The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s portfolio is heavily weighted towards dividend stocks. Given the trust’s allocation towards funding numerous initiatives, a continuous inflow of income is imperative.
Highlighted below are three dividend stocks that hold substantial positions within the foundation’s portfolio.
Waste Management (WM)
As an industry leader, Waste Management maintains a firmly established position.
Its stocks have surged by 75% over the last half-decade. In 2022, operational revenue experienced a 9.9% year-on-year growth.
The company has distributed dividends totaling $1.08 billion over the past year, and with approximately $2 billion in free cash flow for 2022, investors need not fret about receiving their dividend payments.
The company’s revenues are grappling with the impacts of a global supply chain in paralysis, yet the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill introduced by President Joe Biden hints at potential substantial construction activities within the United States in the near future.
Leveraging the ascent of raw material and petroleum prices, the company’s stock has surged by over 50% in the past half-decade.
Following an 8% augmentation announced in June 2022, Caterpillar’s quarterly dividend now stands at $1.20 per share, providing a yield of 1.9%. Impressively, the company has elevated its annual dividend for 28 consecutive years.
The company has not only elevated its profits and market share in the wake of the global spread of COVID, but also its identity as a budget-friendly haven has positioned Walmart as the preferred retailer for numerous consumers during times of escalating prices.
Over the past five decades, Walmart has consistently raised its dividend payouts. At present, the annual dividend stands at $2.28 per share, equating to a dividend yield of 1.7%.
What else is Bill Gates investing in?
Of course, acquiring dividend stocks isn’t the sole method of generating investment returns.
In the midst of surging inflation and an unpredictable economy, affluent individuals like Bill Gates are discovering innovative strategies to efficiently deploy their substantial capital.
Perhaps the most unexpected, and possibly lucrative, of all of Gates’ investments could be his gargantuan art collection. Estimated to be valued at $124.3 million, even including a work by the legendary Leonardo da Vinci.
There can be little doubt that his art is one of his most coveted investments.
Investing like Gates… for the rest of us.
In addition to buying dividend stocks, there is a recent surge of new investing platforms that allow investors to gain exposure to multimillion-dollar artworks like Banksy, Basquiat, and more.
According to Artprice, blue-chip artworks have outperformed the S&P 500 by 172% from 2000–2023. Due to this macro trend, these platforms are promising investors the ability to gain exposure to this exciting asset class.
The clear leader in the space is called Masterworks, which has a total asset value of nearly $1 billion. They have acquired over 340 multimillion-dollar artworks, likely making them the largest buyer in the art market today. Recently, they offered a $36 million painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat entitled “Pollo Frito.”
So how does it work?
Masterworks has a team of more than 220 employees that focus on art market research, acquisitions, and ultimately selling the paintings. They even operate a secondary market to allow investors to trade shares in paintings after they invest, similar to other asset classes.
Masterworks has had a solid track record of realized returns. As of August 31st, 2023, they have sold 16 paintings with the following realized returns: 32.0%, 39.3%, 36.2%, 27.3%, 9.2%, 33.1%, 21.5%, 17.8%, 13.9%, 35.0%, 10.4%, 325.5%, 4.1%, 17.6%, 77.3%, and 13.4%.
Are there minimums?
Masterworks does not have any clear investment minimums. An investor can simply schedule a call with their membership team and get onboarded to begin investing immediately.
Trends like these promise to unlock these once unattainable asset classes for the rest of us!