If the world’s richest man contest was being played out on a stadium field, the Forbes and Bloomberg scoreboards would hang on opposite sides with contrasting scores.
On the Forbes side, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos would lead on the Forbes scoreboard. At the Bloomberg end, Tesla founder and PayPay co-founder Elon Musk just went the length of the field to take a lead.
The Forbes counts leave Musk trailing by $7.8 billion, but the 49-year-old tycoon passed Bezos by $1.5 billion according to Bloomberg calculations. Musk also is running space-exploration company SpaceX and brain-computer interface company Neuralink.
Some of the disagreement could come with Musk saying that Tesla stock is overpriced. Tesla shares have increased eight-fold over the past year. Forbes’ more conservative approach takes into consideration that he pledged some of his Tesla stake toward personal loans. Forbes took that into account by reducing his share value by 25%, according to its November report.
In 2019, some speculation surfaced that Tesla would need financial restructuring because its losses were increasing as sales failed to meet expenses and loan payments. A 700% turnaround took care of that.
“How strange,” Musk tweeted after the richest rankings emerged Thursday. “Well, back to work.”
With a 20% stake and $42 billion of vested stock options, Bloomberg saw the valuation differently. After five consecutive profitable quarters, the bulls are still betting on Tesla’s technological advances over the naysayers’ predictions of a collapse for the higher-priced vehicles.
There still is a lot of time in this game for another rally.