In the past 12 months, something that has just occurred would have been unimaginable. Elon Musk was no longer the richest man in the world as of December 13, 2022, at 10:05 am PST. The founder of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, has surpassed him.
Bernard Arnault is now, for the first time in his life, the richest person in the world with a net worth of $168 billion. Elon Musk’s current net worth of $165 billion is $3 billion less than his fortune.
Just a year ago, why was this unimaginable? Elon Musk had a $300 billion net worth at this time in December of the previous year. He was by a margin of $110 billion the wealthiest man in the world at that time. Bernard Arnault was not the second-richest man in the world at that time, it was Jeff Bezos.
Bernard and Jeff then had respective values of $150 billion and $190 billion. Elon was the first individual ever to have a net worth of over $300 billion before accounting for inflation.
And on November 4, just one month earlier, his net worth had risen to an all-time high of $340 billion. Elon Musk surpassed John D. Rockefeller’s longevity-adjusted wealth record, which stood for more than 80 years when his fortune reached $340 billion (which only lasted a few days).
While all of this was going on, some very wise people believed that $300 billion was only the beginning of an enormous fortune. Elon Musk’s two largest businesses, SpaceX and Tesla, both had skyrocketing market values.
All-time highs were being set by the stock market as a whole. Nobody was considering World War III, recessions, or inflation. Several very intelligent individuals have actually made predictions that Elon will soon become the first TRILLIONAIRE in history at this point.
Therefore, consider what you would have thought if I had told you a year ago that Elon was not the only person on the path to becoming a trillionaire, but also that he would lose all of his $300 billion in value. He wouldn’t have a $200 billion value.
From January 7, 2021, till the present, Elon held the title of the world’s richest person essentially without interruption.
It is obviously impossible to predict the exact length of Bernard Arnault’s rule. When 2021 first began, I don’t believe many people would have expected Elon would hold the position for as long as he did.
As the head of LVMH, Bernard Arnault made his fortune. Arnault saved Christian Dior from bankruptcy in the 1980s by purchasing it.
Following that, he combined a group of luxury companies, including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co., using the profits and increasing value of Dior as funding.
LVMH generates $70 billion in revenue annually and is home to almost 60 brands today. LVMH’s market value is $384 billion as of this writing.
Bernard and the larger Arnault family are still the direct owners of 97% of Dior, and Dior owns 41% of LVMH. A further 7% of LVMH is directly owned by the family on its own. They hold more than half of the total number of votes.
In addition to LVMH, Bernard also owns two French vineyards, Princess Yachts, 5% of Carrefour, the country’s largest supermarket chain, and a multibillion-dollar art collection that includes works by Picasso and Warhol.