Sources of Elon Musk’s Money in 2021
As the founder and CEO of Tesla, founder of SpaceX, and chairman of Neuralink, Elon Musk is one of the multibillionaires of the world who, through his innovative projects, is making a huge difference in technology and sustainable energy. But how much money does he have in 2021?
Forbes records Elon Musk’s net worth as of February 2021 as $177.9 billion, making him the third-richest person in the world, behind only Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault. Musk’s rocketing net worth of the past year has earned him the fastest-growing individual wealth record, as he has gone up an astronomical $151 billion in 2020.
Financial Entrepreneur Dan Ariely claims, “Elon Musk’s ability to generate and leverage a set of new technologies to transform old industries is a remarkable story, as is his ability to translate his commercial pursuits into incredible wealth.” Ariely reveals how the majority of Musk’s wealth comes from Tesla and SpaceX.
Tesla, the pioneering clean energy vehicle manufacturing company, has seen Musk’s wealth increase from $6 billion in 2016 to $157 billion in 2021, making it the key source of his money. In 2020, Tesla produced more electric vehicles than any other carmaker, and as a result, its stock has grown over 800% in the past year. According to a report, Tesla’s market value crossed $800 billion in January 2021, adding to Musk’s coffers.
The visionary himself owes a lot of Tesla’s success to the skyrocketing demand for EVs and advances in the autonomous driving segment. He himself has an over 20% stake in the company, and the other 80% of his wealth comes from stock options.
The renewable energy systems Musk has developed through Tesla have had a significant environmental impact worldwide, making him one of the most influential industrialists of the 21st century.
SpaceX, Musk’s brainchild, is one of the most revolutionary companies of the century which is actively working towards achieving space exploration on an unprecedented level with the help of its innovation and reusable technology.
SpaceX, which is valued at more than $39 billion and has become a brand name in space travel, provides contracts for launch services to government entities and companies worldwide, as well as its own commercial services.
Musk holds a 54% majority stake in SpaceX, with the remaining stake being held by other shareholders. This stake has contributed immensely to the entrepreneur’s wealth, propelling his net worth even higher.
The Boring Company
The Boring Company is another of Musk’s privately held companies, focused on underground boring and tunneling technologies. The business was initially founded to reduce traffic problems, which was later shifted to help move underground infrastructure such as power lines and water pipes. By December 2020, The Boring Company was estimated to be valued at $11 billion. As of 2021, Elon Musk holds a majority stake in the company.
This shows how Elon Musk’s wealth is driven primarily through his investments in Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company, as well as a few other enterprises he is either a founder or a major investor of.
Musk has been selling stock to cover his expenses and has raised billions of dollars in total this way. He had sold almost $1.5 billion in Tesla stock in 2018, followed by another sale of $3.3 billion. He also sold 10 million worth of Telsa shares when its stock price was down due to the Autopilot accident in 2016. Aside from these, Musk often sells his stocks every year in order to fund SpaceX and other projects.
The belief in Tesla’s potential seemed to have been the key source of Musk’s money since its emergence in 2014, when he injected all his assets from the sale of SolarCity – a solar energy company – into the EV manufacturer. He also secured $40 million in investments in the 2020 round and is currently raising $750 million for Tesla, according to records.
Musk previously earned around $165 million after selling his stake in PayPal in October 2002, which was a major turning point in his life. His wealth was further increased when PayPal went public in 2002. He made around $2 billion from the sale of his 11.7% stake in the company. This contributed a lot to his net worth, as if it wasn’t for that injection of cold hard cash, he may never have been able to achieve the success he has today. Musk also draws upon PayPal’s success to fuel the growth of Tesla and SpaceX.
PayPal today is one of the largest online payment companies, with millions of customers. Musk is one of the earliest investors in the company and was instrumental in helping it become the powerhouse that it is today.
Musk’s wealth has been the result of the shrewd decisions and investment strategies he has employed over the years. His ability to identify opportunities that can be capitalized on, as well as his extraordinary capacity for problem solving and his innovative approach to creating products and services, has made him one of the most successful business leaders of the modern era.
His futuristic approach to industry, such as developing trucks that are fully electric and self-driving, has proven to be wildly successful and a great boost to his wealth. Musk has also shown admirable restraint by investing in creations that have potential to make a significant impact, rather than simply investing in what is currently popular.
In the last few months, Musk’s wealth has primarily come from the soaring performance of electric car maker Tesla. Thanks to the skyrocketing demand for electric cars and its advances in self-driving, its stock price has seen a rapid increase. It is worth noting that Tesla also entered into a joint venture with China’s CATL in December, which further boosted its stock prices.
SpaceX also made headlines recently when it launched its latest Starship rocket, which is the key factor behind Musk’s wealth. SpaceX’s successful Starship test flights, offering hope of cheap and regular transportation to space, has catapulted its stocks and thus, Musk’s wealth even higher.
Many of Elon Musk’s wealth is pulled from his equity in Tesla and SpaceX, which have both seen significant returns in the past year. With Musk’s hefty stock portfolio and large cash flows, his wealth will continue to grow in 2021.
Future Collaborations and Investments
Musk is always looking to make the next big move, which is why he has already started investing and collaborating beyond his companies. One example of this is Neuralink, a nervous system-based brain implant technology, which has the potential to revolutionize and prolong human life. This technology is currently being developed under Musk’s direct supervision and he is looking for collaborations with different universities and research centers for furthering the same.
The entrepreneur is also looking to strengthen the shares of Tesla with more investments. He recently acquired $10 billion worth of bonds from the company and invested in software development and other areas to further grow and boost the company’s profits.
Further, Musk has a vested interest in the stock market, which is also responsible for his increased wealth. He has a share in multiple different startups, such as OpenAI, Vicarious, DeepMind, and a couple of cryptocurrency firms, which may soon yield profits for him.
Apart from becoming one the most cutting edge leaders of the technology space and reaching the heights of success, Musk is also dedicated to driving positive change and making the world a better place. He believes in working towards the greater cause of conserving the environment and thus, pouring in his resources into sustainable energy and technology.
For instance, he has dedicated a lot of resources for the sustainable projects of Tesla, using solar and wind energy for powering various Tesla installations. Even his SpaceX project is a mission to reduce the temperature of Earth and make our planet cooler.
Tesla is also the leading electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, owing to its advancement of the EV revolution. By introducing these efficient zero-emission vehicles, the company has been playing a role in reducing the overall global emissions rate.
Musk’s success has not gone unnoticed by the public, with many people holding him up as an example of the modern-day entrepreneur. However, there are those who criticize his wealth, accusing him of exploiting his power and money to exclusively benefit himself rather than the public.
His unconventional work policy has also been heavily criticized, as Musk himself has been known for reportedly working for 12-13 hours per day, often unaware of weekends and seasons. This work ethic has been criticized for being destructive and demanding too much from employees for too little reward.
Further, his rigid and dominating management style has led to numerous disputes and clashes with suppliers, customers and even employees.
Elon Musk’s net worth in 2021 is estimated to be around $177.9 billion. The majority of this wealth is attributed to Tesla and SpaceX, in addition to The Boring Company, PayPal, and various investments. Musk has made several shrewd investment decisions, as well as collaborating with universities and research centers on a range of projects. While Musk’s success has been praised, he has also faced criticism for his methods and management style.