Elon Musk

On Thursday evening, Elon Musk’s personal worth topped $185 billion (€151.36 billion) making him the world’s richest man, overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Mr Musk is best known for stewarding his company Tesla into a position as the quintessential electric car company, but also leads several other ventures, including commercial space travel company SpaceX and the Boring Company.

His rapid increase in worth is largely due to the eruption in the value of Tesla, which he owns 20 per cent of. Tesla is now valued at over $760 billion (€622.2 billion), with individual shares closing the day trading at $816 (€668.05). Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) received a boost in December when it was added to the S&P500 index.

This is an especially impressive feat when considering that whilst Tesla has turned over a quarterly net profit consecutively in recent years, it is their sale of carbon credits awarded them by the US Government that has pushed them into a profit. In the third quarter of 2020, Tesla made a net profit of $331 million (€270.61 million), which includes $397 (€324 million) made from the sale of these credits.

Tesla has valuable assets including a 5.3 million square foot factory in Fremont, California. Tesla’s total assets were valued in the third quarter of 2020 at $45.691 billion (€37.37 billion), a figure dwarfed by Tesla’s valuation.

Investors value Tesla so highly in part due to the charismatic leadership of Mr Musk. His personal Twitter, where he often posts jokes, has 41.6 million followers.

His approach to Twitter has however landed him in trouble in the past. In September 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Mr Musk for his August Tweet announcing that funding had been secured to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The SEC fined Musk $20 million for this Tweet and requested that he be supervised for future Tweets which later saw Mr Must announce that he does not “respect the SEC”.

Last year, he inspired derision and anger when he tweeted that Tesla stocks were priced “too high imo”, which led to Tesla share prices plummeting 10 per cent.

Clearly, Mr Musk was mistaken. Even after a five-to-one split in August 2020, stock prices are at an all time high.

Mr Musk is seemingly keen to give away some of his money, yesterday tweeting asking both for critical feedback and for worthy causes to donate to.

Main photo: Facebook/ Tamindir

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