The real reason Jeff Bezos sold $1.8 billion in Amazon stock after $1 trillion market cap

According to SEC filings, Jeff Bezos sold more than $1.8 billion worth of shares of Amazon in the past week. This happened just around the time Amazon hit the $1 trillion market cap again, after first crossing it in 2018. The selling of the stock didn’t happen all together, but in a series of sales that started on Jan. 31. This is done in order to maximize profits.

There is a misconception among some that Jeff Bezos sold his shares just to make money. Being worth over $100 billion, there is no real reason for him to sell $1.8 billion worth of his shares in Amazon for personal profit. Jeff Bezos took the money out to continue to fund his private space startup – Blue Origin. He has done the same thing in 2017 and 2019, and he once said that he sells at least $1 billion of Amazon stock every year to continue to fund his startup.

Launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. | Blue Origin
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Funding a private space company is not easy. Elon Musk makes it seem effortless, but SpaceX is objectively far more successful than Blue Origin. SpaceX regularly puts commercial payload into orbit and lands its rockets perfectly almost 100% of the time. SpaceX also has a government contract with NASA to send humans to the ISS onboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket.

Since Blue Origin is not profitable yet, it has to be funded almost entirely by the Amazon CEO. Selling 905,456 Amazon shares for $1.84 billion is just a part of the risk that Bezos has to take. Amazon rejoins the $1 trillion club with Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google parent company).

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