Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest person on the planet.
A jump in the stock value of Muskâ€™s Tesla electric car company this week pushed the entrepreneurâ€™s worth to an eye-watering$195 billion, $10 billion more than Bezosâ€™s current value, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who once sat at the top of Bloombergâ€™s table of unspeakably rich people, has slipped to third place with a mere $134 billion to his name.
After hearing about his elevation to the top spot in Bloombergâ€™s wealth index, the 49-year-old Musk, who also runs commercial space transportation company SpaceX and a tunneling outfit called The Boring Company, tweeted, â€œHow strange,â€� before adding in a subsequent post, â€œWell, back to work â€¦ .â€�
Muskâ€™s current pinned tweet, posted in 2018, says he uses half of his wealth â€œto 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.â€�
In another tweet posted at the same time, Musk suggested he has little time to enjoy any kind of lavish lifestyle.
You should ask why I would want money. The reason is not what you think. Very little time for recreation. Donâ€™t have vacation homes or yachts or anything like that.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2018
Bloomberg noted that this year â€œno one has seen a more dramatic shift than Muskâ€� when it comes to personal wealth, with the South Africa-born industrial engineer â€” who also cofounded PayPal in 1998 â€” adding more than $165 billion to his fortune over the last 12 months in what the news outlet describes as â€œprobably the fastest bout of wealth creation in history.â€�
Propelling Musk to the top spot was an extraordinary rally in Teslaâ€™s share price, which increased by an incredible 743% in 2020 â€œon the back of consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index, and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors alike,â€� Bloomberg said.
Muskâ€™s first notable financial success in his entrepreneurial adventures came in 1999 when he sold software company Zip2 to Compaq for a reported $300 million. Three years after that, in 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.4 billion. In the same year, Musk set up SpaceX, and two years later he joined Tesla before becoming its CEO in 2008.
As much as 99% of Muskâ€™s wealth is held in shares. In December 2019, he said, â€œSome people think I have a lot of cash,â€� adding,Â â€œI actually donâ€™t.â€�
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index updates on a daily basis and is described as â€œa dynamic measure of personal wealth based on changes in markets, the economy, and Bloomberg reporting.â€�
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