Australia’s wealthiest gain $8.5 billion

New analysis has shown that the top 10 members of BRW’s Rich List have increased their wealth by $8.5 billion since late in May, with billionaire James Packer overtaking Westfield Group  (ASX: WDC) Chairman Frank Lowy as Australia’s second richest person.

Whilst mining magnate Gina Rinehart retained the top position with her $23.5 billion fortune, Packer climbed from third position to second – which can largely be attributed to the strong performance of his gaming and leisure empire, Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN), over the past six months. Westfield’s shares on the other hand have struggled against the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) with challenging conditions still facing the retail sector.

Fortescue Metals Group’s (ASX: FMG) Andrew Forrest experienced a $1.8 billion gain since June – the largest gain out of any of the top 10 members – with shares in his company soaring amidst renewed confidence in the iron ore mining sector. He moved from ninth position on the rich list to seventh.

Making his first appearance within the top 10 was Ramsay Health Care’s (ASX: RHC) Paul Ramsay, who climbed from eleventh spot to tenth as his wealth grew by $400 million to $3.1 billion. Shares in RHC have risen 17% since the beginning of May.

Foolish takeaway

The share market is currently sitting around its highest level in five years, which has largely contributed to the gains experienced by the nation’s wealthiest members. However, there are still gains to be made, if you know where to look.

Our top dividend idea

If you are looking for some stock ideas to add to your portfolio today, look no further than our #1 dividend-paying stock. Discover The Motley Fool's favourite income idea for 2013-2014 in our brand-new, FREE research report, including a full investment analysis! Simply click here for your FREE copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Dividend Stock for 2013-2014."

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.