The incredible fall of Elon Musk’s fortune: a staggering 170 billion drop since the peak

Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk has an estimated fortune of $164 billion, making him the second richest person in the world. Although he still has a huge fortune, Musk has seen his wealth drop by an astonishing $174 billion since the peak of $338 billion in November 2021.

In this article, we will explore how much money Elon Musk has and look at his various businesses and ties to crypto.

Who is Elon Musk?

Born in June 1971 in South Africa, Elon Musk is a billionaire entrepreneur and business mogul known for founding and co-founding a series of technology companies, including Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company. He is also the CEO and owner of Twitter, having acquired a majority stake in the company for $44 billion in late 2022.

Musk was interested in science and computers from an early age, reportedly starting to code at the age of ten and selling a BASIC game, Blastar, for $500 at the age of twelve. In 1989, he moved to Canada, where he attended Queen’s University. In 1992, he moved to the United States. In 1992, he moved to the United States, where he attended the University of Pennsylvania. At UPenn, he completed his studies and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Musk has repeatedly emphasized his ambitious goals of revolutionizing transportation, reducing the effects of climate change and colonizing Mars. He believes that electric vehicles, cheaper spaceflight, and a shift away from fossil fuels are essential to increasing humanity’s chances of survival and well-being in the long term.

His lofty goals and expansive business empire have earned him a following of more than 127 million people on Twitter. In addition, Musk served on the president’s advisory council during the Trump presidency, but stepped down after the administration pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.

What will Elon Musk’s fortune be in 2023? A $174 billion drop in his fortune due to Tesla’s plummeting stock price and Twitter controversy.

Amid explosive market growth in late 2021, Musk’s fortune peaked at $338 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This puts Musk far ahead of other wealthy individuals, surpassing the likes of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Bernard Arnault, chairman and 50 percent owner of LVMH.

The rapid rise was fueled primarily by Tesla (TSLA) stock, which rose 654% between May 2020 and November 2021.

Elon Musk's net worth between June 2013 and January 2023
Elon Musk’s fortune peaked at $338 billion in November 2021. Coincidentally, bitcoin and the crypto-currency market also peaked during this same period. Source: Bloomberg Billionaires Index
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After this meteoric rise, Tesla’s stock has fallen sharply from an all-time high of $407 (given the three-way split in August 2022) to a multi-year low of $113 in early 2023. Elon Musk’s wealth followed suit, dropping from $338 billion to $164 billion over the same period – a massive $174 billion drop, or a nearly -52% drop in Elon Musk’s value.

However, the drop in Musk’s wealth was even more extreme if we consider the difference between the November 2021 peak and the early January 2023 low. Given that Bloomberg reported that Musk’s fortune plunged to $126 billion on January 3, this means that he had at one point lost $200 billion from his peak wealth. In fact, that historic drop earned him the unfortunate honor of becoming the first person to lose $200 billion, a Guinness World Record.

While most of Musk’s wealth is tied to Tesla, he also has a majority stake in a number of other companies. Let’s take a brief look at five of his most important business ventures.

Elon Musk’s businesses

Elon Musk holds significant stakes in his major companies (see table below). However, it should be noted that while ownership of these companies represents the lion’s share of Musk’s total wealth, he also has many other investments. For example, he was part of the original group of investors in ChatGPT, a popular AI bot that has taken the world by storm in recent months.

CompanyTypeFoundedSectorNumber of employeesMarket capitalizationSales in 2021Musk’s stake in the company
TeslaPublic2003Automotive127,000$543B$81.5B13%
SpaceXPrivate2002Manufacture of spacecraft12,000$127B$2B42%
TwitterPrivate2006Social Media2,300$44B$5.1B79%
NeuralinkPrivate2016Neurotechnology300No dataNo data100%
The Boring CompanyPrivate2016Infrastructure200$5.8BNo data90%

*Equity data was collected from Bloomberg.

Tesla

Tesla is a manufacturer of electric vehicles, energy storage solutions and solar panels. Founded in 2003, the company has become the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, with production of more than 1.3 million cars by 2022, and a leader in energy storage and solar panel production. However, the general economic downturn and Covid-induced blockades in China put Tesla in a bind last year, leading the company to lay off 10,000 employees.

SpaceX

SpaceX is a private aerospace manufacturing and space transportation services company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing the cost of space transportation and enabling the colonization of Mars. The company has made history with several landmark achievements, such as being the first privately funded company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), the first to reuse an orbital rocket, and the first to launch a reusable spacecraft that can return to Earth and be flown again. In 2015, the company began developing Starlink, a constellation of Internet satellites aimed at providing broadband speeds around the world. In a 2022 investment round, SpaceX raised new capital at a valuation of $127 billion.

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Twitter

Twitter is one of the world’s largest social media networks, founded in 2006 by founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey. In 2022, Musk bought Twitter in a $44 billion blockbuster deal at $53.7 per TWTR share. Musk has faced a lot of criticism for his leadership approach at the company since then, mainly because of his decision to lay off more than half of all workers in a very short time frame. “Unfortunately, there is no choice when the company is losing more than $4 million a day, said Mr. Musk On the massive wave of layoffs.

Neuralink

Founded by Musk in 2016, Neuralink is a neurotechnology company that develops brain-computer interfaces. Its goal is to enable humans to control electronic devices without the lag of conventional input methods, such as voice, keyboards, computer mice, and others.

The Boring Company

The Boring Company is another of Musk’s ventures that aims to revolutionize the way we live. It specializes in building underground tunnels, which Musk says can be used for high-speed intra-city transportation systems. If successful, the company could completely change transportation and move most of the necessary infrastructure underground.

Elon Musk & Crypto: A (very) public affection for Dogecoin

Although Musk has never revealed how many crypto assets he owns, he has revealed that he owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and his favorite crypto, Dogecoin.

Dogecoin is a meme currency project that started in 2013 as a parody of Bitcoin. Like bitcoin, it uses the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. However, its usefulness is very limited and can be used exclusively as a means of transferring value over the Internet.

Musk first mentioned Dogecoin in 2019, but got more involved with the crypto-currency in 2021. Many believe he helped push the digital token into the mainstream, which triggered a massive surge that saw the price of DOGE rise from $0.0047 to an all-time high of $0.74 between January and May 2021. He introduced DOGE to a wider American audience during his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2021.

Whenever Musk mentions Dogecoin, its price usually jumps to double digits. It is worth noting that Musk has made strides to increase dogecoin’s usefulness by allowing the purchase of certain Tesla products with DOGE. In addition, he has also floated the idea of integrating dogecoin with Twitter in some way.

The bottom line: Musk retains the spot as the second richest person despite a disastrous 2022.

The extent of Musk’s wealth can be downright incomprehensible from an ordinary person’s perspective. Even though he has lost more than $170 billion from his ATH fortune, his current fortune of $164 billion is still more than 2,300,000 times the median income of a typical American household, which is truly staggering.

While Mr. Musk holds the sad record of being the first person to lose $200 billion, the record for losing the most wealth in a single day goes to Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct crypto-currency exchange FTX.

If you want to learn more about the fortunes of some of the most prominent figures in the crypto-currency space, read our reports on Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, and TRON founder Justin Sun.

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