"[Critics] say, 'Hey billionaire, you've got all this stuff.' Well, now I don't have any stuff. Now, what are you going to do?"
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc., is rethinking his attachment to material things. On May 1, he announced in a tweet that his first step would be "selling almost all physical possessions."
He then tweeted he thought Tesla's stock was "too high," Tesla ended that day down 9.3%. However, a closer look at the stock reveals that it suffered a much more significant dip on March 18 without the need of a tweet.
The 48-year-old billionaire stated that he plans to "own no house." According to a Wall Street Journal report, he currently owns nine California properties.
He recently listed at least seven properties for nearly $137 million, almost $30 million more than he paid for the homes. The listings include four properties in Los Angeles's Bel-Air neighborhood listed at $62.5 million, a 47-acre estate in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Hillsborough listed at $35 million, and a ranch-style property once owned by Gene Wilder listed at $9.5 million. Musk acquired the homes in individual purchases between 2012 to 2019.
Musk, who is worth $42.4 billion, according to Forbes as of June 19, suggested that material possessions are a distraction from his goals in sustainable energy and Mars exploration.
"They're kind of an attack vector," Musk said on a recent episode of Joe Rogan's podcast. He added, "[Critics] say, 'Hey billionaire, you've got all this stuff.' Well, now I don't have any stuff. Now, what are you going to do?"
These remarks came on the heels of another series of tweets where Musk spoke out against government-enforced shutdowns in response to COVID-19 outbreaks. Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, was forced to shut down due to a shelter-in-place order in the San Francisco Bay Area.
However, the pandemic was a very lucrative event overall. Elon Musk's wealth grew by $14.1 billion between March 18 and June 4, based on net-worth estimates fromForbes and figures from the Institute for Policy Studies. Also, Tesla's stock surged 9% to an all-time high, closing at $1025.05 on June 10, following reports of an internal memo in which Musk told employees it was "time to go all out" and bring the firms' semi-commercial truck to volume production.
While Musk's recent tweets and a boost in wealth during the pandemic are undoubtedly hot topics of discussion, his latest nod to a minimalistic lifestyle does shed light on an increasing number of people choosing to value the pursuit of personal goals over physical possessions.
Just precisely how Musk will balance having fewer things with a growing net worth remains to be seen.
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