During 2020, we watched as Tesla CEO, Elon Musk’s worth increased to place him behind Jeff Bezos on the list of the world’s wealthiest. And, finally, it actually happened where Musk pipped Bezos to now take the lead as the world’s richest person. It was probably inevitable considering how the EV company’s share price has sky-rocketed over the last few months.
Tesla shares increased by 7.9%, which thrusted Musk to fly past the founder of Amazon.com Inc. on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, which ranks the top 500 richest people in the world. The Tesla boss is now worth $194.8 billion, which is $9.5 billion more than Jeff Bezos.
(Unfortunately for Jeff Bezos, he had to make a hefty payout in a huge divorce settlement of $38 billion in 2019. Had it not been for that, Musk would still be sitting in second place.)
Although the Bloomberg List is reserved for a handful of the elite, it shows just how the stock movements can overturn the rankings of individual wealth.
Musk has seen dramatic movements in his fortune this year when $165 billion was added to his personal wealth, which was unprecedented. With Tesla’s share price surging 743% at the of last year (after its 5-for-1 stock split), along with steady profits and Tesla’s S&P 500 Index inclusion, it really should come as no surprise that Musk is now sitting pretty as the world’s richest person.
If we compare Tesla shares today versus when the company went public in 2010, its stock has increased more than 23,900%. This has inflated the company’s valuation setting it light years apart from other auto manufacturers. While Tesla only produced a fraction of the volumes produced by auto giants like Ford and General Motors, the EV company still stood out on top in terms of value. It has a market valuation of $773.5 billion, which is $50 billion more than the social media company, Facebook.
Although most people on the Bloomberg Index avoid controversy as much as possible, Musk is slightly more outspoken even if its lands him in hot water. After the 2018 gaffe where he made provocative tweets that resulted in a $20 million fine to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and a sidestep as Tesla chairman, he has learned to rope in his opinions to avoid divisiveness that could hurt Tesla’s share price.
However, he has not been shy in the past moaning about being cash poor as most of his wealth was tied up in several of companies including Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company. He has also been outspoken about have little interest in owning all the material things that come with being wealthy and even went as far as to sell off his Californian properties.
Even back in 2018, Musk tweeted he wanted to use his money for the greater good:
"About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth & half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens & we destroy ourselves"
In the last 24 hours Musk humbly responded to Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley who mentioned his latest standing as the world’s richest man. And all he had to say on the matter was “How strange”, and “Well, back to work…”.
While Elon Musk doesn’t traverse the world on yachts, or buy up idyllic islands, he does have one thing in common with the super-rich. He has also jumped on the bandwagon and relocated to Texas from California to take advantage of the zero personal income tax.