It has been a week of highs and lows for multibillionaire Elon Musk, whose net worth plummeted 10.83 per cent — or $29 billion — to $239.2bn overnight after shares in his electric-vehicle maker Tesla plunged 12 per cent in New York trading, wiping about $126bn off the company's value, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.
Tesla investors are concerned Mr Musk may have to sell shares to complete his $44bn takeover of Twitter, which was approved by the social media company's board of directors this week, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
However, it isn't the first time Mr Musk's net worth has taken a beating.
On November 14, Mr Musk lost a record $50bn after Tesla shares plunged two days in a row.
“It is the biggest two-day decline in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the highest one-day fall after [Amazon founder] Jeff Bezos’s $36bn decline after his divorce from MacKenzie Scott in 2019,” Bloomberg reported at the time.
Just two weeks earlier, on October 28, 2021, Mr Musk became the first person on the planet to be worth more than $300bn, with a personal fortune of $302bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The drop in Mr Musk's current net worth narrows his lead over Mr Bezos — the world's second-richest person with a personal fortune of $165.2bn — to $74bn.
The Canadian-American businessman, who was born in South Africa and has seven children, owns about 17 per cent of Tesla, a February 2021 regulatory filing showed.
His stake in privately held SpaceX is valued at about $40.3bn, figures compiled by Bloomberg show.
Mr Musk made his first millions in the 1990s, when he sold his first company, Zip2, for more than $300 million. He then launched X.com, an online payment system that eventually became PayPal, which he sold to eBay for $1.5bn in 2002.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock price plunge comes amid a broader sell-off in equity markets around the world due to slower economic expansion and persistent inflation, according to Bloomberg.
This means Mr Musk wasn't the only billionaire to lose a sizeable slice of his personal fortune overnight, with the net worth of eight of the world's top 10 richest billionaires also falling a combined $51.7bn, according to the Forbes data.
However, there were two wealth-gainers in the top 10 list.
Self-made billionaire and Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, now the world's fifth-richest person, added $4.7bn, or 3.86 per cent, to his net worth of $126.6bn, while Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani climbed two places in the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List to become the seventh-richest person on the planet with a net worth of $105.6bn, up $4bn, or 3.94 per cent.
Top 10 richest people in the world
- Elon Musk: $239.2bn
- Jeff Bezos: $165.2bn
- Bernard Arnault: $157.4bn
- Bill Gates: $129.4bn
- Gautam Adani: $126.6bn
- Warren Buffett: $119.8bn
- Mukesh Ambani: $105.6bn
- Larry Ellison: $103.8bn
- Larry Page: $102bn
- Sergey Brin: $98.1bn
Source: Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List