Invest Like Bill Gates for the Long-Term

He is currently the fourth richest person in the world. An entrepreneur and business magnate who co-founded Microsoft, the world's largest personal computer software company.

Now a retired, full-time philanthropist, Gates helps run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which boasts an extensive investment portfolio of 18 stocks worth over $19.7 billion in its most recent 13F filings. Have you ever wondered what Bill Gates' portfolio of investments looks like?

Bill Gates's portfolio is diverse, holding stocks from many different sectors. Although he does not follow a dividend growth strategy, many of his stocks pay increasing dividends. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment portfolio is concentrated, with the top five holdings making up 87.22% of the total investment portfolio.

These are some of the most significant holdings Bill Gates has chosen:

1. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is a multinational conglomerate holding company. The company is widely known for being managed by one of the wealthiest people in the world, Warren Buffet. Buffet and Gates have forged a close relationship, and Gates served on the Board of Directors until 2020.

According to Buffett's 2021 Annual Letter, Berkshire Hathaway owns stocks like Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz, Bank of America, and many more. It also owns subsidiaries like GEICO Insurance, See's Candies, BNSF, Berkshire Energy, etc. The company had a net income of almost $90 billion in 2021, a 111.18% increase from 2020. Berkshire Hathaway currently has a stock price of over $410,000.

This stock is Bill Gates' largest holding and comprises about 51.2% of his total portfolio.

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2. Waste Management Inc.

Waste Management Inc. (WM) is another holding company where its subsidiaries perform all operations. The services provided include waste collection, transfer, recycling, and disposal.

Waste Management Inc. also developed, operates, and owns waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the U.S. The company's net income in 2021 surpassed the previous year by 21.30%, with a reported net income of $1.816 billion. The current stock price is almost $168 per share.

Gates owns approximately 4.5% of the stock, making him the second largest shareholder. Waste Management is his second-largest holding constituting about 14.94% of his assets.

3. Canadian National Railway Company

Canadian National Railway (CNI) is a rail freight company and related transportation business with headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. The company boasts a 20,000-mile network that spans Canada and Mid-America and connects three coasts: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. The company provides transportation services for the automotive, coal, fertilizer, food and beverages, forest products, grain, metals and minerals, petroleum, and chemical industries.

Canadian National Railway had a net income of $3.903 billion in 2021. That was a 46.97% increase from 2020. The company currently has a stock price of over $116 per share.

CNI is about 8.87% of Gates' portfolio.

4. Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also designs, develops, engineers, markets, and sells customers' machinery, engines, financial products, and insurance.

Caterpillar ranks as a Fortune 100 company; one of the largest companies in the United States based on revenues. In 2021, Caterpillar had a net income of $6.49 billion, a 116.44% increase from 2020. The stock currently trades at around $180 per share.

Caterpillar is around 8.29% of the total Gates portfolio.

5. Ecolab

Ecolab (ECL) develops and provides services in the area of technology and systems that specialize in water treatment, purification, cleaning, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions that protect people and their resources. Ecolab serves over 40 diverse industries, such as food production, restaurants, hospitals, paper mills, etc.

Gates has steadily increased his shares in Ecolab, making it one of the top five largest holdings in his portfolio as of 2021. Ecolab's net income in 2021 was $1.13 billion. The stock price is currently at $163 per share.

Ecolab is the fifth largest percentage of Gates' assets, holding at roughly 3.90% of the portfolio.

6. Walmart

Walmart (WMT) is the largest retailer and grocery store in the United States and is a merchandiser of consumer products and services at low prices. Walmart International operates grocery stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, department and discount stores, and neighborhood markets. The company also owns Sam's Club, the warehouse chain.

Net income in 2021 was $13.51 billion, and the current stock price is around $132 per share. Gates has bought and sold shares of Walmart several times, but it is still currently the sixth-highest holding in the Bill Gates portfolio.

7. Deere & Company

Deere & Company (DE) manufactures agricultural machinery, heavy equipment, forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains such as axles, transmissions, gearboxes used in heavy equipment, and lawn care equipment. Farmers across the country swear by the brand name John Deere.

In 2021, Deere & Company had a net income of $5.963 billion, a 116.76% increase from 2020. The current stock price is $361 per share. In 2019, Gates was the largest shareholder of Deere stock but has since transferred $850 million in shares to his former wife, Melinda French Gates.

8. Microsoft

Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), which manufactures and sells software and hardware to businesses and consumers. Product offerings include operating systems for personal computers, servers, phones, server applications, productivity applications, business solution applications, desktop and server management tools, software development tools, video games, and online advertising.

Microsoft's 2021 net income was $61.27 billion, a 38.37% increase from 2020. The current stock price is around $253.

9. Crown Castle Incorporated

Crown Castle Incorporated (CCI) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company owns more than 40,000 cell towers and 85,000+ miles of fiber. The REIT leases its towers to cell phone service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Crown Castle's 2021 net income was $6,340 million. Bill Gates's ownership in Crown Castle is currently worth around $262 million. Their stock price is currently at around $169.

Final Thoughts

Bill Gates's portfolio has generated enormous wealth for the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates is currently the fourth richest person in the world. Gates' business acumen and his skilled investment team are working well. Several of the stocks held in the portfolio are beating the S&P 500 Index this year. Investors should consider following his lead.

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This post was produced by Dividend Power and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.


Nadia is an M.B.A. graduate and freelance writer. She also likes to write about all aspects of mom life, co-authors the blog This Mom Is On Fire, and advocates for better dementia healthcare for seniors.