Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, has entered the Guinness World Records, breaking the world record for "the largest loss of personal fortune in history."
In November 2021, Musk was the richest person in the world, with a fortune of $340 billion. Since then, Forbes estimates he has lost about $182 billion, though other sources claim the real amount may be closer to $200 billion.
While the exact number is nearly impossible to pin down, Musk's total losses far exceed the previous record of $58.6 billion set in 2000 by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son.
As of January 2023, Musk's fortune is about $138 billion. And according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of Wednesday, his wealth was reduced to $129 billion; he has lost another half a million dollars since the beginning of the year.
In 2022, he had lost the status of the world's richest man to Bernard Arnault, the founder of the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), whose fortune, according to Bloomberg, is now estimated at $178 billion.
It is noteworthy that in 2021, Elon Musk became the second person in the world whose fortune reached $200 billion; the first was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who is now fourth, with a fortune of $113 billion, on the list of billionaires.
A significant portion of Elon Musk's fortune is tied to Tesla shares, which went down 65% in 2022. The stock's decline accelerated in October 2022 when Musk bought Twitter for about $44 billion.
The news of this deal, as well as Musk's brash behavior on Twitter, caused anxiety among many Tesla investors, causing them to sell their shares and the latter’s price began to fall. In order to fund the acquisition of Twitter and create something like an airbag for the company, Musk himself sold billions of dollars of Tesla shares that he owned. That further accelerated the stock's decline, after which Musk promised not to sell them again until 2024. As of Wednesday, one Tesla share is valued at $118.
At the end of December, Tesla's market value decreased by $85 billion, and the company's capitalization decreased to $390 billion; in January, it was estimated at $1.2 trillion.
Despite all this, Tesla remains the world's most valuable car manufacturer, with a market capitalization of $100 billion more than that of its closest competitor, Toyota.
As of December 2022, Musk owns about 13% of Tesla shares, which provide him with $42.4 billion. Twitter owned by him is valued at $11.6 billion—although he bought it for several times more than that amount, The Boring Company—$3.33 billion, and Musk's most valuable asset is SpaceX; according to Bloomberg, his share in this company is worth about $48.9 billion.