- Elon Musk joked that Warren Buffett should buy Tesla stock if he wants to get richer.
- The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s net worth is more than double the size of the investor’s fortune.
- Musk and Buffett have clashed before, on issues such as the importance of brands.
Elon Musk teased Warren Buffett for being poorer than him in a recent tweet, suggesting the investor should buy a stake in his electric-vehicle company if he wants to catch up.
“Maybe Buffett should invest in Tesla haha,” Musk said. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO commands a net worth of $236 billion, or more than double the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s $103 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter thread highlighting that he was worth more than Buffett and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates combined. He probably doesn’t expect Buffett to become a Tesla shareholder, as the 91-year-old famously looks for bargains and sticks to businesses he understands. Tesla’s market capitalization has ballooned almost 10-fold since the start of 2020, and the company has made big bets on artificial intelligence and bitcoin.
The Tesla chief has butted heads with the investor before, most recently when he dismissed Berkshire’s proposal to build 10 natural-gas power plants across Texas in preparation for the state’s next power crisis.
While Musk has quoted Buffett in the past, he’s admitted that he’s not the investor’s “biggest fan.” He’s described allocating capital across Berkshire as “kind of a boring job,” and questioned Buffett’s “kindly grandfather” persona.
Notably, the Tesla chief labeled Buffett’s idea of economic moats – or enduring competitive advantages such as a beloved brand or patented technology – as “lame” on an earnings call in 2018. He argued that a company’s pace of innovation is the key determinant of its competitiveness instead.
Buffett defended the concept at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting that year. He pointed to Geico’s low costs, and customers’ loyalty to brands such as Coca-Cola and Snickers, as examples of powerful moats that keep rivals at bay.
“Elon may turn things upside down in some areas,” the investor said. “I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy,” he quipped, referring to Berkshire-owned See’s Candies.
“I’m starting a candy company, and it’s going to be amazing,” Musk jokingly tweeted in response. In contrast, Buffett signaled that he won’t be competing with Musk in the car business.
“I don’t really have the same urge to produce automobiles that he apparently has to produce candy,” he said in a CNBC interview in 2018.
Buffett has previously praised Musk as a “remarkable guy,” but suggested he has “room for improvement” and should be more selective about what he tweets.