With a staggering net worth of $127 billion, Bill Gates, the fifth-wealthiest individual globally, has a financial acumen that can captivate any savvy investor’s attention. While he doesn’t manage his own portfolio daily, his stock selections significantly impact his philanthropic endeavors through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation, steered by Gates, directs billions of dollars towards pressing issues such as global climate change, technological advancement, vaccine development, and education. The success of Cascade Asset Management Co., which supervises Gates’ personal assets and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, can be a valuable guide for those looking to invest wisely.
As of June 30, seven stocks were part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, as revealed in the latest 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 14. These stocks, which include Microsoft Corp., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Canadian National Railway Co., Waste Management Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co., and Ecolab Inc., are worth considering for investors who want to follow Gates’ investment strategy. However, individual vetting of these stocks is the final step towards investing the Bill Gates way.
Bill Gates’ Investment Portfolio: What Can We Learn?
Bill Gates, with a net worth of $127 billion and the fifth-wealthiest individual in the world as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, certainly knows how to grow his wealth. His portfolio, managed by Cascade Asset Management Co., is a rich source of funding for the philanthropic causes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Let’s delve into the seven stocks that are current holdings of the Gates Foundation Trust, according to its latest 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A Look into Gates’ Portfolio
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), co-founded by Gates, takes up a substantial 31.8% of his portfolio. The tech giant, known for its software products, cloud computing services, and more recently, artificial intelligence investments, has seen a 33% growth year to date, making it a robust backbone of any investment portfolio.
The second-largest holding is Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), making up 20.4% of the portfolio. Gates added 27% to his position in Warren Buffett’s company in the second quarter, moving to an $8.6 billion stake. Berkshire Hathaway, known for its solid investments in major insurance companies, is up 14.3% in 2023.
Canadian National Railway Co. (CNI), the third-largest holding at 15.8% of the portfolio, has seen the Gates Foundation Trust significantly expand its holdings over the past decade. Despite being down 3.8% in 2023, it remains a major income generator with a 2.8% forward dividend yield.
Other Noteworthy Holdings
Waste Management Inc. (WM), despite underperforming this year with a mere 2% gain, remains an attractive investment with its 1.8% dividend yield and commitment to environmentally conscious waste management.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) makes up 4.3% of the portfolio. The agricultural equipment giant has seen about a 30% gain since May, thanks to government-approved funds flowing into the construction sector and the demand for new housing.
Deere & Co. (DE), another stalwart in the portfolio, bested estimates in Q2 with a revenue boost of 30% and a solid dividend yield of 1.2%.
Finally, Ecolab Inc. (ECL), a clean energy company specializing in sustainable water, hygiene, and energy technology, holds a 2.4% weight in the portfolio. The company’s share price has leaped from its $45 level in 2010 to $180.99 on Aug. 17, making it a high-performing asset.
Gates’ portfolio reveals a strategic blend of tech, finance, transportation, waste management, and clean energy investments. It demonstrates a keen eye for companies with robust growth prospects, steady cash flows, and strong commitments to sustainability. Investors seeking to replicate his success may find these stocks worth considering. However, individual research and vetting remain crucial before following in Gates’ investment footsteps.