How Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk just lost $19 billion

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)’s Elon Musk has lost $19 billion in net worth this week, thanks in part to bitcoin. Let’s dive a little deeper

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and three other companies, is famous for many things. Flamethrowers, shooting rockets (and cars) into space, smoking cannabis on-air during a podcast, or just tweeting rather random things all the time… Mr. Musk certainly knows how to capture the spotlight.

More recently, Musk has managed to add another feather to his cap. The title of ‘world’s richest person’. As recently as a year ago, it was unthinkable that anyone could dislodge Amazon.com Inc‘s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Jeff Bezos from this perch. But due to a staggering surge in the Tesla stock price over the past year, Musk managed to topple Bezos last month.

However, Musk has just lost that coveted title once again.

Musk gets a Tesla-driven downgrade

According to reporting in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) today, Musk lost a staggering US$15.2 billion ($19.2 billion) in net worth… just this week. That was largely a result of Tesla’s stock price falling to its lowest level yet in 2021 so far. Tesla has fallen more than 10% over the past week. Tesla is now roughly 20% below the company’s 52-week high of US$900 a share that was hit back in late January.

The volatility we are seeing in the price of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) also isn’t helping. Tesla made headlines a few weeks ago by purchasing more than US$1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency on its balance sheet. Bitcoin has fallen around 10% over the past week. Although it remains at a higher level than when Tesla announced its purchase.

Despite Musk’s new place as the ‘silver medallist’ of the world’s richest people, I’m sure he won’t be too bothered. The AFR reports that his net wealth is still sitting at around US$183.4 billion. Although that’s a ways away from his wealth peak of US$210 billion in January, it’s only a touch behind Mr Bezos at US$186.3 billion.

Also assisting Musk’s massive wealth accumulation over the past year has been the recent re-valuation of one of Musk’s other (private) companies – SpaceX. According to the AFR, SpaceX is now valued at roughly US$74 billion after a recent $850 million capital raise. That’s a 60% increase since last August.

In addition to Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk also heads The Boring Company, as well as Neuralink (both private). The Boring Company is aiming to develop futuristic solutions to traffic congestion, mostly in California. It’s also the company behind Musk’s flamethrower line. Neuralink is an artificial intelligence company that is aiming to develop ways to connect the human brain to computers.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Bitcoin and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Bitcoin and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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