Saturday, September 02, 2006

Michael larsons – the man who manages Bill Gates money

1999 article
2004 – larsons revisited

Summary of his philosophy (from both the articles)

His portfolio
Larson runs about $44 billion, some $17 billion of which is Gates' personal fortune, not including Microsoft stock (Gates owns another $29 billion in MSFT). The remaining $26.8 billion in Larson's portfolio belongs to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, by far the biggest foundation (by assets) in the world.

His philosophy

  • “Diversification works," says Larson.
  • "We didn't have any silver bullets," says Larson.
  • "We just try to be smart. Last year we invested in Japan, which I thought was cheap, and that worked out well. We had a big bet in nondollar investments. Commodities worked out, and so did TIPS [Treasury inflation-protected securities] and high-yield bonds."
  • "Well, I'm not a risk taker," he says. In fact, he's an old-fashioned value investor with a macro view. Larson doesn't restrict himself to stocks; he looks at bonds, currencies, commodities, land, and direct investments in companies. "My most important job is asset allocation," he says. "That's where the real money is made." Larson is iconoclastic yet fundamentally conservative, which, if you think about it, is a pretty good description of his only client.

The best of the stories on Mr gates on CNN money

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