The writing was on the wall, and we inscribed it: “Elon Musk embodies the cult of personality that investors are attracted to in the final stages of the bull market. Sell Tesla only when Elon Musk is crowned as TIME’s Person of the Year.”

We wrote that in April 2017, and Tesla’s stock is up 18-fold since then. 

At the time of our warning, Tesla had just surpassed General Motors to become the most valuable US automaker. Today it’s worth more than the entire global car industry, despite shipping less than two percent of the world’s new cars and trucks. 

While many saw Musk as a deranged con artist on the edge of bankruptcy, we viewed Tesla as a “public unicorn,” a Silicon Valley startup whose business model would not have worked without fresh funds from investors. Since going public in 2010, Musk has raised capital through stock or convertible-bond offerings every year except 2018 and 2021, including three times in 2020.

Source: Benedict Evans

In May 2018, when Tesla became the most shorted stock on the market, we wrote: “Market tops occur when all the buying has been exhausted, and there is no one left to buy. In the case of Tesla, what if all the selling has been done? What will drive Tesla’s share price lower?”

From 31 percent back then to 20 percent at the start of 2020, Tesla’s short interest has now slumped to 1.1 percent, the lowest ever. Investors are reluctant to risk their careers betting against Tesla. In just twelve trading days last fall, Tesla notched the biggest dollar jump ever in market cap in so short a period, over $400 billion.  

The Tesla options market has exploded. The largest individual equity options market has traditionally been no more than 10 percent of the total trading activity in US stock options. There have been days, however, when Tesla’s options trading activity has been five-to-six times the rest of the S&P 500 options activity combined. Investors who are new to the game are looking to magnify bullish bets.

Among them is 66-year-old Leo Koguan, who quietly amassed enough Tesla shares through call options to become the third-largest individual shareholder behind Oracle founder Larry Ellison and none other than Elon Musk. “I regarded myself as Elon's fanboy,” says Koguan, “I would say he is the only person I really respect on Earth.” 

Musk inspires hope, optimism, and defiance. Who else has the power to bend governments and industries to the force of his ambition? No one has had a more captivating impact on consumers and investors alike.  

Source: Forbes

“He was always different,” Maye Musk says about her son, now the richest person in history. “He was my little genius boy. From the time he was 3, we used to call him that—Genius Boy.”

Now it’s official. Describing Musk as a “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, man-god,” TIME has honored him as its Person of the Year, celebrating his role in driving the world’s shift towards sustainable energy and spacefaring civilization. 

“Musk is our avatar of infinite possibility,” TIME’s editors profess, “our usher to the remade world, where shopworn practices are cast aside and the unprecedented becomes logical, where Earth and humanity can still be saved.”

Elon Musk is the poster child for the hopes and dreams of this bull market. The TIME cover, then, is an omen; we’re getting close to the end.