Major Tesla investor Ron Baron told CNBC on Wednesday that he’s made $6 billion on his investment in the electric automaker and plans to remain a shareholder for at least another 10 years.
At more than $1,000 as of Wednesday, Baron’s namesake investment firm, Baron Capital, holds almost 6 million Tesla shares, on a cost of ownership basis at $42.88 each. Baron Capital has $58.9 billion in assets under management.
“We made our clients $54 billion in profits, and that $54 billion in profits is included about $6 billion from Tesla from a $380 million investment, you know 7 or 8 years ago,” Baron said on “Squawk Box.”
Back in March, Baron predicted Tesla’s stock would reach a price of $2,000 per share over the next ten years and would be $1,500 by 2024. Despite the predictions, Baron said the time that he sold 1.8 million Tesla share for his firm’s clients, a move he called “painful” but necessary for “risk mitigation.”
Baron, whose firm sold another 41,000 shares of Tesla in October, remains extremely bullish on the stock, calling Musk a hard working, inspiring and “brilliant guy.”
“When I first met Elon ten years ago I was skeptical about whether it would be successful, and it’s only after we started producing the Model S that we began to purchase stock,” Baron said.
The longtime Tesla investor is also excited about Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture, which earlier this month hit a $100 billion valuation. Baron suggested most people wouldn’t be as curious about space without the mega-billionaire, and that the U.S. government should be more appreciative of Musk’s contributions.
“There would not be electric cars were it not for Elon Musk, in fact you probably wouldn’t be into space the way you are right now were it not for Elon Musk,” Baron said. “The two most popular companies for engineers when they graduate to work for is …Tesla and SpaceX.”
Baron made these remarks around his criticism of the billionaires’ tax unveiled Wednesday by Democrats.
The main risk to the future of Tesla is Musk’s health, according to Baron. “The biggest risk I think we have is his health,” Baron said. “He sleeps five hours a day and he works 19 hours a day … so short term, that’s the risk.”
Despite the lack of sleep, Musk is currently in good health, Baron said. “Hopefully he stays healthy for a really long time, he’s got big plans.”
Tesla’s stock market value is currently more than $1 trillion, with shares up nearly 1.5% before the bell Wednesday.