The corona pandemic has proved a boon for tech billionaire Elon Musk. The CEO and founder of the maker of electric cars Tesla became no less than 48 billion dollars richer between March 18 and August 13, converted more than 40 billion euros.
This is largely due to the sharp rise in Tesla stock, according to an analysis by think tank Institute for Policy Studies.
This week, Musk earned $8 billion in one day, converted about 6.6 billion euros. That was purely and simply because Tesla stock rose by 11 percent. According to Bloomberg, Musk is now the fourth richest person, with a net worth of more than 71 billion euros. Remarkably, Musk made his fortune without touching a cent in Tesla’s salary. The CEO refuses his minimum salary of USD 56,000 (converted EUR 46,800) every year and fully relies on the value of his Tesla share package. Musk made his fortune through several steps in his career. How he did that and what he spends his money on is listed below:
Long before he became a father of six and amassed a net worth of nearly $85 billion, little Musk taught himself to program. When he was 12, he sold the source code of his first video game for $500. Source: MONEY
Just before his eighteenth birthday, Musk moved from South Africa to Canada and had various (heavy) jobs as a woodcutter, shoveling grain and cleaning the engine room of a sawmill. For 18 dollars an hour (converted 15 euros) – in 1989 an impressive hourly wage. Sources: MONEY, Esquire – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
That hourly wage plummeted to $14 when Elon and his brother Kimbal did a summer internship at the Bank of Nova Scotia. Elon was hired because he impressed the executive he approached. Sources: MONEY, Esquire – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
During his freshman year at Queens University in 1990, Musk made money selling computer parts and PCs to fellow students. “I built things they needed like an engineered slot machine or a word processor that was much cheaper than the store,” Musk says. Sources: MONEY, Esquire – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Within two years, Musk moved to the University of Pennsylvania on a partial scholarship.
Sources: MONEY, Esquire – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
He stopped at Stanford after a few days to start a startup with his brother: Zip2, which made city guide software for newspapers. Their father invested $28,000 in their company. Source: MONEY
Four years later, in 1999, they sold Zip2 for $307 million, giving Musk $22 million (or $18.4 million). more than half of that he invested in X.com, an online banking service. Source: MONEY
That company soon merged with its competitor and became PayPal, of which Musk became a major shareholder. In 2002 eBay bought PayPal and Musk was 180 million dollars richer in one fell swoop. Source: MONEY
After he left PayPal, Musk put his energy into his space company SpaceX. A few later, he was one of the founders of Tesla, the builder of electric cars. He also started SolarCity, a supplier of solar power systems. The success of these companies catapulted him into billionaireship—not after he first went bankrupt, for that matter. Source: VentureBeat
At the end of 2008, Musk divorced his first wife, which cost him a fortune. A year later, Musk said he had “run out of cash” and that he was living on loans from his friends. Sources: VentureBeat, Forbes, TechCrunch
When Tesla debuted in the stock market, in 2010, Musk’s fortunes skyrocketed. In 2012, he first appeared on the Forbes list of the richest people with a net worth of 2 billion dollars. Source: Forbes
The CEO bought more than $83.7 million worth of real estate in California. He has since sold most of his real estate after swearing that he “don’t want to own a house anymore.”
In 2012, Musk went to live separately in Bel-Air, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, where he bought a 6,000 square meter estate for 14.2 million euros. The mansion has a two-storey library, an indoor theatre, a gym and a wine cellar with a capacity of 1,000 bottles.
It’s no surprise that Musk has a thing for cars. In 2013, he paid 770,000 euros for the Lotus Esprit underwater car that was used in a James Bond film.He reportedly took a two-week leave of absence in 2015. For the first time since SpaceX’s inception 12 years earlier. Source: Inc., Quartz
Musk has five children with his ex-wife Talulah Riley. In 2014, Musk tweeted that he is taking his kids on an annual camping trip. “I’m a pretty good dad,” he said, “I have the kids for a little over half the week and I spend a fair amount of time with them. I also take them with me when I go out of town.” Sources: Twitter, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Musk has an on-again, off-again relationship with Canadian singer Grimes. On May 4, they had a son, they call him X Æ A-12 Musk.
In August 2018, Musk told The New York Times that he worked 120 hours a week. “There were times when I wouldn’t leave the factory for three or four days — I wouldn’t go out,” he told The Times. “This really took a toll on the time I spent with the kids. And my friends.”
Musk admitted to having spent “many long nights” at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory rewriting software for the Model 3.
Speaking to CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Musk said he’s “rather impulsive” and “don’t really want to fit in the box of a CEO.”
SpaceX has raised more than 1.8 billion euros to develop, build and launch the Starlink – a system that will provide the Earth with ultra-fast broadband internet.
SpaceX should also build a prototype of Starship, a giant reusable spaceship to take humans to Mars. The companies were valued at 27.8 billion euros in June 2019. Source: Business Insider, CNBC
Musk is also at the helm of The Boring Company which he founded in 2016 to design and build an underground tunnel in Los Angeles. An ultimate attempt to do something about the traffic chaos. In December 2018, Musk presented the first prototype. Source: Business Insider
Ultimately, the multi-billionaire says he cherishes cheap hobbies such as listening to music, playing video games and reading. “Hanging out with the kids, seeing friends, the normal stuff. Sometimes going crazy on Twitter. But most of it is work.”