There are very few individuals in this world who would readily invest money into their arch rivals. Then again, Bill Gates has never been an ordinary individual, with news coming to light that he holds almost US$2 billion in Apple shares.
It’s something that almost defies belief. Bill Gates. Founder of Microsoft. The first and foremost ambassador of PCs. The very same man who once tried to take on the iPod hegemony with the doomed-to-fail Zune “revolution”. Though it’s not as linear as you would assume.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supported by a fund established by Gates himself, with over half of its portfolio controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The portfolio is currently valued at US$10 billion.
This US$10 billion represents 2.25% of Berkshire Hathaway as a whole. With an exposure of US$79 billion, it brings Gate’s own open position – albeit through proxy – to approximately US$1.78 billion. Just “shy” of US$2 billion (shy in Gates’ world, one hundred lifetimes’ short for the rest of us).
Buffett famously advocates for investing unemotionally. So one does wonder whether there was any sort of convincing necessary. Though probably not, given Gates’ equally famous pragmatism towards all things business. In the balance of probabilities, it’s highly likely that Gates recognised the command of Apple as a company in the consumer market, having previously acknowledged as such on multiple occasions (like in the video below).
When all is said and done, it’s certainly not a bad way to diversify your investments. Either way, Gates is primed to win – and in a big way.