Bill Gates Portfolio Holdings: Bill Gates, is the second richest man in the world, just behind Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of US$108.6 billion.
Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, investor, and philanthropist, with an estimated net worth of US$107.1 billion.
A Harvard dropout, Bill Gates founded Microsoft (MSFT) in 1975. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014. He has been included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest documented individuals since 1987. Gates’ knack for increasing wealth is staggering, even for an incredibly wealthy guy. The Microsoft co-founder’s net worth has more than doubled since 2009.
However, it would be very unfair to think of Gates as just a business magnate. Apart from being one of the richest people in the world, he is also the world’s most revered philanthropist. Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which he established with his wife Melinda in 2000, he has spent billions to fight diseases like polio and malaria and alleviate poverty. In the US, the foundation works towards gun control reform and education reform. He pledged $50 million in 2014 to help fight Ebola.
Bill Gates is currently a board member for Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A).
Stocks Owned By Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, holding in excess of $50 billion in assets.
The Trust does not invest in companies whose policies it feels are not aligned with its philosophy of helping businesses find solutions to complex issues and deep-rooted problems. For example, the Trust stays away from investing in tobacco companies.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s portfolio packs an impressive punch with investment in diverse companies with fundamentally strong business models and sustainable competitive advantages.
The Foundation holdings include investment in Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Waste Management Inc., Canadian National Railway Co., Caterpillar Inc., Walmart Inc., Ecolab Inc., Crown Castle International Corp., FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., Coca-Cola Femsa SAB de CV, Grupo Televisa SAB and Liberty Global PLC, among others.
Berkshire Hathaway (50.61%)
The largest holding in the Foundation’s portfolio is Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. [NYSE: BRK.B], which should not come as a surprise given Gate’s close friendship with Warren Buffett and the dominant position the company enjoys in the global market.
The Foundation holds nearly 47,078,974 shares of Berkshire Hathaway with a market value of over $10 billion, for a portfolio weighting of 50.61%.
Berkshire Hathaway is a mammoth conglomerate with over $200 billion in revenues.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company, known for its control and leadership by Warren Buffet, has a well-diversified revenue stream, superb financial strength, strong cash flow and an impeccable record of stellar growth over the years.
In fact, the Trust gained strength from Buffett’s 2006 pledge to give it $30 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock, to be spread over the years, to help Gates carry out the good work. Gates also serves on the Board of Directors of Berkshire Hathaway.
Waste Management Inc. [NYSE: WM] (10.84%)
The Houston, Texas-based company owns or operates transfer stations, active landfill disposal sites, recycling plants, beneficial-use landfill gas projects and power production plants.
Shares of Waste Management [NYSE: WM] gained in excess of 25% last year, which should not come as a surprise, given the fact that its large landfill network makes it incredibly tough for competitors to enter the sector.
Additionally, hauling, disposing, and recycling trash is resilient to fluctuating business cycles and economic downturn. Also, the company is known for its dividend payout, having raised its dividends for 14 straight years.
The Foundation holds nearly 18,633,672 shares of Waste Management, with a market value of over $2 billion. The trash hauler has a weighting of 10.84% in the Foundation’s portfolio.
The whole economy will come to a standstill if the railways stop transporting goods. This “essential” nature of the business is the primary reason why top investors and billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have railways in their portfolio. In fact, Gates is the largest shareholder in the Canadian railroad today.
Canadian National Railway Company [NYSE: CNI] is Canada’s largest railway in terms of both revenue and its rail network, spanning three key coasts with around 20,400 route miles of track.
With free cash flow surpassing profits, good return on capital, excellent operating ratio and a solid dividend record make Canadian National a great buy-and-hold stock, exactly the type shrewd investors like Buffett and Gates prefer.
The Foundation holds nearly 17,126,874 shares of Canadian National Railway with a market value of over $1.58 billion. The goods carrier has a weighting of 7.99% in the Foundation’s portfolio.
Caterpillar Inc. [NYSE: CAT] (7.74%)
Caterpillar [NYSE: CAT] is a leading global manufacturer of heavy equipment used for mining, agriculture and energy.
It also manufactures diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and locomotives. The company is facing some upheaval currently, but its 90-year legacy coupled with its brand power and quality leadership still make it a good investment option.
The Foundation holds nearly 11,260,857 shares of Caterpillar with a market value of over $1.53 billion, for a portfolio weighting of 7.74%.
Wal-Mart Stores [NYSE: WMT] (6.47 %)
This is an interesting pick for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s portfolio, given the fact that Warren Buffett sold his entire stake of the world’s largest retailer a couple of years ago.
However, the reason cited for the Foundation investing in Wal-Mart [NYSE: WMT] should not have come as a bolt from the blue. With over $500 billion in sales and having successfully integrated its digital and brick-and-mortar supply chains, Wal-Mart has given enough hints about staying in contention in the future.
The Foundation holds nearly 11,603,000 shares of Wal-Mart, with a market value of over $1.28 billion, for a portfolio weighting of 6.47%.
Other top stocks held by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are as following:
Ecolab Inc. [NYSE: ECL] provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The Foundation holds nearly 3,024,999 shares of Ecolab with a market value of around $862 million for a portfolio weighting of 4.35%.
FedEx Corporation [NYSE: FDX] is an American multinational courier, packages and freight delivery Services Company.
The Foundation holds nearly 4,366,426 shares of FedEx with a market value of around $497 million. The shipping services company has a weighting of 2.50% in the Foundation’s portfolio.
Crown Castle International [NYSE: CCI] is America’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure.
The Foundation holds nearly 5,332,900 shares of Crown Castle with a market value of around $695 million. The operator of wireless communications towers has a weighting of 3.51% in the Foundation’s portfolio.
United Parcel Service, Inc. [NYSE: UPS] provides logistics, financial, letter and package delivery services. The Foundation holds nearly 4,525,329 shares of UPS with a market value of around $467 million. The logistics provider has a weighting of 2.36% in the Foundation’s portfolio.
Coca-Cola FEMSA, SAB. de C.V.[NYSE: KOF] produces, markets, sells, and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages. The Foundation holds nearly 6,214,719 shares of Coca-Cola FEMSA with a market value of over $386 million, for a portfolio weighting of 1.95%.
Bill Gates Portfolio Holdings: The Bottom Line
Confused about where to start? A good way is to track the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s investments. These companies have strong brand recognition strategies and are market leaders in their own segments and sectors. Investing in such companies as such is likely to reap you rich rewards.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.