Bill Gates, the billionaire, has concentrated a significant 82% of his $42 billion investment portfolio in only four stocks

Billionaire Bill Gates allocates a substantial 82% of his $42 billion investment portfolio to just four major stocks. Most people are likely acquainted with Gates, renowned for co-founding Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and his philanthropic endeavors. After leading Microsoft for 25 years, he stepped down as CEO to focus more on charitable work. Gates’ wealth has since grown to an estimated $127.7 billion, ranking him as the seventh-richest individual globally, according to Forbes.

The primary focus of Gates’ charitable initiatives revolves around the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, dedicated to fostering a world where everyone has the chance to live a healthy and productive life. Having disbursed nearly $54 billion since 2000, the trust’s holdings undergo constant changes. While it maintains stakes in numerous companies, four prominent stocks dominate its portfolio:

1. Microsoft (34%): Unsurprisingly, Microsoft holds the leading position, given Gates’ close association with the company. The Gates Foundation owns over 38 million shares of Microsoft valued at $14.3 billion. Microsoft’s strategic shift to cloud services, particularly with CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, has proven successful, with Microsoft Azure becoming the world’s second-largest cloud infrastructure provider.

2. Berkshire Hathaway (17%): Gates’ connection with Warren Buffett has led to a significant allocation to Berkshire Hathaway, with nearly 20 million shares valued at $7.1 billion. Buffett’s intention to donate his Berkshire stock to charity aligns with Gates’ philanthropic goals. Berkshire’s diverse businesses, including successful insurance ventures, contribute substantially to its operating income.

3. Canadian National Railway (16%): Reflecting Warren Buffett’s influence, the Gates Foundation holds almost 55 million shares of Canadian National Railway valued at $6.9 billion. Buffett has long emphasized the efficiency and environmental benefits of railroads for transporting goods.

4. Waste Management (15%): The foundation’s stake in Waste Management consists of over 35 million shares valued at $6.3 billion. Waste Management’s role in waste collection and recycling, coupled with its dividend growth for 15 consecutive years, aligns with Gates’ investment strategy.

A recurring theme in the Gates Foundation Trust’s holdings is the emphasis on dividend-paying stocks. This aligns with the strategy of generating income through dividends, which can be utilized for charitable purposes without the need to sell underlying stocks. In 2023, the portfolio generated nearly $500 million in dividend income.

For investors seeking income, these four stocks, with their dividend-paying characteristics, could be considered as a starting point for building a portfolio.

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