Elon Musk is the World’s Richest Person in 2021
2021 has been touted as a year of change.
And as far the pecking order of global wealth goes, the new year has already delivered. Just six days in, Elon Musk had already lapped Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person in 2021 with a personal net worth of $188 billion.
How did this happen so fast?
Since the stock market bottom in March 2020, Tesla shares have skyrocketed by 1,030% to $816 per share. Elon Musk happens to own about 241 million of those shares, putting his wealth accumulation into overdrive in a short period of time.
Pedal to the Medal
The boom in wealth has been so prolific for Musk that he’s left other billionaires in the dust.
One year ago, he wouldn’t have cracked the top 20 list—but with a surge in wealth of 548% since a year ago, he now sits at the top of the heat as the world’s richest person.
|Rank||Billionaire||Wealth (Jan 6, 2021)||One-Year Change|
|#1||Elon Musk||$188 billion||548%|
|#2||Jeff Bezos||$184 billion||57%|
|#3||Bill Gates||$132 billion||45%|
|#4||Bernard Arnault||$114 billion||8%|
|#5||Mark Zuckerberg||$100 billion||23%|
|#6||Zhong Shanshan||$93 billion||n/a|
|#7||Warren Buffett||$87 billion||-2%|
|#8||Larry Page||$82 billion||22%|
|#9||Sergey Brin||$79 billion||22%|
|#10||Larry Ellison||$79 billion||32%|
Is this a temporary bump, or will Elon Musk stay atop the world’s richest person rankings for the rest of 2021?
Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world, passing Jeff Bezos
Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion, according to CNBC calculations.
Thursday’s increase in Tesla’s share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth about $184 billion. Musk’s wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and is a dramatic financial turnaround for the outspoken entrepreneur who just 18 months ago was in the headlines for Tesla’s rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against the company’s stock.
Musk started 2020 worth about $27 billion, and was barely in the top 50 richest people.
Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than ninefold over the past year — and his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth.
Amazon’s share price has remained more subdued due to the potential for increased regulation from Washington.
Musk passed Warren Buffett in July to become the seventh-richest person. In November, Musk raced past Bill Gates to become the second-richest person. Musk has gained more wealth over the past 12 months than Gates’ entire net worth of $132 billion.
Tesla’s shares closed Thursday at $816.04, up nearly 8%. The company’s market value has grown to more than $760 billion.
Musk was also No. 1 on Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The list had him within $3 billion of Bezos’ net worth on Wednesday. The Forbes Real Time Billionaires List had Musk about $7 billion behind Bezos after the market close Thursday. Forbes pegged Bezos’ net worth at $184.6 billion and Musk at $177.2 billion. Forbes, however, may not be including the value of Musk’s options, which he received as part of his pay package, to buy more than 33 million shares of Tesla.
Really, it all depends on Tesla’s stock price performance—and those that have bet against Tesla in recent years don’t have a great track record to lean on.
That said, price swings can happen in either direction, and if Tesla’s stock finds itself coming down to Earth, it’s possible that Musk’s ranking in the billionaire pecking order could tumble down with it.
Where does this data come from?
Source: Bloomberg Billionaire Index
Details: Jan 6th, 2021 data
Notes: Net worth figures on the tracker get updated frequently, so any up-to-date data may not match that of this article.