In the past four years, shares in Musk’s electric car manufacturer, Tesla, have risen by 1,625%, way out-of-the-box.
Musk’s fortunes have risen at an astonishing rate. The day Trump took office, Musk had a net worth of $12.9 billion. He is now the second richest person in the world, with a net value of $184 billion, according to Forbes’ calculation.
The Tesla billionaire is now just $6 billion behind the single richest person on the planet, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is worth $190 billion. The two billionaires have spent most of the last few weeks fighting for the role of the richest person in the world. Musk first took the number one spot from Bezos on January 8, 2021, before it was later regained by the Amazon billionaire, Forbes estimates.
Since 2016, the relationship between Musk and Trump has been complicated. Musk worked initially on two of Trump’s environmental sustainability advisory committees. But Musk agreed to leave after Trump told the world in 2017 that the United States would exit from the Paris Climate Agreement. “Climate change is real,” he said at the time, adding, “it isn’t good for America or the world to leave Paris.”
More recently, Trump congratulated Musk for having been named in January one of the “great geniuses of America.” While he endorsed the rides of SpaceX, a Musk rocket business, his excitement was tempered by electric vehicles.
It wasn’t Musk’s gains that Trump did explicitly. Tesla has won over investors in the last four years by launching new cars, improving supply and beating analyst estimates. Moreover, during Trump’s presidency, Musk’s majority of gains occurred in late 2020 after President Joe Biden was elected, and the Democrats won the Senate. Investors are jumping on the green TTC car with the help of Biden from the Democratic Congress which is likely to support its climate change agenda. Over the last three months, Tesla shares have increased more than 100% and show that Biden’s administration would be more welcoming to electric vehicles.
Following an initial rebuff, on 21 December last year Tesla was added to the S&P 500 index, which further increased its stock price. Tesla is the world’s most valuable car producer, producing half a million cars in 2020 — part of the world’s GM and Toyota output.