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Warren Buffett Gains Ground as Elon Musk Stumbles

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have had a much better year than Elon Musk and Tesla.
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Warren Buffett's net worth has risen by over a billion dollars so far in 2022, a performance that far outpaces many tech giant CEOs such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Buffett's net worth had risen to $110 billion as of Nov. 28, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The gain, in a brutal year for stocks, has helped Buffett close the gap with Musk, the world's richest man, who is now running Twitter and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report. Musk's net worth has fallen by $90.5 billion over the same period, as fears of inflation, a weaker economy and the mercurial CEO's distraction from his acquisition of Twitter, have sent Tesla shares tumbling. 

Buffett is currently the sixth richest man in the world while Musk still remains the richest with a net worth of $180 billion. 

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has lost $75.6 billion while his net worth stands at $117 billion. The fortune of Microsoft founder Bill Gates fell by $22.8 billion and is valued at $115 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway's Performance

Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Buffett, purchased over $4 billion in shares of Taiwan Semiconductor  (TSM) - Get Free Report during the third quarter while it sold some shares of two bank stocks -  Bank of New York  (BK) - Get Free Report and U.S. Bancorp  (USB) - Get Free Report, according to a Nov. 14 U.S. Securities and Exchange filing.

The behemoth bought shares of oil giant Chevron CVX and Occidental Petroleum  (OXY) - Get Free Report during the third quarter and also acquired 60 million shares of Taiwan Semiconductor, which is a contract producer of semiconductors globally.

Berkshire increased its holding in Chevron by 3.9 million shares to a total of 165.3 million shares and also bought 35 million more shares in Occidental Petroleum to raise its stake to 194.3 million shares.

Musk's New Challenges

Since Musk acquired Twitter, he has been in constant conflict with the company's employees and advertisers. He fired 50% of the staff immediately, including the CEO and CFO. Hundreds more left the company after Musk set a deadline for them to commit to lengthy hours, weekend work and a "hardcore" attitude, or leave.

Now, Musk has launched a fightr with Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report because he dislikes the fee the tech behemoth charges for purchases made in apps distributed  in its app store- taking a 30% cut. 

In his latest feud, Musk alleged that Apple made threats to "withhold" Twitter from its store for iOS apps, but did not state a reason.

Musk also tweeted that Apple had “mostly stopped advertising” on the social media platform.

Apple AAPL remains Berkshire Hathaway's top stock holding and the number of shares did not change during the quarter. Berkshire owns 895 million shares that make up 40% of the portfolio.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News on Nov. 15 that the moderation of content on Twitter for hate speech was critical. 

"They say that they are going to continue to moderate," he said. "I’m counting on them to continue to do that.” 

Twitter was acquired by Musk for $44 billion on Oct. 27 at what even he admitted was a high valuation for the company.

Since taking over Twitter, Musk reactivated the account of former President Donald Trump after 22 months of suspension, following the events of Jan. 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill. He also reactivated accounts banned for anti-trans comments and for spreading hate speech. 

Shares of Tesla have plummeted by 54% year-to-date.