Current Bill Gates Net Worth Explained

Current Bill Gates Net Worth Explained

Bill Gates has built a net worth of approximately $105.7 billion as of November 2019 making him the second richest person in the world currently after Jeff Bezos according to Forbes. 

Bill Gates started Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; it grew to become the largest software company in the world supplying personal computer companies with an operating system. Bill Gates won the microcomputer revolution of the 1980s with Microsoft Corporation by providing the software to operate the computers.

Bill Gates was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in history at the age of 31. In 2008 Mark Zuckerberg beat his record by becoming a billionaire at the age of 23 through his own founding and ownership stake in Facebook.

During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO, and chief software architect. Microsoft was a leading stock during the late 1990’s Dot-Com bubble and one of the greatest performing stocks of all time up Microsoft: +144,651% since the IPO as of October 2019 as it surged in recent years setting new all time highs. 

Bill Gates moved to a part-time role at Microsoft in June of 2006. His drive for philanthropy lead him to full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that he founded with his wife in 2000. Over time he transferred his Microsoft duties to Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie. In February 2014 he stepped down as chairman of Microsoft. He now remains with Microsoft as the technology adviser and mentors and guides CEO Satya Nadella.

Bill Gates became the first person with a 12-figure net worth in April 1999. During the peak of the Dot-Com bubble at the Microsoft stock all time highs his total net worth was greater than $100 billion. This would be approximately $150 billion inflation adjusted in 2019 dollars. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates were the first two individuals to be worth over $100 billion in history and they both peaked out near the same levels when adjusted for inflation. 

From the years 1995 to 2017, Bill Gates was the richest person in the world according to Forbes in all but four of those years. After the resurgence of Microsoft stock he became the richest person in the world again from March 2014 to July 2017. His wealth was created by staying the largest individual shareholder of Microsoft until May 2014. His fortunes were correlated to the performance of the company he founded and ran.

Microsoft achieved its first $100 billion sales year n 2018. At the end of 2018 Microsoft was the most valuable company in the world. 

By January 2014, Bill Gates’ had the majority of his assets held with Cascade Investment LLC which is an American holding and investment company. Bill Gates maintains control of the assets held at Cascade and  Michael Larson manages it. Over half of Gates’ net worth is held in assets besides Microsoft stock.

By January of 2019 Bill Gates had sold most of his Microsoft stock and donated over $35.8 billion with most of it going to his foundation. He now personally owns only a little more than 1% of the total outstanding Microsoft shares. His current 1% ownership is worth approximately $7.3 billion as of 2019.

Cascade Investment LLC holds ownership stakes in several private companies:

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Private Hospitality 
Strategic Hotels & Resorts Private Hospitality 
Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco Private Hospitality
TerraPower Private Nuclear power

Through this LLC Bill Gates also has a portfolio where he owns shares in several publicly traded companies, here is a recent list of his portfolio within Cascade Investment LLC:

Ticker Company % Portfolio Number of Shares Value ($1000)
BRK.B Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 50.61% 47,078,974 10,035,825
WM Waste Management Inc. 10.84% 18,633,672 2,149,767
CNI Canadian National Railway Co. 7.99% 17,126,874 1,583,893
CAT Caterpillar Inc. 7.74% 11,260,857 1,534,742
WMT Walmart Inc. 6.47% 11,603,000 1,282,015
ECL Ecolab Inc. 4.35% 4,366,426 862,107
CCI Crown Castle International Corp. 3.51% 5,332,900 695,144
FDX FedEx Corp. 2.50% 3,024,999 496,675
UPS United Parcel Service Inc. 2.36% 4,525,329 467,331
KOF Coca-Cola Femsa SAB de CV 1.95% 6,214,719 386,183
TV Grupo Televisa SAB 0.72% 16,879,104 142,460
LBTYK Liberty Global PLC 0.49% 3,639,349 96,552
LBTYA Liberty Global PLC 0.29% 2,119,515 57,206
ARCO Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. 0.11% 3,060,500 22,280
LILAK Liberty Latin America Ltd. 0.06% 636,044 10,934
LILA Liberty Latin America Ltd. 0.03% 370,424 6,382
– – – Asset Under Management 100.00% 155,872,686 19,829,496

Bill Gates is only leaving a $10 million inheritance to each of his three children which is approximately 1% of his net worth left to each child. He wants each of his children to have the motivation and opportunity to succeed through their own efforts. He is leaving the majority of his wealth to his foundation to fight childhood death, malnutrition, and global warming. 

Current Bill Gates Net Worth Explained
DFID – UK Department for International Development –