Elon Musk Net Worth: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Elon Musk5 Facts About Elon Musk’s Net Worth

Elon Musk’s net worth is $10.3 billion.

Elon Musk is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs in modern times. From PayPal Holdings Inc to Tesla Motors Inc and SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), Musk has forged a multibillion-dollar fortune with his bare hands. How did he do it?

We recently published a handful of Elon Musk quotes that could help other entrepreneurs make their millions. But perhaps you should know a little more about Musk before his wisdom can truly make sense. This guy’s story is pretty incredible.

1) Elon Musk Net Worth = $10.3 Billion

With a multibillion-dollar fortune attached to his name, Musk ranked 94th on the Forbes 100 list. However, he doesn’t keep much of that cash lying around. Musk is known for taking his earnings from one company and immediately investing it into his next venture.

Right now, two of his firms are trading on public exchanges: SolarCity Corp and Tesla. Since any fluctuation in the value of those shares affects his net worth, it’s a little hard to pin down a hard number. However, estimates suggest that his stake in SCTY stock is currently worth $400 million, while his TSLA stock is valued at $5.3 billion. (Source: “Elon Musk Net Worth,” Forbes, November 18, 2015.)

2) He Started His First Company with His Brother

Most people assume that PayPal was Elon Musk’s first success. Nope; he had already started and sold a business for $300 million with his brother, Kimball. Musk left a graduate program at Stanford University to build the company when the Dotcom Bubble was rising. It was called Zip2 Corporation and was basically a forerunner to Yelp Inc.

3) Musk Sold Paypal for $1.5 Billion in Stock

Paypal was borne from a merger between X.com (which Musk started) and Confinity (Peter Thiel’s startup). The two companies joined together to create the first widespread e-payments system and then partnered with eBay.com. Eventually, eBay bought out Paypal for $1.5 billion in stock options. The share price soon doubled, leaving all the founders filthy rich. Many of them went on to start other great companies.

Musk Portfolio Chart

4) Both Tesla and SpaceX Came Close to Failure

Near the end of 2008, far before Tesla shares were available to the public, Elon Musk came dangerously close to losing his companies. He had used the profits from Paypal to launch two companies in completely different fields: space travel and electric cars.

Both of the businesses were burning cash, SpaceX had three failed launches under its belt, and funding was nowhere in sight. Musk had to get his friends and family to invest cash just so the company could afford to pay its workers. But then SpaceX finally had a successful launch in September of that year. A few months later, on December 23, 2008, NASA awarded the company a $1.1-billion contract. It saved Musk’s space ambitions. (Source: “Elon Musk’s Space Dream Almost Killed Tesla,” Bloomberg, May 14, 2015.)

The very next day, on Christmas Eve and just hours before Tesla would run out of cash, Musk convinced investors to put another $20.0 million into Tesla. It was probably the best investment they ever made. Around that time, Elon Musk had whittled down his fortune to a few hundred thousand dollars. Now he’s worth around $12.0 billion.

5) Musk Never Runs Out of Ideas

You would think Elon Musk might want a break after starting Zip2, Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. That’s a lot of development, even for a workaholic like him. But no, apparently he has plenty more where that came from.

A few years back, Musk premiered his “Hyperloop” idea. He sketched out plans for a rail system that would take only 30 minutes to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He open-sourced the idea and invited other entrepreneurs to make it happen.

Last year, he clarified that the Hyperloop was perfect for travel within 500 miles. Beyond that distance, he believes we need a “supersonic, vertical takeoff and landing electric jet.” Musk said he was tempted to work on the idea, but his hands were full at the moment. (Source: “Elon Musk says he has a design for an electric jet,” Tech Insider, October 13, 2015.)

Elon Musk’s Net Worth by Year

Date Net Worth
2012 $2.0 billion
2013 $2.7 billion
2014 $8.4 billion
2015 $12.0 billion
2016 $10.7 billion

Data source: Forbes