Three extra zeroes could change a couple of letters, turning billionaire Elon Musk into trillionaire Elon Musk.
Fellow billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya took reports of Musk becoming the world’s richest man a step further and predicted Musk will become the world’s first trillionaire. Palihapitiya, the Social Capital CEO, told CNBC on Thursday that Musk’s $188.5 billion value has been underrated by Bloomberg because Tesla is worth three times its current valuation.
“Don’t sell a share,” Palihapitiya told CNBC, regarding Tesla. “I don’t understand why people are so focused on selling things that work. When things are working, you’re paid to stay with people that know what they’re doing. And this is a guy who has consistently been one of the most important entrepreneurs in the world. And so why bet against him?”
Bloomberg reported that Musk’s wealth comes prominently from his 20% stake in electric car company Tesla, 48% in space exploration company SpaceX and 57 million exercisable Tesla stock options. A 7% rise in Tesla’s stock Thursday pushed Musk past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man.
“I tweeted this a while ago that I thought the world’s first trillionaire would be a person fighting climate change,” Palihapitiya said. “It very well could be Elon. But if it’s not him, it’ll be somebody like him. It will be because of this: Delivering clean energy, allowing the world to be sustainable, is an incredibly important thing that will be rewarded by markets and individuals.”
Palihapitiya added that that the power-utility business was ripe for disruption and that there were “trillions of dollars of bonds, of capex, of value sitting inside the energy-generation infrastructure.” When those are harnessed, Tesla will double and triple again, he said.
Musk, 49, gained $150 billion over the past year to roughly quintuple his net worth with Tesla’s stocking rising 743% during that time. If he repeats that in 2021, Palihapitiya might be proven right.