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Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Tesla's skyrocketing share prices have made Elon Musk the world's second-richest person, with a net worth of nearly $128 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Musk edged past Bill Gates on Tuesday. Only Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth more.

Bloomberg reported that the Tesla CEO has added more than $100 billion to his net worth in 2020, propelling him from the 35th spot on the index up to No. 2.

Most of Musk's wealth is tied up in Tesla stock. Instead of drawing a salary, he has been compensated in stock based on the company's performance — a decision that has paid off handsomely for him so far. Tesla stock has repeatedly defied skeptics and pushed to stratospheric heights.

So far, Musk has received four of the 12 bonuses negotiated in his executive compensation package.

After some production challenges, Tesla has massively scaled up its output of electric cars, which have proved popular — the Model 3 is the bestselling luxury car in America. And Wall Street is feeling optimistic about the future of electric vehicles and clean energy as companies and governments around the world propose increasingly meaningful actions to tackle climate change.

Tesla stock also received a bump from the news that the S&P 500 would be adding the company to its influential index. And the stock market as a whole is surging on Tuesday — with the Dow Jones Industrial Index topping 30,000 points for the first time — as vaccine hopes emerge.

Camila Domonoske

NPR News

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