Billionaires List this year.
Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss became a billionaire in March, when Forbes estimated his net worth to be $1.3 billion.
Juul cofounders Adam Bowen and James Monsees had short-lived tenures as billionaires.
Forever 21's cofounders lost their billionaire status in July — just three months before the fast-fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy in September.
WeWork founder Adam Neumann's net worth plummeted $3.5 billion in just seven months.
WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey also lost his membership in the three comma club between March and October.
RyanAir's falling stock price knocked CEO Michael O'Leary off Forbes' Billionaires List in March.
Four heirs to the Barilla pasta fortune also dropped off Forbes' Billionaires List in March.
Isaac Larian, the CEO of Little Tikes and Bratz dolls maker MGA Entertainment, was also kicked off of Forbes' list.
An heiress to Krispy Kreme-owner JAB Holdings may no longer be a billionaire, but she's still the richest person in New Hampshire, according to Forbes.
Money manager Charles Brandes fell off Forbes' Billionaires list in March.
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