Who would have thought that one day, a South African engineer by the names of Elon Reeve Musk would grow to become the world’s richest men with a net worth of $188.5 billion beating Amazon founder Jeff Bezos? Well, that’s no longer a dream anymore.
Elon Musk was confirmed as the world’s richest at 10:15 a.m. in New York City yesterday, beating Bezos by $1.5 billion, who has ranked first since October 2017. As the CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX).
Over the past year, Elon’s net worth has grown by more than $150 billion, making it the fastest growth in wealth in history so far. The rise was fueled by an unprecedented rally in Tesla’s stock, which surged 743% last year on solid earnings, S&P 500 listing, and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors.
Elon Musk took the lead, flying past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg. The title was given to the engineer due to 6% rise in Tesla (TSLA) shares early Thursday lifted the value of the company’s stock holdings and options by $10 billion, taking his net worth to about $191 billion.
As for Amazon (AMZN), Bezo’s was able to gain a modest rise of less than 2% lifting his company’s shares by about $3 billion, putting his net worth at $187 billion.
According to CNN, Bloomberg’s real-time billionaire tracker still has Bezos about $3 billion ahead of Musk. But the tracker doesn’t update until the end of the trading day. Bloomberg posted an article confirming Musk’s title hours ago as the world’s richest. Meanwhile, Bill Gates is now in the third position at $132 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Other trackers such as the one of Forbes still has Musk and Bezos $18 billion apart as of the close of trading Wednesday, after Bezos lost $4.3 billion in the value of his Amazon (AMZN) stock.
The sudden rise of Elon Musk to the top spot was due to the gain in Tesla (TSLA) shares on Wednesday that lifted his net worth by $4.1 billion to $165.4 billion, according to Forbes’ calculations. However, Forbes didn’t the SpaceX CEO credit for the value of options he received in 2020 to buy an additional 33.6 million shares of Tesla.
Musk is also the primary shareholder and CEO of SpaceX, though SpaceX is privately held, so its value does not fluctuate as much as the value of Tesla.
The reason behind Bezos’ rise to the top spot recently was after the Amazon shares increased by $75 billion in 2020, to $173.3 billion, which was attributed to the increase in sales driven by the Covid-19 pandemic since many people staying indoors due to strict lockdowns.
Elon Musk takes the top spot for the richest man in the world
On Thursday, a Twitter account called ‘Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley’ shared the news to the 49-year-old South African businessman becoming the world’s richest person and earned a wry response from Mr Musk himself.
“How strange,” Elon Musk responded, and followed it up by saying, “Well, back to work …”
“About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth & half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure the continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 (World War 3) happens & we destroy ourselves,” Elon Musk said in a tweet from 2018.
Elon’s rise isn’t just a miracle, he already owns 170 million shares of Tesla which increased in value by $106 billion during 2020, as shares shot up 743% during the course of the year. The value of the stock options he held at the start of the year increased by $14.2 billion, while the new options he received during the course of the year as part of his pay package had a value of $21.5 billion at year’s end.
It was in November when Musk dethroned Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person. Apart from that, Tesla shares had also increased in value by 45% since then, lifting his net worth by $53 billion over the past couple months.
How long he gets to hold this position, we are not sure. But we anticipate his growth to only get bigger each passing year.
“I want to be able to contribute as much as possible to the city on Mars,” Elon Musk said. “That means just a lot of capital.”
The engineer has a big dream for space exploration and has invested a lot in the field to achieve what he has set out to do. His SpaceX company is a great example of how far he is willing to push his ideas not forgetting his investment in Tesla, which has been on the pioneers in clean energy technologies.
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Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.