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Bill Gates Sheds a Few Billion

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted February 17, 2009




Here is one from the misery loves company department, even though it is hard to picture a gloomy gazillionaire.

Even still, folks like Bill Gates are just like the rest of us when it comes to their investments-afraid to open up their monthly statements. The difference, of course, is only in the degree of the losses.

So if you think you’ve had a bad year in the markets, just be happy for once that you are no Bill Gates. He lost $3 billion in the fourth quarter alone.

That’s 3000 million to you and me or 7.69 times the biggest lottery jackpot of all time. The record lottery payout, by comparison, is a mere $390 million.

So if you bump into Bill at the 7-11 anytime soon and he seems a little grumpy you’ll know why.

Poor guy.

Nonetheless, here’s a look at how he’s handling his money these days.

It is in a story from Reuters entitled: Even Bill Gates feeling the pinch

“Even billionaire Bill Gates may be feeling the pinch these days.

The value of Gates’ investments fell by $3 billion, or almost 20 percent, in the fourth quarter as the worst financial crisis in decades and a deepening recession hammered stock prices.

The investments of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fell 19 percent to $9.07 billion, while those of Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ investment firm, fell 18 percent to $4.02 billion, according to regulatory filings on Tuesday.

The foundation increased its stake in McDonald’s Corp the world’s largest hamburger chain, to 6.4 million shares as of December 31 from 4.9 million shares as of September 30, according to the filings.

The foundation increased its stake in Coca Cola Co to 5.7 million shares from 2.7 million shares, and in auto dealership group Autonation Inc to 10.2 million shares from 7.7 million shares.

It shed stakes in troubled financial companies American International Group and Washington Mutual.

The foundation took a one-million-share stake in Coca Cola Enterprises Inc  the largest Coca-Cola bottler, and cut its stake in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Cascade took a 7.95 million-share stake in Eastman Kodak Co and a 3 million-share stake in shoe maker Crocs.”

Of course, it is worth noting that Bill Gates  had a net worth of about $58 billion in 2008, proving once again that the very rich really are different than you and me. 


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