How Does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Invest Its Money?
Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are ending their marriage, but will continue to work together at their foundation.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched in 2000, is the largest private philanthropic organization in the United States. It has spent over $50 billion on global public health over the last two decades, including $1.75 billion on COVID-19 relief.
Of course, the foundation’s assets are managed by a trust until they are ready to be distributed to grantees. Here’s a look at how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust invests its assets.
The Portfolio Breakdown
The trust has invested 100% of its holdings in stocks. It holds almost half of its value in Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company run by Warren Buffett.
|Stock||Value||% of Portfolio|
|Canadian National Railway||$1.9B||7.2%|
|Liberty Latin America||$14M||0.1%|
However, the portfolio is more diversified than initially meets the eye—Berkshire Hathaway itself is invested in almost 50 stocks.
Shrodinger, a healthcare-focused software company that makes up 2% of the trust’s total portfolio, was one of the best performing stocks of 2020 by price returns. The portfolio has also been boosted by delivery companies UPS and FedEx, both of which saw their share prices more than double over the last year as online shopping took off.
While the trust is dominated by U.S.-domiciled companies, a few foreign names do make the list. For example, Canadian National Railway makes up over 7% of the portfolio, while the Latin American bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA makes up just over 1%.
The Future of the Foundation
The trust continues to be managed by a team of outside investment managers, whose decisions have a critical impact on the amount of money the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has to fund its initiatives. For example, if Berkshire Hathaway were to dip 10%, this would drop the portfolio value by more than $1 billion.
In addition, the foundation is funded in part by the Gates’ personal donations—more than $36 billion from 1994 to 2018. Should Bill and Melinda go on to create their own separate philanthropic efforts post-divorce, the foundation may have a smaller portfolio to pull from going forward.
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Ranked: The Top 10 Football Clubs by Market Value
In football, there’s a lot on the line both on and off the pitch. The top 10 clubs hold a combined value of $36 billion.
The Top 10 Football Clubs by Market Value
In the world of football, the stakes are rising due to the amount of dollars injected into the game. In light of the rapid rise and fall of the European Super League (ESL), this graphic covers the top 10 football clubs by market value.
Today, the top 10 clubs are collectively worth $36 billion and bring in over $6 billion in annual revenues.
|Football Club||Market Value ($M)||Revenue ($M)|
Football clubs have witnessed more money being thrown into the game, partly because of the licensing and streaming deals behind the curtain. Big entities have entered the space like Amazon, Disney through ESPN, and DAZN, which has been regarded as the Netflix of sport.
From an audience standpoint, business interest in the sport is justified. In the last World Cup final, 517 million tuned in, compared to 160 million for the Super Bowl during the same year.
More Money in the Game
It’s not just the clubs that are seeing more money trickle down. Both fees for agents and player transfers have soared. From 2014 to 2019, agent fees grew from $241 million to $653 million. Similarly, transfer fees grew from $2.6 billion to $7.3 billion between 2012-2019.
|Year||Player Transfer Fees ($M)||Agent Fees ($M)|
The COVID-19 Impact
Like any sport, football has suffered from the lack of social gatherings for the better part of a year. Matchday revenues, which represent sales generated in the stadium, have dried up. Prior to the pandemic, the top 10 clubs generated approximately 20% of their sales from matchday.
Fortunately, it appears supporters will be re-gathering sooner rather than later, Wembley Stadium welcomed 8,000 fans in a recent showdown between Manchester City and Tottenham on April 25th.
Europe Leads in EV Sales, but for How Long?
Europe was the global leader in EV sales for the first time in 2020, surpassing China by a thin margin of just 60,000 cars.
Europe Leads in EV Sales, but for How Long?
Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) surpassed 3 million for the first time in 2020, despite the economic headwinds imposed by COVID-19.
This visualization presents a geographical breakdown of these sales, revealing that over 80% were made in either Europe or China.
|Country||EV and Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)||Population (2020)|
|European Union (EU)||1,390,000||747.6M|
The EU was the largest market by a margin of 60,000 cars, but given China’s larger population, it’s likely the two will switch places in the near future.
Government Incentives Play a Key Role
Government incentives have boosted the transition to battery power in recent years. For example, many countries offer a buyer rebate, which effectively reduces the price a consumer pays for an EV or PHEV.
In Germany, buyers can receive a subsidy of $10,800 when purchasing an EV with a list price of less than $48,000. China also offers a rebate program, where buyers of an EV with a travel range of at least 186 miles can receive a subsidy of $2,500.
Consumers should be aware that these incentives are likely to diminish over time, especially as EVs become more mainstream. In January 2021, the Chinese government announced it would reduce its existing subsidies by 20%.
Will EV Sales in America Catch Up?
In a 2020 survey, 71% of U.S. drivers said they were interested in getting an EV—so why are sales so far behind Europe and China?
In that same survey, 50% of drivers cited a lack of public charging stations as the main factor for preventing them from buying an EV. Concerns like these have led the Biden administration to propose a more aggressive EV strategy, which includes the installation of at least 500,000 charging stations by 2030.
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