Last year, Elon Musk set records for having accumulated wealth at one of the highest rates ever recorded.
Tesla Inc.’s CEO has lost $27 billion in the selloff of tech stocks since Monday. His net worth of $156.9 billion still puts him in second place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but he’s now almost $20 billion behind Jeff Bezos, whom he surpassed as the world’s richest person just last week.
Musk’s tumble further emphasizes the incredible pace at which he has risen. In 2020, Tesla stock surged 743 percent, raising the value of his investment and releasing billions of dollars in options from his historic “moonshot” incentive plan.
In the new year, his progress accelerated. He overtaken Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man in January. According to the index, which ranks the world’s 500 richest individuals, Musk’s fortune peaked at $210 billion later that month.
The company’s rise was driven by consistent quarterly earnings, President Joe Biden’s embrace of renewable technology, and retail investor excitement, but for others, the company’s increasing valuation was emblematic of an unsustainable frothiness in tech. On Friday, the Nasdaq 100 Index fell for the third consecutive week, the longest losing streak since September.
Musk’s fortune hasn’t been determined exclusively by the powers that shape the tech industry. In recent months, his net worth has risen and fallen in lockstep with the price of Bitcoin. Last month, Tesla announced that it had added $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency to its balance sheet.
Some of the world’s largest fortunes have been roiled this year by extreme volatility. After losing more than $22 billion in a matter of days, Asia’s once-richest person, Chinese bottled-water tycoon Zhong Shanshan, handed over the title to Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani last month.
On Monday, Dan Gilbert, the chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., saw his net worth rise by $25 billion after his mortgage lender Rocket Cos. was rumored to be the next focus of Reddit day traders. His net worth has dropped by almost $24 billion since then. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Alphabet Inc., are among the index’s best performers this year. Since January 1, they’ve both gained more than $13 billion to their fortunes.