Musk’s fortune dipped to $185.3 billion, falling just behind the $185.4 billion personal wealth of Arnault, the chief executive of luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH, and his family.
It was the first time since September 2021 that Musk was knocked out of first place on the Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires list, which is constantly updated based on stock prices.
After briefly falling behind Arnault on Wednesday, Musk popped back into the lead, and the two billionaires were vying for top spot as the trading day unfolded.
It follows a turbulent period for Musk, who sold off significant swathes of his Tesla holdings to fund his $44 billion Twitter takeover six weeks ago.
Musk’s personal fortune is largely tied up in Tesla stock, which has lost 57 percent of its value since the start of the year.
It means that, at least on paper, Musk’s net worth has plunged from its peak of roughly $320 billion in November 2021, when Tesla shares hit an all-time high of $414.50.
Meanwhile, luxury goods maker LVMH has weathered the bear market much more robustly.
The Paris-based company’s shares are down just 9.7 percent since the start of the year, outperforming the benchmark S&P 500.
Per the Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires list on Wednesday morning:
- Bernard Arnault & family: $185.8 B
- Elon Musk: $185.4 B
- Gautam Adani: $134.8 B
- Jeff Bezos: $111.7 B
- Warren Buffett: $106.8 B
- Bill Gates: $105.6 B
- Larry Ellison: $102.0 B
- Mukesh Ambani: $93.3 B
- Larry Page: $83.2 B
- Carlos Slim Helu & family: $82.0 B
In addition to Louis Vuitton, LVHM controls about 60 subsidiaries comprising a range of prestigious brands, including Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co.
Arnault, 73, is the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive of LVMH. Compared to the headline-magnet Musk, he maintains a low profile.
However, Arnault was among the business leaders who attended the first White House state dinner of President Joe Biden’s administration last week, welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron.
Musk, meanwhile, has seen his personal fortune wane in the face of harsh market sell-offs and his expensive decision to purchase Twitter at a hefty premium.
Musk paid $54.20 for the company, which had been trading around $35 before his takeover offer in April.
Although Musk tried to get out of the signed merger agreement, Twitter’s threats to take the matter to court succeeded in forcing his hand, and he paid the agreed upon price at the closing in late October.
Musk’s tenure leading Twitter has been marked with drama, after he laid off roughly half the company’s employees and began leaking internal documents intended to portray the former management negatively.