Elon Musk surpasses Bill Gates to become the 2nd richest man in the world

Elon Musk’s year of dizzying ascents reached a new apex Monday as the co-founder of Tesla Inc. crossed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest male.

The net worth of the 49-year-old entrepreneur increased from $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion, powered by a further rise in Tesla’s share price. Elon Musk has added $100.3 billion to its net worth this year, most of whom are on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the list of the world’s 500 richest people. He was 35th in January.

His advance in wealth ranks was primarily driven by Tesla, whose market cap is approaching $500 billion. Approximately three-quarters of its net worth consists of Tesla’s shares, which are priced more than four times as much as its stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX.

Elon Musk’s landmark is just the second time in the index’s eight-year history that Microsoft Corp. co-founder Gates has ranked below number two. He held the top spot for years before being beaten by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos in 2017. Gates’ net worth of $127.7 billion would be much higher if he hadn’t contributed so prodigiously to charity over the years. Since2006, he has donated more than $27 billion to his own foundation.

With Monday’s step, Elon Musk unsettles and occasional verbal sparring partner in Gates, whom the Tesla billionaire mocked on Twitter for, among other things, having no clue” about electric trucks. The two of them also exchanged barbs over Covid-19. Gates, whose charitable foundation is one of the leading suppliers of vaccine testing, expressed concern about Musk’s alleged skepticism of pandemic data and supported some conspiracy theories.

The year has been a lucrative one for the wealthiest people in the world. Despite the pandemic and mass layoffs that have overwhelmingly impacted the middle class and the vulnerable in the world, Bloomberg index participants have collectively earned 23 percent –or $1.3 trillion–since the beginning of the year.

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