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5 shares owned by the world’s richest and most powerful

When it comes to billionaires, many have got to where they are through investing in companies. So, it goes without saying that it might be well worth a look at what the world’s rich are investing in if you’re after some fresh ideas for your own portfolio.

Now a lot of folks that have the ‘billionaire’ moniker attached to their name obtained it by starting their own companies and retaining a large chunk of shares (Mark Zuckerberg or Gina Rinehart, for example).

But others have built or at least maintained their wealth by investing in a wider portfolio of shares for future growth.

Let’s take a look at some of these billionaires and their portfolios, according to InvestorPlace

Bill Gates – Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft

It probably won’t come as a surprise that Bill gates has a sizeable investment in the company he founded – Microsoft. But Microsoft only makes up a portion of Gates’ total investments. The largest is actually Berkshire Hathaway stock with Gates’ 11.4 million shares representing a stake worth around US$11.9 billion. Given Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are famously good friends, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Warren Buffett – Apple

Buffett himself only owns one stock – his own company Berkshire Hathaway. But Buffett also managed Berkshire’s investment portfolio – so you could say that he owns those stocks too by extension. By far Berkshire’s largest investment these days is Apple stock, with around 255 million shares belonging to Berkshire at the most recent filing. This would equate to nearly US$76 billion on Apple’s current share price – not a bad sum of money!

David Tepper – Alphabet

You might not have heard of hedge fund manager David Tepper. But with an estimated wealth of US $11.5 billion, he might be someone you could learn a thing or two about stock picking from! One of Tepper’s most voluminous holdings is Alphabet – otherwise known by its former name Google. Tepper owns a $542 million stake in the search-engine giant, so one would assume he has some confidence in this company’s future.

Ray Dalio – Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF

Ray Dalio has made a name for himself and his firm Bridgewater Capital (the world’s largest hedge fund) for getting the big macro-economic calls right. One of Dalio’s largest positions is the Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF, which invests in companies from across China, Taiwan, India and Brazil amongst others. Clearly Dalio thinks this region is set for some further prosperity going forward

Luckily for us Aussies, this is actually a stock we can buy on the ASX as well. Just look for Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets Shares ETF (ASX: VGE) if you’re interested.

Foolish takeaway

Although most of these stocks aren’t available on the ASX, there are plenty of ETFs, LICs and other investment vehicles that own these shares that you can invest in if you don’t want to buy them yourself. Regardless, I always think it’s worth looking to where the rich and famous are investing their money – there might be a lesson or two there for your own portfolio!

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Facebook, and Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2020 $220 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Facebook. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.