How Much Microsoft Stock Does Bill Gates Own?

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft stock is the backbone of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

Helping to found Microsoft (MSFT -1.49%) nearly 50 years ago, Bill Gates is widely recognized as one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. Forbes, for example, estimates Gates’s net worth at about $135 billion. He’s also one of the most philanthropic. Valued at $46 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2024, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation performs charitable work in more than 130 countries — from assisting with agricultural development to improving financial resources for low-income communities.

But how much exactly does Microsoft represent in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s portfolio? Let’s take a look.

A who’s who of industry leaders

While some smaller companies represent nominal positions in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, most of the holdings are well-recognized names. Trash pickup and disposal specialist Waste Management, Berkshire Hathaway, and Canadian National Railway each account for about 16% of the trust’s portfolio as of the end of Q1 2024. And then there’s Microsoft, which holds a commanding position among tech stocks with a market capitalization of $3.4 trillion, dwarfing its closest peer, Oracle, which has a market cap of $398 billion.

Of the 24 holdings in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s portfolio, Microsoft is the largest holding, making up about 34% of the portfolio and valued at about $15.4 billion. It’s not only the sizable standing, however, that’s worth noting. The 36,499,597 shares also generate a considerable amount of dividend income — more than $27 million in Q2 2024.

Is now a good time to add Microsoft to your own portfolio?

Although Microsoft provides the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust with a prodigious amount of passive income, it’s unlikely that the forward-yielding dividend of 0.64% is going to excite most income investors. Those looking for artificial intelligence (AI) exposure, however, should consider Microsoft as its generative AI chatbot Copilot grows in popularity. On Microsoft’s recent Q3 2024 conference call, management noted that “Thirty thousand organizations across every industry have used Copilot studio to customize Copilot for Microsoft 365 or build their own, up 175% quarter over quarter.”

Scott Levine has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, and Oracle. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway and Waste Management and recommends the following options: long January 2026 $395 calls on Microsoft and short January 2026 $405 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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