Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has begun the new year with a $32.6 billion increase in his net worth, bringing his total fortune to $304.2 billion.
According to Forbes, the billionaire – who also founded the commercial space company SpaceX – remained at the top of the world’s rich list as the new year began.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of the French fashion conglomerate LVMH, is in second place, $103.6 billion behind Musk. According to Forbes, Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos is ranked third.
Tesla’s soaring stock price has once again been attributed to South Africa’s increasing wealth.
On Sunday, the electric vehicle manufacturer announced that it had delivered more than 936,000 vehicles in 2021, exceeding analyst projections, but that it had also recalled 475,000 vehicles built between 2014 and 2021.
According to Forbes, Tesla shares rose more than 13% by market close, bringing the company’s market capitalisation back above $1 trillion after falling below that level last month.
Musk, who was named Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year, owns approximately 15.6 percent of Tesla’s stock as CEO.
He has continued to sell shares, finishing the year with 3 million shares sold on the open market to cover the tax bills on approximately 5.7 million stock options exercised at the same time.
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, his fortune increased by more than $200 billion. He increased his net worth by $116 billion in 2021 alone.
According to Forbes, this is the largest one-year gain by any billionaire since the publication began tracking the wealth of the wealthy.
Musk is set to receive another windfall when Tesla reports fourth-quarter earnings later this month. If the company meets certain operational and valuation targets, the world’s wealthiest man will become even wealthier.