A few days after Elon Musk reclaimed his spot as the richest man on earth, the South African-born entrepreneur has added a new financial accolade to his name.
Per CNBC, Musk has entered rarified air in the world billionaire rankings as he is now worth as much as fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.
As of Friday, Musk’s net worth was $230 billion, eclipsing Gates who sits in fourth place with $130 billion and Buffett who is at the 10th place with $102 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Responding to a “Musk is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combine” tweet on Friday by Matt Wallace, a Dogecoin enthusiast, Musk said “hopefully enough to extend life to Mars” (talking about his wealth.)
Musk and his co-billionaire, Jeff Bezos, are leading the evolution of commercial space travels in an epic rivalry with their various space companies. Bezos, who is now the chairman of Amazon, resigned his position as the CEO in July to concentrate on his dream space adventures using his company Blue Origin. Musk also owns SpaceX, the only space company now offering orbital services.
Bezos had held the first position in the world billionaires’ index since 2007 before Musk briefly overtook him for the first time in January when his net worth hit $185 billion. Musk’s fortune is largely tied to his electric car company Tesla that has become a top choice around the world, including China, which is the leading electric vehicle market.
Environmental concern has triggered a global push backed governments to curtail vehicles’ carbon footprint, thus igniting a shift to electric vehicles. Musk has added more than $60 billion to his fortune this year as EV preference buoys Tesla stock to strong performance augmented by a recent share sale at SpaceX which valued the company at $100 billion. The SpaceX deal added $11 billion to Musk’s net worth, according to Bloomberg.
The surge in Tesla and SpaceX shares saw Musk’s fortune rocket, eclipsing other billionaires like Gates and Buffett who had previously held the mantle of world’s richest persons.
Both Bezos and Gates saw their wealth reduced after their divorce, which took a significant part of their fortune, leaving a close gap between them and Musk who was ranking lower at a time. Bezos is still the second-wealthiest person on earth with a $191 billion net worth.
Gates and Buffett’s wealth decline has been largely attributed to their charitable works. With their philanthropic organizations, the duo has given out billions of dollars that would have guaranteed them top positions in the billionaire index, to charity.
Unlike Gates and Buffet, Musk has been criticized for being closefisted with his wealth, a criticism he countered by saying he prefers to remain anonymous when giving away money.
Musk has been vocal about his goal to create civilization on Mars, a cause he is currently pouring his fortune into. But as space exploration materializes, Musk gets richer. Tesla is leading a technology-driven electric vehicle revolution with massive growth potential, likewise Starlink, the satellite internet wing of SpaceX – which is expected to be largely embraced globally in the near future – all poised to slingshot Musk further ahead in the billionaire index.