Who Would You Rather Be... Bill Gates vs. Warren Buffett
For the better part of the last two decades, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been battling it out for the title of the richest man in America, and possibly the world. Most of that time saw Bill Gates as the head of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), but he has since diversified into non-technology related holdings. In fact, Bill Gates now earns more of this income through non-Microsoft related ventures than from his remaining interests in the company he helped to found.
Warren Buffet is still leading one of the most successful investment companies in known history, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A). Though he isn't the richest man in the U.S. anymore, he is certainly still incredibly wealthy. This brings us to the question, when it comes to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who would you rather be?
Since stepping down from Microsoft in 2007, Bill Gates has been a busy man. He has pledged to give away virtually all of his staggering $72 billion wealth, with the bulk of it being administered through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has been very successful in combating polio on a worldwide basis, at one point totaling a reported 17 percent of all global funding aimed at completely eradicating the disease.
Bill has also been busy with his investments. It is hard to imagine the kind of money Bill Gates earns. According to a report in the Bloomberg's Billionaire Index Gate's shares in Microsoft, along with investments through his investment firm Cascade, has resulted in a $9.8 billion profit for him in 2013. Cascade is involved in investments as diverse as the tractor maker Deer & Co. (NYSE: DE) and the Mexico Coke bottler Femsa. Cascade also has investments in the Canadian National Railway.
Warren Buffett has also been a very busy man as of late. One share of his company's stock sold for about $136,000 at the beginning of the year. It's now trading at about $173,000. Berkshire has diverse investments, owning stakes in companies from VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), to DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH), to its newest holding Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).
Buffett has been called the Oracle of Omaha for a reason: he just keeps winning. And don't forget that Buffett, too, is deeply committed to giving. He has pledged to give the bulk of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He prefers to let them divvy up the money for charitable purposes, while he does what he knows how to do best: buy quality companies and make otherworldly profits.
So, here are two of the world's richest men. They are both well diversified in their holdings and have both have made legendary commitments to making the world a better place through charitable giving. This just leaves one final question: Who'd you rather be – Bill Gates or Warren Buffet?
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