Stop complaining about how lousy the stock market was this year. It was great - to the tune of $US60 billion - for titans in the right industries.
Eight CEOs of companies in the Russell 1000 index, including Jeff Bezos of online retailer Amazon.com, Mark Zuckerberg of social media giant Facebook and Larry Page of online advertising firm Alphabet (the new entity created to become the parent company of Google), generated a massive $US60 billion score this year from their stock holdings, according to analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.
Turbulent 2015 ends with losses
Stocks closed out 2015 with a losing session. For the year, both the Dow and the S&P 500 lost ground. The Nasdaq rose thanks to gains in tech stocks, like Amazon and Netflix.
Each of these CEOs made $US500 million or much more - individually - from their holdings this year.
It's been a ho-hum year for most American investors - as the Standard & Poor's 500 index has inched up just 1 per cent.
Australian shares finished in the red, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index finishing the year down 2.1 per cent.
Even famed investor Warren Buffett has suffered a mighty multi-billion dollar loss on his holdings on Berkshire Hathaway.
But that boring exterior of the market has masked what's been a banner year for the ages for captains of companies in the right industries. Three of the US companies with the best performance are in the technology sector and another three are sellers of consumer discretionary items.
The biggest winner - by far - was Bezos. The CEO of Amazon.com, a retailer using technology to upend the entire industry, scored a massive $US32 billion haul this year. That's right - just one CEO claimed more than half of the total score hauled in by these eight top-winning CEOs. But that's what happens when you have a CEO, who owns 18 per cent of a company that's now worth $US325 billion after a 124 per cent rise of the stock this year.
Another huge winner is a CEO who is almost half's Bezos' age: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Zuckerberg, 31, scored $US12.5 billion in wealth this year thanks to the stock's 38 per cent increase. Zuckerberg, who owns 15 per cent of Facebook, continues to be the single-most largest owner of Facebook stock.
Alphabet, the company formerly known as Google, had an even better year than Facebook in terms of stock-price performance with a 50 per cent rise. The year's stock-price rise translated into a nice $US11.7 billion gain for CEO Page. Don't feel too bad for Page, though, as he trailed Zuckerberg's take stock-market take. Keep in mind Alphabet co-founder Sergey Brin, while not a CEO, also owns more than 42 million shares of the company's stock. That means Brin, president of Alphabet, himself scored $US11.1 billion. That brings the year-to-date stock gains of the two "Google guys" to nearly $US23 billion.
For most investors, 2015 was about as ho-hum as it can get. But it was a heck of a year for CEOs who founded some of the America's most dominant companies.
US CEOS gaining $US500 million or more on their shares this year
Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon, $US32b
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, $US12.5b
Larry Page, Alphabet, $US11.7b
Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance, $US800m
Marc Benioff, salesforce.com, $US800m
Howard Schultz, Starbucks, $US800m
Robert Sands, Constellation Brands, $US600m
Kevin Plank, Under Armour, $US500m