27 Nov 2020

Elon Musk becomes the world’s second richest person

Elon Musk becomes the world’s second richest person

Hold on to your seatbelts. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is now the world’s second richest person after he leapfrogged Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.

The 49-year-old entrepreneur, who is also the co-founder of space exploration firm SpaceX, saw his net worth rise by $7.2 billion to $128 as Tesla shares surged days after the news that the electric car company will be admitted to the S&P 500 index in December.

Since then, Musk’s net worth has risen by $100.3 billion in 2020, marking the largest increase among those on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. In January, Musk was merely ranked 35th.

The only person ahead of Musk now is Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who snatched the crown from Gates in 2017 and has remained there since.

That means Bill Gates is down into third place, marking only the second time in the index’s eight-year history that he hasn’t been ranked in the top two. Nevertheless, Gates’s net worth of $127.7 billion would be considerably higher if it weren’t for his philanthropic endeavours. Since 2006, he has given over $27 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and this has shaved off a significant portion of his “total wealth”.

This year, the wealthiest on the Bloomberg index have collectively added 23%, or $1.3 trillion, to their net worth even as millions of workers face financial hardship after being laid off by their employers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.