On November 24th, 2020, Elon Musk swept past Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest man behind Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Co-founder of Tesla, the self-driving electric car company, Musk saw his net worth jump from $7.2 billion to over $128 billion overnight, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Tesla stock surged when the news came out that the company will be admitted to S&P 500 index in December, making Tesla’s market value topple over $500 billion.
Tesla is the seventh-largest company by market value and just got added to the S&P 500 starting December 21st, which is the index of the 500 most valuable stocks in the country. With Tesla just getting acceptance after its rejection in September due to the index qualification of being profitable for 12 months, it rumbled the market. With the news of admission into the S&P 500, Tesla was celebrating with its shares up 22 percent in just two days. According to the S&P Dow Jones Indices, there’s already $11.2 trillion in assets benchmarked to the S&P 500 and approximately $4.6 trillion of the total in indexed funds. The company reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profit on third-quarter revenue of $8.77 billion. Also, the company broke their own record by delivering 139,300 vehicles within the quarter.
Musk isn’t stopping with just Tesla though, as he is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX. Musk has shared his innovative ideas of commercializing space travel and bringing humans to space. SpaceX teamed up with NASA in 2014 and are under a $2.6 billion deal, the Crew-1 Mission, that covers six such flights. The Demo-2 test flight this summer was SpaceX’s first trip that sent two NASA astronauts to orbit the space station. On November 15th, 2020, SpaceX launched their second rocket, the Falcon 9, to the International Space Station with four NASA astronauts. After the successful trips, Musk reaches a new milestone with SpaceX and the crew becoming the first commercial crew to be certified by NASA for official space missions.
More exciting news came from SpaceX at the end of November, with the hopes to bring humans to Mars in the next four to six years. Musk has stated that SpaceX’s Starship launch to Mars is aimed to happen two years from now. Earth and Mars share very similar orbit patterns, with a relative orbit of 26 months. If it so happens that Mars and Earth’s orbits line up by luck, we could have the first human land on Mars in just four years. Musk’s main focus now relies on making the proper technology to make life interplanetary, with the end goal of getting as many humans on Mars and having an established base on the moon.
Elon Musk’s massive success is not just from Tesla and SpaceX, but another one of his companies, an infrastructure and construction firm, The Boring Company. The company builds tunnels and their latest project included a 0.8-mile long tunnel that connects the Las Vegas Convention Center to a loading area. The innovative first project was a success that made flashy tunnels make for a fun trip. The companies next steps include engineering a network system to connect the entire Las Vegas Strip. The project is set in place to reduce walk time and move as many people from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
With Musk jumping Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, he is on pace to pass Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man since 2017. This is Gates second time not being ranked in the top two on the Bloomberg Billionaire eight-year-old index. However, his net worth would be considerably higher if it wasn’t for the $27 billion in donations to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. On the other hand, Musk’s massive net worth doesn’t mean he is an over-the-top spender, stating that he wouldn’t like to own physical possessions or even own a house and later selling two of his California mansions. Musk didn’t even take a cash salary from Tesla until it hit $100 billion in market cap. Elon Musk’s future in the number one spot on the list looks bright.