Tesla Founder Elon Musk Becomes Richest Person in the World, Surpassing Jeff Bezos
With a net worth of $195 billion, Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, surpassing Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Prior, Bezos had been the richest person in the world since 2017. On Thursday, Tesla’s share price increased, pushing Musk above the mark. The occasion also marks the quickest rise to the wealthiest person list in history.
Musk addressed his bump to the richest person in the world on Twitter, saying, “How strange” and “Well, back to work.”
Tesla has had its share of ups and downs. Just a year and a half ago, Tesla made headlines because of its rapid cash burn. However, over the past year, Tesla’s share price has rocketed, increasing ninefold. In just one year, Musk gained more wealth than Bill Gates’ entire net worth.
Musk remains one of the few who profited greatly during the pandemic. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, Musk made more than $48 billion between March 18 and August 13, while other auto manufacturers struggled. By July, he became the seventh richest person in the world, passing Warren Buffet.
At the beginning of 2020, Musk was worth just $27 billion and hovered at the bottom of the top 50 rich list. In May last year, he admitted that he was so “cash poor” that he wanted to sell his possessions; he listed several of his mansions during this time.
Musk also became the richest person in the world without taking a salary for the majority of his career; he has historically refused his $56,000 minimum salary every year. Furthemore, in January 2018 the company announced it would prohibit Musk from receiving any bonuses, salary, or stock until Tesla reached its $100 billion market cap. To date, the market cap has reached $760 billion.
Although Musk wasn’t taking a salary, he had generous options as a part of his pay package, including the ability to purchase more than 33 million shares of Tesla, which reached $818 per share on Thursday (compared to its market price of $98 a year ago) and sits just over $860 today.
While Musk has his net worth tied up in several projects, there are many reasons why Tesla remains his most profitable venture. Dominating the electric car market, this sleek luxury sedan has plenty to offer, receiving nearly a perfect score from Consumer Reports and a five-star rating from Car & Driver. Some of its unique features include a biodefence mode (which renders the interior air quality of a vehicle “hospital grade”), a 5,000-pound towing grade, a central portrait touchscreen, front trunks, and more.
With so many features, protecting the vehicle from an investment standpoint is also important. For instance, many car owners opt to extend their manufacturer warranties to ensure their vehicle is covered for any damages beyond its expiration period. Owners of the Model S and Model X receive automatic extended coverage.
However, not all manufacturers are as generous with their policies. Other vehicle owners should work with warranties that align with their specific vehicle type, leveraging third-party companies for premium coverage. For example, a Volt owner might consider a Chevrolet extended warranty.
The Bloomberg Billionaire index noted that Bezos would have remained the richest person in the world if he hadn’t transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife, who donated more than $4 billion to help Americans struggling during the pandemic.