In the money

He may live in a fairly modest house and wear crappy clothes, but don't be fooled - Mark Zuckerberg is really, really, really rich.

How rich? Well, Facebook isn't listed on a proper stock exchange, so it can be hard to figure out exactly how much his stock in the company he founded is worth. But what's certain is that it's worth a lot more now than a week ago. Facebook just issued some new, privately-traded shares and the sale estimated the total value of the company at $50 billion. That would make Zuckerberg's shares - believed to be around a third of the total - worth over $10 billion.

What's more, that fortune could be about to translate from shares to cold, hard cash. Facebook quietly mentioned this week that it expects to start making regulatory filings to America's SEC next April. Why would it start doing that? Usually it's because a company is 'going public', that is, floating its shares on a stock exchange. Google's IPO made its founders mega-rich, and Facebook's would likely be even bigger. Plus it would enable you or I to buy Facebook shares, and then feel like when we were messing about thinking of hilarious comments for our friends' status updates we were working and building a fortune...

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