Microsoft founder Bill Gates held the recognition of being the richest person in the world for a long time until he was dethroned. Known for his philanthropic efforts, Gates has effectively given away a great portion of his wealth.
But after a good ‘year’, he’s managed to gain back what he gave to charities and brought his net worth back up again. It’s not because of Microsoft though.
After earning an additional $9.5 million in 2018, Gates fortune now qualifies him to join the exclusive $100 billion club once again. This comes amidst belief on the public’s part that the tech genius’ wealth has shrunk to something way smaller than what it was during Microsoft’s heydays.
The truth is that he’s just grown richer and richer throughout the years. People are right though to think that Microsoft isn’t the main contributor to his net worth anymore. These days, Gates gets his billions from numerous wise investments managed by his own personal investment firm, Cascade Investment.
Through the firm, the 63-year-old billionaire has managed to accumulate sizeable stakes at companies like AutoNation and Waste Management Inc. He also has relatively smaller shares on other companies and owns a couple of real estate properties, too.
What more, his charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also owns some stakes in some for-profit companies. It’s important to note though that the foundation’s possible earnings aren’t personally owned by either Gates or his wife.
While his fortune continues to grow, Gates’ shares in Microsoft are actually shrinking. He used to own $1.1 billion worth of shares in the tech company 15 years ago but sold the majority of it over the years.
There’s also the fact that Gates doesn’t even receive a salary or any other form of stock grant despite being Microsoft’s chairman. He only makes money from the company whenever the tech giant acquires another company that he’s invested in.
Giving Away His Fortune
There’s no doubt that Gates is very good at making money but he’s even better at giving it away. This is evident in his efforts to commit himself to numerous charitable endeavors. One of his notable decisions in relation to this is the launching of The Giving Pledge.
Together with his wife and financial genius Warren Buffett, Gates pledged to give the majority of his billions to people in need for the rest of his life and even after his death. The couple has mostly concentrated their efforts through their own foundation which has been active for almost two decades.
According to Gates, he believes that giving is a basic responsibility that anybody who has a lot of money has to do.