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An AP story notes that as he has for the past decade, Steve Jobs continues to take a $1 salary from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with his compensation in stock. While that worked well in previous years, in 2008 that didn’t work so well as Apple (like the rest of the market) tanked.

AP says Jobs’ holdings of Apple shares went from more than $1b to about $500m in 2008. In addition, his 7.3% stake in Disney (NYSE:DIS) (from the sale of Pixar) fell “more than $1 billion” to $3.2b. Overall, the approximate numbers suggest a drop in net worth of $1.5 billion in 2008 — not enough to kill himself over (as he appears to be fighting for his life).

In the Forbes 2008 rankings of billionaires, his total wealth was estimated at $5.7b, #61 on the list. However, that was based on stock holdings as of Feb. 11, 2008 when Apple stock was at $129.45, about 35% below where it began 2008. Disney stock, on the other hand, bounced back and forth within a ± 8% trading range most of the year until Oct. 1, when (like other stocks) the bottom fell out. Of course, both AAPL and DIS have another month to bounce back before Forbes freezes its calculations for the 2009 rankings.

Source: Steve Jobs' Shrinking Billions