Bill Gates is well known as the co-founder of Microsoft, in addition to his numerous philanthropic ventures. As one might expect, a significant portion of his wealth, to the tune of about $26 billion, is still tied up in Microsoft stock. However, Gates also invests in numerous companies through his Cascade Investment LLC investment fund. Here's a list of 10 of Gates' positions in the fund, along with a look at how they've performed.
Last updated: Oct. 7, 2021
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $120.25
AutoNation is the nation's largest auto retailer, and demand is booming. In the company's most recent quarter, AutoNation reported an 88% jump in profits, reflecting high demand especially for used vehicles. AutoNation's stock price has skyrocketed right along with the company's earnings, popping 68% year-to-date.
Deere & Company (DE)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $338.44
Deere is one of the oldest and most well-regarded names on the list of Gates' investments, having provided tractors and farm equipment since 1837. However, Gates may be betting on the technological innovation side of the company more than the traditional farm-based side, as fellow tech guru and investment manager Cathie Wood of ARK Investments is also a big shareholder in the company.
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Waste Management Inc. (WM)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $148.83
Waste Management is one of two disposal and recycling companies on Gates' investment list. Billing itself as North America's leading provider of integrated environmental solutions, Waste Management is having a banner 2021 thus far, up over 27% year-to-date.
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Ecolab Inc. (ECL)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $212.37
Ecolab is one of the underperforming stocks in Gates' portfolio, just about flat YTD in 2021. The company's mission is likely part of the reason that Gates is interested in the company, as Ecolab describes itself as the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions.
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Diageo plc (DEO)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $193.02
Diageo is the owner of many well-known alcoholic beverage and spirits companies, from Johnnie Walker and Tanqueray to Smirnoff, J&B, Ketel One, Crown Royal and Guinness. All in all, the company offers over 200 brands across 180 countries at a wide variety of price points. Diageo pays a generous dividend of 2.08% and has risen nearly 22% thus far in 2021.
Republic Services Inc. (RSG)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $120.01
Republic Services is a recycling and waste management company that Gates and Cascade Investment seem very bullish on, as the fund owns a whopping 34% of the company's outstanding shares. The stock is up about 25% year-to-date, and about 142% over the past five years. Operating in 41 states, Republic Services also appears on Ethisphere's Most Ethical Companies List.
Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $38.19
Arch Capital Group is a relatively new company, formed just in 2001. The company writes insurance on a global basis, including reinsurance and mortgage insurance. The stock is up a modest 8.5% YTD, although it's gained nearly 28% over the past year.
Canadian National Railway Company (CNI)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $116.78
Both the Cascade fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Charitable Trust own shares of Canadian National Railway Company, which is up just over 7% year-to-date. The Canadian National Railway spans the whole of Canada, from coast to coast, in addition to serving middle America, all the way down to the Gulf Coast.
Vroom Inc. (VRM)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $20.75
Vroom is an online car buying site that competes with the likes of Carvana by selling pre-owned, typically lower-mileage vehicles on its site. The disruptor to the traditional car-buying model seems to be an appropriate fit for technology guru Gates. Vroom is the newest company on Gates' ownership list, holding its IPO on June 9, 2020, more than doubling in price on its first day.
Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FMX)
Stock price as of Oct. 4, 2021: $85.90
Many investors aren't familiar with one of the foreign names on Gates' stock list, Fomento Economico Mexicano. However, the company popularly known as FEMSA is actually the largest Coca-Cola bottling group in the world. The stock is up nearly 14% year-to-date and over 50% over the past year.