It’s just the first week of 2021, but maverick billionaire Elon Musk is off to his greatest start ever.
The Tesla and Space X owner eclipsed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person. The meteoric rise in Musk’s fortune came from the soaring share prices of his electric car company.
Tesla recently entered into the S&P 500 index of the US’s biggest companies. This week, Tesla’s market value surpassed $700 billion for the first time. Musk owns 20 percent of the company; with his holdings coming in the form Tesla shares.
The net worth of the 49-year-old entrepreneur reached a total of $186 billion at around at 10:15 a.m. in New York on Jan. 6. A 4.8-percent rise in Tesla’s share price on that day was enough to make him $1.5 billion richer than Bezos who held the title of world’s richest person since October 2017.
The year 2020 may have been tumultuous for most people in the planet, but not for Musk.
Musk’s fortune at the start of 2020 was pegged at $29.8B, but rose to $45B by Feb. 4. It dipped significantly during the start of the lockdowns in March before recovering to $74.5B in Jul. 20 and spiking further to $115B by Aug. 31.
His fortune suffered a couple of slight dips towards the end of November but managed to notch $155B in December. In that month, Musk overtook Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to claim the second spot in the richest persons list. At this point, pundits predicted that if his upward trajectory continued, he’s on track to become the world’s richest man.
When news broke about the world’s new richest guy, Musk candidly responded with tweets stating “how strange” and “well, back to work …”
How strange— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Even as he notched the pinnacle of financial wealth, his net worth can still soar higher. Should Tesla’s share price growth continue, he will be eligible for a massive bonus deal that could pay up to a record $55.8 billion.
Data from Musk’s wealth comes from his profile posted at the Bloomberg billionaires index, a website that tracks the daily changes in the fortunes of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.