Guinness World Records names Elon Musk as person with largest fortune loss in history

Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tesla stock took a beating in 2022, and being the company’s largest shareholder, CEO Elon Musk’s net worth also took a notable hit as a result. So large was the drop that Guinness World Records recently announced that Elon Musk had set a record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history.

Forbes estimates that Elon Musk lost around $182 billion since November 2021, though other estimates have placed the Tesla CEO’s net worth loss closer to $200 billion. These losses far surpass the previous record of $58.6 billion set by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000.

Today, Musk is listed in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a total estimated net worth of $126 billion. This is not a small amount by any means, but it is a far cry from the peak of $320 billion that Musk’s net worth reached in 2021. Since Musk’s fortune is tied to his holdings in Tesla, his net worth saw a sharp decline as TSLA shares dropped 65% in 2022. 

Elon Musk’s financial losses in 2022 have caused him to lose his status as the world’s richest person to Bernard Arnault, the founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). Arnault is estimated to have a net worth of $175 billion, far lower than Musk’s peak in 2021 but far higher than Musk’s net worth today.

Regardless of its massive decline, Tesla is still ranked as the world’s most valuable automaker, with a market cap of over $100 billion more than its closest rival, Japanese veteran carmaker Toyota. Musk has also expressed some confidence surrounding Tesla, despite its challenges in the past year. “Long-term fundamentals are extremely strong. Short-term market madness is unpredictable,” Musk wrote in a post on Twitter. 

To achieve the Guinness World Record for the largest loss of personal fortune in the past, Masayoshi Son’s net worth declined from a peak of $78 billion in February 2000 to $19.4 billion in July of the same year. This was due to the value of Softbank, which was hit hard by the dot-com crash. Softbank’s situation was so unstable that Son’s net worth changed by as much as $5 billion in a single day, and that was back in 2000. 

Softbank later recovered, and it even ended up acquiring several US and British tech companies as it gained momentum again. With this, Masayoshi Son’s fortune also recovered. As Elon Musk continues to build his own tech conglomerate, it is possible that his net worth will bounce back, perhaps stronger than ever. 

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Guinness World Records names Elon Musk as person with largest fortune loss in history
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