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Elon Musk sets world record with worst loss of fortune in history

Elon Musk, Inc. | CBS Reports
Elon Musk, Inc. | CBS Reports 22:36

Elon Musk has set a Guinness World Record – for the largest lost of personal fortune in history. Guinness announced last week that Musk had lost about $182 billion of his net worth since November 2021, citing Forbes. Some estimate he lost up to $200 billion, Guinness says.

Before him, the record was set by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son, who lost $58.6 billion in 2000, according to Guinness.

In November, Musk's net worth dropped to an estimated $195.6 billion – hitting its lowest point that year, according to Forbes. It had previously seen a large dip in October 2021, when it dropped below $200 billion. 

His net worth is still astronomical – an estimated $145.2 billion, according to Forbes' real-time rankings – but it is impossible to know the exact figure, as the worth is based on stocks and assets like homes. 

Bernard Arnault, who is the founder of LVMH, a luxury goods conglomerate, now holds the title of the richest man in the world, with an estimated worth of $204.8 billion. While Musk's decreased, Arnault's has increased by $347 million. 

Musk's net worth has made significant dips due in part to the poor performance of Tesla's stock, which plummeted 65% in 2022, according to Guinness.

His acquisition of Twitter also cost him a pretty penny. In August, he sold nearly 8 million Tesla shares – worth $7 billion – as a legal battle with Twitter loomed. Twitter sued Musk to enforce the rules of their acquisition agreement after Musk tried to back out. Musk then countersued, alleging the company committed fraud, breach of contract and violated securities law. 

A judge paused the case in order to let the deal close, and in October, Musk officially acquired the company for $44 million. He sold another $4 billion in stock to close the gap on the deal – even though he said he was "done selling Tesla stock," according to Wedbush analysts.

He then sold another 19.5 million Tesla shares – worth $3.9 billion – over three days, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Forbes reports. 

As of November, he had sold $19.3 billion in Tesla shares since April. That, combined with the dip in Tesla share price, contributed to the decrease in his net worth. Tesla still remains the most valuable car company in the world, according to Guinness.

When the markets closed for the year on Dec. 30, Musk tweeted: "Long-term fundamentals are extremely strong. Short-term market madness is unpredictable."

Masayoshi Son, who set the record before Musk, dipped from $78 billion in February 2000 to $19.4 billion in July of the same year, when his company, Softbank, was wiped out by the dot-com crash, according to Guinness. 

His net worth shifted as much as $5 billion a day, but Softback bounced back and acquired several U.S. and British tech companies and he is now worth $23.7 billion, according to Forbes.

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