Rich Dudes│Elon Musk's $150 Billion Net Worth

Rich Dudes│Elon Musk's $150 Billion Net Worth

Even after his costly acquisition of Twitter, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, is worth a cheeky $150 billion. See what’s in his portfolio.

Rich Dudes│Elon Musk's $150 Billion Net Worth
Noah Weidner

Updated Jan 26, 2023

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Tesla’s stock going public would help propel Musk, who was worth half a billion around the time of his IPO, to billionaire status in just two short years.

Almost everybody knows a thing or two about the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. The 51-year-old South African-turned-Canadian-turned-American is now worth $150 billion—after a heady haircut in 2022, during which the Tesla and SpaceX founder lost over $100 billion.

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Ouch. Let’s just say you don’t add commas to your net worth without taking risks and making a few enemies. Enemy #1 for Musk this year has been the stock market, but it might very well be a redeeming trait—especially if his current portfolio is any indication. We took a look at where Elon puts his money to work.

Many might be surprised to know the world’s richest man isn’t particularly cash-rich, with most of his wealth locked into entrepreneurial ventures—valuable ones at that. After all, he's been at the intersection of some of the last two decades' most valuable businesses and trends.

Besides sticking to the tried-and-true startup mentality that helped him enter the three-comma club, Musk has plenty of other money stewing in ventures beyond his orbit. He invests in startups and cryptocurrencies, puts money to work at his family office, and is now seeing what the hubbub is all about in the land of leveraged buyouts—where he recently signed checks to close his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

Elon Musk net worth at a glance:

Net worth

$150 billion

Born

June 28, 1971

Became a millionaire at age…

27

Occupations

Founder and entrepreneur, auto and space industries

Sources of wealth

Tesla, SpaceX, Starlink, The Boring Company, X.com (acquired by PayPal), Zip2

Asset classes

Private companies, stocks, cryptocurrency

Elon Musk net worth story

Elon Musk grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, under the roof of his estranged father, Errol Musk. His upbringing exposed him to computers and technology at a young age. At 10, he learned BASIC and started coding video games. At 12, he sold his first video game to a gaming magazine for $500, the first of many entrepreneurial ventures the young Musk would embark on. Unsurprisingly, Musk decided to stick to the sciences when he decided to go to college.

However, before his formidable money moves, Musk had to make another important move—from the University of Pretoria in South Africa to Queen’s University in Canada—at the age of 17. Elon Musk inherited Canadian citizenship from his mother, Maye Musk, which allowed him to attend university there.

His time in Canada didn’t last: he later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania to finish his education, where he received two bachelor's degrees—one in economics and one in physics.

Elon had his eyes set on another educational escapade, this time on the other side of the country at Stanford University. However, after just two days, he dropped out to start a software company with his brother Kimbal Musk. That company, Zip2, helped local newspapers build guides to cities. It was sold in 1999 to Compaq for $307 million. That’s admirable cash, but in the years to come, Musk would multiply it many times over by getting in on the ground floor of three massive and industry-defining ventures.

Paypal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors

After his first check hit, Musk founded another company—an online bank called X.com. It later merged with Confinity to form the online payment system PayPal. With that, Musk joined the famous ‘PayPal mafia,’ which includes Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Luke Nosek, among other rich dudes. He was later punted from the company’s board but profited meaningfully from eBay’s $1.5 billion purchase of PayPal in 2002. 

 

That same year, Musk founded his third venture: the aerospace company SpaceX. Musk founded the space company as a private space race was just starting in America, fueled by the Ansari X Prize, which offered $10 million to any non-governmental entity which could launch a rocket twice within a week. Musk and team never entered, but their early efforts at SpaceX would be rewarded in time.

In 2004, Musk invested in Tesla Motors and became the company’s chairman and product architect. And two years after that, Musk helped launch SolarCity. At the time, Tesla was a scrappy automaker with no products. The company had a vision to build electric vehicles, but it would take years for that vision to pan out.

The spirited and aspirational business magnate became CEO of Tesla in 2008. A year later, Tesla launched the Roadster, an electric sports car. He led the company through the Great Recession and later listed the company in an Initial Public Offering in June 2010.

Elon Musk pictured in 2022
Source: wired.com

Tesla’s stock going public would help propel Musk, who was worth half a billion around the time of his IPO, to billionaire status in just two short years. In 2012, the company launched the Model S, a luxury midsize sedan. However, Musk’s wealth explosion was still far off, even after the launch of a more accessible vehicle.

Thankfully for Musk, the wins would start to add up—even in the face of radical adversity. At any given time, his risky ventures were looking dicey. But in April 2014, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 landed its first booster at sea, and soon enough, they were landing themselves like clockwork.

Musk also started to see the bigger picture on the ground: Tesla launched a luxury SUV, the Model X, in 2015. After its launch, Tesla began to build up considerable clout among celebs and the rich—it had started to gain a draw from wealthy buyers, the company’s battery technology was improving, the company was learning from the development of its three luxury vehicles, and things were lining up for the company to test building its first mass-market vehicle. 


So, naturally, they did just that: Tesla announced the Model 3 in 2017. It was the world’s first affordable mass-market EV, worth just over $30,000 after tax credits. That same year though, Musk faced ‘production hell,’ with indicators overwhelmingly against the automaker. Its debt was priced as junk and the company was once again looking like it was at risk of bankruptcy.

However, things worked out somehow. And in 2018, Musk got his biggest show of confidence from Tesla shareholders when they authorized a $50 billion executive comp package which he’d receive by hitting certain milestones. This is where Musk’s money really started printing and the ball started rolling downhill (in a positive way.)

The Model 3 became massively successful, Tesla stock soared, and Musk started accruing even more-valuable options and shares in the automaker he helped build. By 2020, Tesla was the most valuable automaker in the world, besting Volkswagen in market cap.

Elon Musk standing beside the next-gen Tesla Roadster.
Source: insideevs.com

But being the most valuable automaker wasn’t an achievement enough. By October 2021, Tesla was worth over a trillion dollars—and it had become one of America’s most valuable companies. And, almost in parallel, SpaceX continued landing boosters, built a bigger rocket, and became one of the most valuable privately-traded companies.

After surviving multiple near-misses with failure, Musk earned his sense of blasé and began doing even more crazy stuff: he started a company with the goal of building tunnels to end ‘soul-crushing traffic,’ started a computer interface business called Neuralink, announced three more Tesla vehicles, and eventually put some of his fast-accrued wealth into buying social media giant Twitter.

Having his hands in lots of different ventures made him the world’s richest person, so it might not surprise you to hear that much of what’s keeping him the richest person in the world is those same investments of time, energy, and money. Let’s take a closer look.

Elon Musk investment portfolio

Though nobody can be certain about all of the elements of Musk’s portfolio, we can speculate based on publicly available data, insights from market experts, and his own comments.

We’ll be upfront: our estimates are not gospel, but they're best guesses we have formed from extensive research and consideration of Elon Musk’s net worth and background.

We’ll start with one thing we know for sure: Musk is asset-rich, cash poor. The majority of his wealth—roughly 90% of it—is tied up in companies he's currently leading in some capacity. Some of these companies are publicly traded, like Tesla Motors. Others like SpaceX and Twitter are private ventures.

The remaining 10% of his wealth is a little trickier to triangulate. Elon Musk is something of a cryptocurrency evangelist, invests in private companies, and has even hired an investment team to manage his net worth. However, beyond speculation, we cannot know for sure the exact sums of money he's thrown into these asset classes.

We’ll take a look at some of his biggest investments, as well as how you might be able to hop on Elon’s bandwagon yourself. Sure, you might not have twelve figures in the bank, but there might be some sage lessons to learn from Elon’s portfolio.

*Doesn't include private companies SpaceX, Stripe, Vicarious, Nueralink, Open AI, and The Boring Co.

Elon Musk’s stock investments

According to public filings and data sourced from the Securities and Exchange Commission, we know that Elon’s portfolio is largely tied up in Tesla shares. Elon owns roughly $70 billion of the valuable carmaker, an amount he accumulated from a controversial and record-setting executive compensation package approved by shareholders and many Tesla leaders who joined Tesla’s board under his tenure.

Because of that concentration, Musk has lost billions this year—nearly $90 billion, according to data from Bloomberg. He sold Tesla shares as part of an effort to de-risk his portfolio from the falling price of the electric vehicle company, which also builds solar power systems and energy solutions, among other things.

Even after those sales, his ownership comes out to about 15% of the valuable automaker. He also owns nearly 100 million exercisable options as part of his equity compensation package, which could be converted into Tesla shares and subsequently sold for cash.


In 2022, most of the proceeds from Elon’s incremental unloading of Tesla stock was funneled into his Twitter acquisition, which he paid $44 billion for in a highly-publicized leveraged buyout. However, the remainder is likely funneled to Musk’s family office, Excession, which was founded in 2016 to manage Musk’s wealth.

Excession is led by Jared Birchall, the CEO of Musk’s Neuralink venture, and the director of the family office. The office exclusively manages Musk’s money—which likely includes stocks, private investments and private equity, debt, and cash.

The downside of this? We don’t know for sure what’s on Excession’s books. There's a chance Musk's financial analysts are investing in publicly-traded stocks with a good chance of appreciating, but we can't know for sure.

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Source: Titan

And the best part about Titan isn’t just the world-class expertise or not having to worry about guesswork, but the fact that they also offer investment opportunities beyond stocks—they’ve recently expanded into real estate, venture capital, and private credit. In many ways, it’s like a family office, but accessible from the convenience of your phone.

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Elon Musk’s crypto investments

Elon Musk has never shied away from sharing his love for meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which might lead some to believe that the world’s richest man is HODLing a huge crypto bag.

However, when asked about his crypto holdings at a conference in 2022, Musk announced that he owned just a few cryptocurrencies. His responses were unsurprising: BitcoinEthereumand Dogecoin. That shortlist might surprise people given the fact it's an eleven-figure man we’re talking about, but simplicity certainly has an appeal.

The reason? Well, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two largest cryptocurrencies—and they alone represent over 55% of the total crypto market’s valuation. It’s also the place that seems to be most active for builders and movers in the world of crypto and web3. 
 

 

Tesla even announced an effort to accept Bitcoin and invested in the crypto but sold about three-fourths of it's $2 billion BTC portfolio in July 2022.

And though Dogecoin, which Musk has referred to as a “hustle,” might not make a whole lot of sense, his obsession with meme culture (and perhaps the currency’s volatile, easy-to-move nature) hits all the marks.

Unlike Musk’s share-based compensation at Tesla, where he serves as the company’s CEO, Musk has had to put cash up to buy these cryptocurrencies. That’s something anybody can do on a crypto exchange like Kraken.

A glimpse of the Kraken app on iOS.
Source: Kraken

Kraken makes it easy to purchase the cryptos that Musk picked up for his portfolio plus hundreds of others. You can buy the dip, HODL, or even send your digital currency to a hardware wallet through Kraken's app or on your desktop.

Kraken

Crypto

While you might not be able to will the markets to move with your tweets, you might come down on the right side of the chart—especially with major cryptos down more than 70% this year. Bare in mind that crypto is a high risk asset class, so consider that before investing.

Musk’s private investments

Elon’s private investments—which largely consist of companies he helped build—are perhaps the magnum opus of his portfolio. Star-studded firms like SpaceX, its Starlink satellite internet division, The Boring Company, and now Twitter represent the greatest portion of Elon’s illiquid portfolio.

Musk’s investments in private companies underlie a surprisingly simple strategy: Musk is all-in on many of his own ventures, and that also means that he's both investing in his own firms alongside respected investors and vesting shares as compensation for his efforts.

Musk has also written checks to ventures that buck this rule of being ‘all-in.’ According to Toptal, he has invested in early-stage ventures like Stripe and AI-related companies like DeepMind and Neurovigil. Another exception to that rule is his investment in Twitter, which he now helms but did not help found.

Musk paid $44 billion to acquire the social media giant in a leveraged buyout, financed in large part by sales of Tesla stock, borrowed debt, and third-party investors going in with him. Since the acquisition closed, the value of the company has more than halved, according to Bloomberg.

It might be possible for you to mimic some of Musk’s strategy yourself—just the profitable parts, anyway. If you receive share-based compensation from your job such as options, RSUs, or an ESOP, you might be able to grow equity in your own workplace. Before doing that, though, you might want to look within to decide whether that kind of investment is right for you.

But what happens in the workplace tends to stay in the workplace, so you might be wondering how you can get a hold of shares in privately-traded companies that you believe in—or maybe envy the opportunity to work at. That’s why it might be worth checking out the world of private investing—and maybe even invest alongside Elon in his own companies using Dizraptor.

Source: Dizraptor

Dizraptor enables accredited investors to gain exposure to pre-IPO companies without working there. They let you pick up shares in some of Elon’s companies, like The Boring CompanyNeuralink, and SpaceX. They're also selling shares from companies like Epic GamesKlarnaMasterclass, while new ones are always popping up on the platform.

Dizraptor is particularly huge for prospective pre-IPO investors because it allows you to pick out recognizable, high-profile name brands in the world of tech. That’s not something you can do in a whole lot of places.

Dizraptor

Startups

Elon Musk's net worth

Until quite recently, Elon Musk’s meteoric wealth ascent seemed unstoppable. In 2012, his net worth notched a billion dollars—that’s three commas. And after growing steadily for several years, his wealth skyrocketed: about half of Musk’s gains came in the months after Tesla successfully navigated its ‘production hell’ and delivered the Model 3 to the world.

However, 2022 has been a trying year for the asset- and cash-rich alike: more than $9 trillion in wealth has been destroyed as the stock market plummeted and sky-high inflation takes bites out of everybody’s net worth. Musk, like many, wasn’t able to get away when the music stopped: his wealth has fallen by over $100 billion.

That probably matters little to the business magnate, still the richest person in the world with a net worth of $150 billion. After all, he’s thinking in decades and centuries—and if companies like SpaceX or Starlink eventually test the waters of public markets, he could very well become the world’s first trillionaire.

There’s another big setback besides the falling market, though: Musk’s tumultuous takeout of Twitter has prompted him to sell shares of the valuable carmaker he helms and take out billions of dollars worth of debt to finance its purchase. For that, he is spending a billion dollars a year on interest payments. That’ll drain the bank for sure.

And while we’re harping on the debts of the world’s wealthiest man, Bloomberg Billionaires suggests that Musk has about $4 billion in cash—which makes him look a little cash light against the reported $6.5 billion in liabilities and loans he has. We’re guessing the Twitter loans represent a portion of those liabilities. However, Musk’s situation suggests there’s some truth to an adage about wealth and debt: for average joes, debt is a liability. But for rich guys, debt is an asset.

Elon Musk's Bel Air mansion purchased for $17 million in 2017 and solder for $29 million in 2020. 
Source: Insider

But aside from his financial draws, Musk’s portfolio is well-positioned to run: SpaceX was reportedly mulling a secondary share sale at a $150 billion valuation in November 2022, which would give Musk’s own stake in the company a big boost. Before that report, his shares in SpaceX were worth $47 billion. Musk also began selling his $100 million real estate portfolio in 2020, the majority of those proceeds likely made their way to his Twitter buyout or the marble counters at his family office.

There’s also the possibility that Musk’s investment in Stripe could come with a great payday if the company tests the markets next year. Musk co-invested in the payments giant alongside Sequoia Capital, Andreesen Horowitz, and Peter Thiel in March 2011—and their original $2 million investment stands to be worth billions now.

Source: Bloomberg Billionaires and other research sources compiled.

Elon Musk’s investment strategy

You don’t need $100 billion to take after Elon’s core investing principles. You just need to follow these three tried-and-true strategies.

1. Go all in

Gain equity in what you build and invest alongside your believers.

2. Delegate and de-risk

When you have too much of a good thing, let other people help you figure out where your money should go to work.

3. Rely on synergy

Invest in ecosystems and things you believe in. Ignore the rest.

FAQs

How much money does Elon Musk have?

While Elon Musk’s net worth was $150 billion, making him the world’s richest man. Data from Bloomberg Billionaires suggests that Musk had just $4 billion in cash at last count. Most of that money came from sales of Tesla stock throughout 2021 and 2022. Musk amassed this cash pile against $6.5 billion in liabilities, which include debt payments for his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and other impairments such as real estate purchases and loans. In short, he has more debt than he has cash in hand.

How much is Elon Musk worth? 

Elon Musk is worth $150 billion, the majority of which is tied up in companies he leads such as SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter. An additional $37 billion worth of assets that Musk owns is believed to be tied up in Musk’s family office, which invests in private equity, cryptocurrency, and diversified stocks. However, despite our best efforts to identify those investments, we could not discern the exact makeup of his remaining assets.

How did Elon Musk make his money?

The majority of Elon Musk’s worth was made from Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer and energy company which Musk joined in 2004. He became CEO in 2008 and led the company during its initial public offering (IPO.) Not long after, Musk became a billionaire.

However, to multiply that 180 times required Musk to convince Tesla’s board—and shareholders—that he could turn the scrappy automaker into a mass market car producer. The company approved an executive compensation package worth $55.8 billion. As he checked the boxes and Tesla’s share of the auto pie grew, he benefited significantly from the appreciation of his option grants and shares. In January 2020, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker.

While Musk focused on his strengths at Tesla, he also benefited from the growth of other ventures—namely SpaceX, which launches and lands reusable rockets. The space company expanded into the satellite internet business in 2019 and began launching a rocket for larger payloads—and perhaps even a trip to Mars—which helped the company become one of the world’s most valuable private companies.

Did Elon Musk buy Twitter?

Elon Musk announced his intent to buy Twitter on April 14, 2022. He offered $44 billion for the social media giant, which he tried to reduce after insinuating he ‘overpaid.’ Twitter sued to enforce the terms of his original agreement to buy the company and he ultimately closed the acquisition after a tumultuous discovery period in court.

On October 27, 2022, Musk closed his acquisition and took over the company. Musk financed roughly $13 billion worth of debt on his own and sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla to finance his share of the Twitter acquisition. His debt alone will cost him more than a billion worth of interest payments per year.

To make up the remainder of his acquisition, some of Twitter’s largest shareholders decided to remain investors in the new privately-held ‘Twitter 2.0’ that Elon bought. Among them were Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, wealth management giant Fidelity, crypto exchange Binance, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, and VC firm Andreesen Horowitz.

Where does Elon Musk live? 

At one point, Musk was the owner of more than $100 million in real estate—but the world’s richest man has parted ways with many of his seven residences in recent days as part of an effort to “own no house.”

Musk’s first, and most expensive purchase, was a $17 million Bel Air residence which he purchased in 2012. The 20,248 square foot house had seven bedrooms, a two-story library, a pool, a tennis court, and a view of the famous Bel-Air Country Club.

Elon Musk now tells his followers he lives in a $50,000 modular mini-house near SpaceX’s new launch facility in South Texas—something which is hard to believe, but the world’s richest man says he has parted with his exciting real estate portfolio and is living more lightly these days.

A report from the Austin American-Statesman says Musk lives in his friend’s $12 million mansion on Lake Austin in Austin, Texas. They added that Musk is shopping for his own property in the region, where he’s currently building a multi-billion dollar factory for Tesla vehicles.

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