Tesla investor quits his job as a multi-millionaire in his late 30s and wants to keep all the shares

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the dream of getting rich quick, albeit with plenty of work, come true at a young age. During the boom in the 1990s, he founded the Internet company Zip2. Already with its sale in 1999 he earned a double-digit million amount, but instead of retiring, he founded the PayPal predecessor, which was then bought by eBay for a lot more money. With this income, Musk founded SpaceX and made similar investments in Tesla, which made him the richest man in the world. And because Tesla has been listed on the stock exchange since 2010, some others have gotten rich with it. One of those lucky ones has now told how it came about.

Started with Tesla shares for $ 19,000

“Today, at the age of 39, I’m retiring from the world of companies,” said the user @jasondebolt on Twitter last week. To this end, he published a screenshot of his portfolio. It doesn’t show which stocks it consists of, but the total value of just under $ 12 million, which had increased by a good $ 900,000 that day. “I won’t be selling any stocks for the foreseeable future. $ TSLA “, DeBolt explained his strategy.

For the stock exchange company Ramp Capital, which among other things is putting together a portfolio with the participation of Twitter users, that was reason enough to ask him. In a post on the website, the Tesla millionaire himself as well as his interviewer emphasize that the strategy is by no means recommended for imitation due to the high individual risk. But personally, DeBolt, like CEO Musk, did not let himself be swayed by intermittent problems at Tesla and sometimes massive losses in the share. And so his first Tesla investment of 19,000 dollars in 2013 has now become 2.2 million dollars and, together with subsequent purchases, a total of around 12 million dollars.

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As he reported in an interview with Ramp Capital, DeBolt is a graduate of the University of California in Los Angeles and then initially worked for Google for ten years. Jobs followed at “some startups” and currently a position at Amazon, which he is now going to give up. He is not married and has no children, which does not make his ultimately successful investment strategy less risky, but perhaps more understandable. On Twitter he describes himself as a “pure Tesla investor since 2013”, formerly the owner of a Model S and (still) a consultant and software developer.

Unlike CEO Elon Musk, DeBolt did not have to work a lot for his wealth thanks to Tesla, but he also had to show good nerves. As he said in the interview, he has not yet voluntarily sold a single Tesla share. But he was apparently so convinced of the good long-term prospects that he even invested on credit – and during a weak phase in 2018 this led to his broker asking for a higher security deposit six times in a row. So DeBolt sold as much Tesla as he had to (10,000 shares taking into account the split in 2020, so 2000 pieces at the time) in order to be able to keep the rest.

Think in basic principles like Elon Musk

In retrospect, it was even a stroke of luck, reports the otherwise loyal Tesla shareholder in the interview. Because then the share fell by another 40 percent, which could have cost him all of his assets in view of the credit leverage. During the whole time, plenty of others had tried to give him tips on his Tesla position, but he himself decided on the basis of first principles thinking, as Musk likes to praise it, and did extensive research on the company and defied all (partial) sales recommendations.

For the future, DeBolt still wants to be at least a little more careful. Although he does not see a bubble in the Tesla course, as he said, on the contrary, there is still potential for courses of 20,000-30,000 dollars by 2030. But he wants to structure his retirement financially in such a way that he only has to borrow 8 percent of the value of his Tesla portfolio. In this way, he could cope with a price loss of up to 80 percent without having to sell shares to increase credit security. Voluntarily, he does not want to downsize his position and also no longer want to be forced to do so.

He can only think of one factor that could change something, said the young millionaire: If Tesla slows down its pace of innovation. As long as Elon Musk is in charge there, this is almost certainly not going to happen.


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