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Billionaires Lose Big in Market Turmoil

Alibaba's Jack Ma is now $2 billion poorer than he was last month. He's down to his last $23 billion.

Alibaba's Jack Ma is now $2 billion poorer than he was last month. He's down to his last $23 billion. Getty Images

Jack Ma is now $2 billion poorer than he was last month. He's down to his last $23 billion.

Rich company founders and shareholders benefited from the market's rally to record highs in September, but its free fall this week has shaved billions from their fortunes, showing just how exposed today's rich have become to wild market swings.

Although you certainly shouldn't shed a tear for them—retirees, pension funds and everyday investors feel the relative pain of market falls far more—here are just a few of the biggest wealth losers in the market's fall, based off Thursday's opening prices.

Here are just a few of the biggest wealth losers in the market's fall, based off Thursday's opening prices.

It's worth noting, of course, that their assets are for more complex than just these stock holdings.

Harold Hamm: The CEO of Continental Resources may be battling his ex-wife in court over a hefty possible divorce payout, but the market fall has proved just as damaging. With Contintental's share price falling by a third since hitting an all-time high in early September, Hamm's personal stake in the company is down by more than $3.5 billion, bringing his total fortune to around $16 billion.

Jack Ma: The Alibaba founder saw his fortune soar to more than $25 billion with the initial public offering of Alibaba in September. Since then, the value of his shares has fallen by $2 billion. He's still the richest man in China, but it now looks like his company's IPO could mark the euphoric peak of the market this year.

Nick Woodman: The founder of GoPro might want to hook a GoPro to his net worth, since it's been jumping and falling more than a motocross racer. The company's IPO made him a billionaire, and his net worth shot up to more than $4.8 billion as the stock tripled over the following months. But over the past couple of weeks, shares have fallen back toward $70, cutting Woodman's fortune back to a little more than $3 billion. That includes his gift of 5.8 million shares to charity—a well-timed move for his tax writeoff, since it was announced when the stock was close to its high of $98.47.

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Reed Hastings: The Netflix CEO is no stranger to sudden wealth loss. Hastings saw the value of his Netflix stake fall by 75 percent in 2011, to $217 million, when the stock price plunged. After last night's disappointing earnings results, the stock was down about one-third at the market's open, compared to its top in September. That means Hastings has lost his billionaire status (at least on paper), as his stake in the company went from $1.2 billion to around $800 million. Hastings, of course, has been selling shares regularly throughout the company's history, so he's got a good safety stash.

Carl Icahn got hit in the collateral damage of Netflix as well, losing $200 million on paper overnight. Luckily for him, he sold off a good portion of his Netflix stake last year.