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Bill Gates Dumping Microsoft Shares By The Bundle

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Paul McDougall at Information Age is reporting that in the past 12 month, Bill Gates has sold off "a whopping 90 million shares" in Microsoft, reducing his holdings of the company's common stock by 13%.

What does it mean?

Playing it fair, McDougall first runs through a variety of plausible reasons the computer king is downsizing his own holdings. For one thing, Gates has become interested in garbage.
"Of late, he's been snapping up shares in relatively obscure outfits like Las Vegas-based Republic Services, which describes itself as a provider of 'industry-leading solid waste and environmental services,' " McDougall writes. There's also the possibility that Gates is simply diversifying his holdings, or that he needs more money to eradicate malaria, which has become his life's goal.

And there's this:

It's also presumably true that, like most investors, Gates wants to see a decent return on his money—and Microsoft these days isn't the place to get it. If you invested one dollar in Microsoft in 2001 and cashed out that holding today, your compound annual return over the five-year period would be a measly 2.74%.

That same dollar invested in Apple would have returned 38.8% annually over the half decade, in Google the payback would have been 11.12%, in Oracle 30%, and in IBM 17.37%. (Who knew, without checking, that IBM and Oracle were better investments than Google over the past five years.)

Read the full story, here.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.