Elon Musk is now the 5th wealthiest person in the world – behind Jeff Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg

For Tesla and SpaceX CEO and owner Elon Musk the sky is seemingly the limit as he zooms up the world’s richest list. Photo: Reuters

Elon Musk’s net worth recently skyrocketed past the US$74 billion mark, making him the fifth richest person in the world, according to Forbes

In mid-March, Musk was worth almost US$25 billion and was ranked the 31st-richest person by Forbes. Since then, his net worth has nearly tripled, and he has vaulted up the list, passing Warren Buffett, Phil Knight and Michael Bloomberg on the way.

Most of Musk’s wealth is tied to shares in his companies, Tesla and SpaceX. Tesla's value has increased by US$200 billion since March, frequently hitting record highs after delivering stronger-than-expected vehicle delivery numbers. 

A smaller fraction of his wealth – about US$100 million – is tied up in real estate. But that’s likely to change. In May, Musk announced that he planned to sell all of his worldly possessions and listed nearly US$40 million of property.

Like many carmakers, Tesla has had a tumultuous few months as Americans increasingly stayed inside during shelter-in-place guidelines.

Since March, the company’s only US car factory faced shutdowns due to the coronavirus. Musk said that stopping production at the factory, based in Fremont, California, posed a “serious risk” to business, and went on to sue the local county over its shelter-in-place orders and reopen in spite of them.

Despite these hurdles, Tesla went on to deliver 90,650 vehicles to customers in the year’s second quarter, topping Wall Street predictions by 20,000 vehicles.

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In addition, Tesla’s stock has been boosted by speculation that the company could be added to the S&P 500 after Wednesday's Q2 earnings report. Tesla also announced that it will be presenting new battery technology at a “Battery Day” in September.

Still, Tesla’s meteoric stock price has perplexed analysts – and even Musk himself, who sent the stock tumbling after tweeting out that he felt it was overvalued.

Tesla’s car output pales in comparison to its peers like Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler, yet its market cap still dominates the legacy carmakers. Tesla is now worth nearly US$300 billion compared to Ford’s US$26 billion, General Motors’ US$38 billion and Fiat-Chrysler’s US$16 billion.

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Enthusiasm from young investors and day traders have made it a popular stock. Tesla is the 8th-most traded stock on Robinhood, according to trade-tracking website Robintrack.

On some days, Tesla trading can be frenzied. Last week, 40,000 Robinhood users added Tesla shares during a four-hour period, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Robintrack data.

Another of Musk’s ventures, SpaceX, has also enjoyed positive publicity following the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which made Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley the first Nasa astronauts to fly on a commercial rocket to the International Space Station. The space technology company is worth nearly US$36 billion, according to Pitchbook data.

Rocket man Elon Musk has left Warren Buffett, Phil Knight and Michael Bloomberg in his wealth wake. Photo: Bloomberg

Despite recent gains, Musk’s wealth is still dwarfed by four men: Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault of LVMH, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. 

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Yet, Tesla’s fortunes, as well as Musk’s, may change soon. Its second-quarter earnings report is scheduled for Wednesday after the market closes. The earnings could propel the stock – and Musk’s net worth – even higher, or reverse the big gains from recent weeks.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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