This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

2 Stock Ideas From Bill Gates

Stocks in this article: ECL DMND

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

By Ryan Fuhrmann

NEW YORK ( StreetAuthority) -- When it comes to the stock market, many investors -- myself included -- spend quite a bit of time analyzing the trading activity of the richest and most successful investors in the world.

These include well-known experts like Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and George Soros, who have become bona fide billionaires as a result of their successful investing strategies.

But no matter how successful or rich these mega-investors are, they're still far less wealthy than Bill Gates -- the richest person in the U.S., with an estimated fortune of $59 billion, according to Forbes.

Most people know Gates' wealth came from founding software giant Microsoft (MSFT), as opposed to successful stock picking.

What is less well known is that Gates has shifted a good deal of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which funds the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, his family's main philanthropic vehicle, which focuses on solving health care, education and poverty issues worldwide.

The trust manages not only Gates' contribution to the endowment, but also donations from various other wealthy individuals, including Warren Buffett, who contributes annually. The foundation currently sits on an estimated $15 billion in capital, which the trust strives to preserve in order to serve its philanthropic goals.

Even less known is that Gates has a private investment company, Cascade Investment LLC, which he uses as a vehicle to diversify his wealth out of Microsoft and explore other opportunities in the stock market.

Clearly, Gates knows how to invest his money. So when he buys or sells a stock, you need to pay attention. It could lead to a solid investing idea worth adding to your own portfolio. In the fourth quarter of 2011, for instance, Gates was busy buying and selling an interesting group of stocks. Here's some insight on two of the billionaire's latest investment moves.

A Long-Term Commitment to Ecolab

At the end of February, cleaning product giant Ecolab (ECL) named Gates' close business confidante Michael Larson to its board of directors.

Ecolab makes and sells cleaning, sanitizing, pest control and maintenance products and services to major hospitality, health care and industrial facilities throughout the world. This work cannot be cut in an economic downturn, which results in an operational consistency that probably helps the managers of the Cascade and Gates Foundation portfolios sleep well.

RELATED STORIES:



1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs