Beginning around 2002 or so, Microsoft founder Bill Gates began to systematically liquidate his immense Microsoft fortune, selling as much Microsoft stock as he could each day without having a material impact on the stock price of the company that he founded. The proceeds of Gates’ stock sales poured into his investment holding vehicle, Cascade Investment Holdings, LLC, that has long been managed by Michael Larson.
Although Larson is believed to exercise considerable autonomy over the investment selections, I pay close attention to the investments that show Bill Gates’ thumbprints.
One such investment was Republic Services (RSG), the waste collection company, which Cascade purchased during the Great Depression for a price of under $20 per share. Larson gobbled up Republic Services stock like it was a tray full of Skittles, at one point giving Gates’ holding company a one-third stake in the entire business.
Why the trash industry? What did … Read the rest of this article!