Musk adds $9 bn to fortune, predicted to become world’s richest man by 2021

Elon Musk’s personal fortune hit a new high on Friday as Tesla Inc. prepares to make its debut in the S&P 500 Index.

A late jump in Tesla’s share price pushed Musk’s net worth up almost $9 billion to $167.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The 49-year-old entrepreneur has added $139.7 billion this year, an amount that exceeds the total net worth of anyone else on the planet other than Inc. founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos, for now, tops the wealth index with $187.3 billion.


Tesla shares have soared 731% this year, closing at a record $695 on Friday. Most recently, they’ve gained on expectations that inclusion in the S&P 500 would spur a new round of buying. The stock has climbed 70% since inclusion was announced in November.

Musk is the most prominent in a range of electric-vehicle entrepreneurs who have seen their fortunes jump this year, spurring a raft of new entrants. At least 15 electric vehicle companies have been taken public or announced listings in 2020.

For the uninitiated, the billionaire is a co-founder of 8 companies – Zip2, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, Hyperloop, OpenAI, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. Tesla has become the most valuable carmaker in the world, by far, despite production that is a fraction of rivals such as Japan’s Toyota Motor and General Motors. Many market experts say share prices soared because investors have begun to feel more confident about the future of electric vehicles.

Billionaire without paycheck:

It is interesting to know that Musk earns his billions without taking a paycheck from Tesla as he refuses his $56,000 minimum salary as CEO every year. In January 2018, Tesla announced that it would pay Musk nothing for the next 10 years – no salary, bonuses, or stock – until the company reached a $100 billion market cap.

The lack of compensation year to year doesn’t mean he’s not making any money. Instead, Musk has a complicated compensation package that will result in a massive payday once he achieves all his ambitious performance goals. Case and point, in May, Tesla achieved $20 billion in revenue and a sustained market cap of $100 billion. Through this incentive compensation plan, the achievement allowed him to purchase about 1.69 million shares of Tesla stock at a discounted price.

At the moment, Musk is relatively cash-poor with a fortune tied to his stock in Tesla and his other companies, SpaceX and The Boring Company. Musk has said over the last several months that he is no longer interested in owning physical assets announcing that he would “own no house”. If Tesla’s stock plunge, Musk could easily be knocked out of of the world’s top five or even the top 10 richest people. However, if the stock keeps soaring like it has this year, it could lead to Musk dethroning Bezos to become the world’s richest man.

Musk has added nearly $140 billion ($139.7 bn) to his net worth so far in 2020 meaning he added around $11.6 billion every month. If Tesla shares keep rising and his net worth keeps surging at the same pace, then in terms of net worth, Musk will leave Bezos behind by March 2021. Tesla top boss is currently $20 billion behind Bezos. If he keeps adding $11.6 billion to his fortune in the next two months, he will become the world’s richest man by March 2021.