Decades after founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is still creating immense wealth for himself.
He added $16 billion to his net worth this year, bringing his total net worth to $106 billion, according to Bloomberg. He’s second only to Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, even after donating $35 billion to charity.
Gates said in an interview:
“We’re not, you know, in some defensive posture where we’re mostly in cash, or anything like that. The strategy that’s been used on the investments is to be over 60% in equities.”
And with Microsoft just announcing a new $40 billion buyback scheme, the fact that it is the most valuable company in the world is not hurting Gates…
As of Monday, Gates had about $60 billion of his assets in equities. This is far higher than the average family office in North America, which held about 32% of its assets in equities in 2018.
Gates’ family office, Cascade Investment, is overseen by Michael Larson and has enabled Gates to build the world’s largest private foundation without making any impact on his fortune. Of course, his fortune could be at risk if politicians call for higher taxes.
Gates said about a potential wealth tax:
“I doubt, you know, the U.S. will do a wealth tax but I wouldn’t be against it. The closest thing we have to it is the estate tax. And I’ve been a huge proponent that that should go back to the level of 55% that it was a few decades ago.”
In his interview, Gates also pleaded for higher income taxes and more financial transparency: “I’m for way more financial transparency. I don’t like that you can have trusts where nobody knows who owns it.”
Gates also doesn’t believe his stellar returns are likely to continue:
“There’s reasons to think absolute returns for the next decade will be less than they have been for the last several decades.”