Notorious technology disruptor and high profile polariser of opinions Elon Musk is back in the hot seat again, after Tesla's highly volatile shares have been making a steady climb this week.
Over the past five-day period, Tesla's stock has risen just over 8 points (4%) to $205.7 per share, a price it reached at the end of the trading session on the NASDAQ exchange yesterday evening.
Completely unlike any previous 'richest man in the world', Elon Musk is not the conservative, prudent hedge fund manager or gray suited corporate CEO responsible for ensuring his blue-chip stays out of trouble and keeps steady dividends rolling in, to the calm appeasement of loyal, long-term shareholders.
No. Elon Musk is gung-ho, do-or-die, revolutionary and disruptive. He is as outspoken as his inventions are, and his personal fortune varies tremendously, in accordance with the risks he takes and pioneering efforts in many business sectors that he parades.
If anyone would have the nerve to bring cryptocurrencies into a publicly-listed commercial entity and make that entity into a Bitcoin 'whale' without a slight inkling of potential shareholder discourse, it would be Elon Musk.
Ordinarily, shareholders in a publicly listed company would baulk at the idea of that corporate entity investing its shareholders' capital into Bitcoin and then speculating with trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, but in the case of Tesla, nobody, not even NASDAQ's listing personnel, uttered a word despite tremendous periods of volatility in Bitcoin, largely caused by tweets issued by Elon Musk himself, on a platform which he now owns!
Tesla's stock has been very volatile recently, as have many NASDAQ-listed big US tech stocks, but Tesla is an outlier. It is not run by 'yes men' like Amazon's Jeff Bezos or Microsoft's Bill Gates who toe the political line, it is run instead by an outspoken self-proclaimed freedom fighter who is as impulsive as can be imagine but somehow demonstrates incredible aptitude and foresight.
By 2021, Tesla, a fraction of the size and age of Ford Motor Company, had 10 times the market capitalization, despite Ford being in great fiscal shape and over 120 years old in establishment.
It's been a rollercoaster since then, but with Elon Musk now at the top of the official list of the world's richest men - he likely is not wealthier than Chinese president Xi Jinping or Russia's Vladimir Putin, but their personal fortunes are not available for assessment.
Tesla’s stock price rise at the beginning of this week boosted Elon Musk's net worth by nearly $7 billion to $187 billion. He is now clearly ahead of former richest man in the world Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH, the world's largest producer of luxury goods.
We live in a high tech age, and a disruptive one at that. Warren Buffett, the absolute opposite of Elon Musk, is a prudent and careful man who invested sensibly all his life, drives a modest car and lives frugally, is nowhere near as wealthy as risk-taking rascal Elon Musk.
Like him or loathe him, his ability to create volatility at the very top end of the financial markets is clear.
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