Leo KoGuan Bets Everything on Tesla and Musk—How It's Paying Off

Leo KoGuan has invested singlemindedly in Tesla since 2019 and has amassed an over $7 billion stake in the company.

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Nov. 1 2021, Published 3:32 p.m. ET

Leo KoGuan and Elon Musk
Source: Leo KoGuan Twitter

In September, the investment world took notice when a wealthy Singapore-based investor took to Twitter and claimed to have amassed one of the largest stakes in electric car company Tesla. Leo KoGuan already had a significant net worth earlier this fall when he started publicly proclaiming his faith in Elon Musk and Tesla's value.

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While KoGuan’s stake in Tesla might be a relatively small percentage of the company’s outstanding shares, he still reportedly holds the position of the third-largest individual shareholder. Bloomberg reported that his shares total less than 1 percent of Tesla’s total, but 1 percent of one of the world’s most valuable companies is impressive.

What is Leo KoGuan’s net worth?

Thanks in part to his stake in the software company he launched, SHI International, Forbes estimates KoGuan’s net worth at $9.1 billion. That puts him 1,444th on the Forbes Billionaires List of 2021. He has made large contributions to Chinese universities with some of his wealth.

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Tesla factory in Shanghai
Source: Getty

Despite his massive net worth, KoGuan isn’t done yet and doesn't have plans to sell off his Tesla shares. Bloomberg reports he has told followers that his goal is to accumulate at least $100 billion of wealth. His plans after that include helping fund a new kind of civilization as well as providing free health care and material comfort for all people.

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How did Leo KoGuan earn his money before Tesla?

KoGuan founded SHI International Corp., an enterprise software company, in New Jersey in 1989. That firm, according to Bloomberg, brings in over $11 billion in annual revenue. He doesn’t work in a daily capacity for SHI anymore, although he's the chairman and holds an approximately $3.2 billion stake in the company, which is private.

KoGuan said that he started seriously trading stock in 2019 and bought shares of Nvidia and NIO among others. However, after limited success, he decided to pour everything into Tesla.

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shi international leo koguan
Source: Shi International Corp. Facebook
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How many Tesla shares does Leo KoGuan own?

As of late September, KoGuan held 6.31 million shares of Tesla, according to bank records that he provided to Bloomberg News. KoGuan held options allowing him to buy another 1.82 million shares at $450–$550 per share, which is a deep discount compared to the closing Tesla price of $1,114 on Oct. 29.

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In an interview, KoGuan shared his philosophy of investing, which has essentially been to focus solely on one stock—Tesla—without wavering. He said, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Fortunately, I win more of the time than I lose.”

KoGuan’s strategy has been to continue investing in Tesla, even when its share value dropped. He hasn’t provided an update on his current stake in Tesla. KoGuan said that he bought additional shares and options in the EV company since his September tweets, when the value of his stake was about $4 billion.

After Hertz’s announcement about ordering 100,000 Teslas last week, Tesla’s share price increased by 13 percent that day. KoGuan told his followers that he had a ten-figure daily gain and intended to keep buying. “I’m all in. Any money I have I spend on Tesla,” KoGuan insisted.


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