Power Players

This is how Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates spends his money

Bill Gates
Chesnot | Getty Images

Microsoft's surging stock price, which has jumped nearly 50% since the start of the year, has pushed the company's market value north of $1.15 trillion and boosted its co-founder Bill Gates' net worth at $110 billion — up by roughly $19.5 billion from the start of the year, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire's Index.

(That makes Gates the wealthiest person in the world, according to Bloomberg, though Forbes' billionaires ranking gives the top spot to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.)

Famously, Gates has committed to donating much of his wealth through the Giving Pledge — a movement he created with Warren Buffett in 2010, inviting other billionaires to donate the majority of their money to charity — and he has given more than $45.5 billion through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and through other family foundations dating back to 1994.

Still, that leaves Gates with many, many billions to play with. So how does he spend his wealth?

Wealth-X, a global high net worth intelligence and data company, gave CNBC Make It a breakdown of Gates' fortune, with figures as conservative estimates. Wealth-X estimates Gates' net worth "at least" $106.6 billion, as of Tuesday.

Here are some of the ways Gates spends his money.

Real estate

Gates has a multimillion-dollar property portfolio, which includes his 66,000-square-foot lakeside home in Medina, Washington, worth an estimated $80 million, according to Wealth-X. The estate reportedly has everything from a trampoline room to a 2,300-square-foot reception hall.

Additionally, Gates owns an equestrian estate in Wellington, Florida, the value of which Wealth-X pegs at $55 million following recent renovations and a multimillion-dollar expansion by Gates on the roughly 30-acre property. (Gates' daughter, Jennifer, is an avid horseback rider.)

Bill Gates's house in the Medina Area of Seattle.
Ted Soqui | Getty Images

Private jet and sports cars

Gates has a private jet — a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express — valued at $19.5 million, according to Wealth-X. He also has a collection of sports cars worth an estimated $650,000, including a Porsche 911, a Jaguar XJ6, a Porsche Carrera Cabriolet 964, a 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe and a Ferrari 348.

Private Island

Richard Branson isn't the only billionaire to own a private tropical island, Gates has one too. According to Wealth-X, Gates' island in Belize, called Grand Bogue Caye, is valued at about $25 million.


Gates' extensive art collection includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer. His collection is valued at an estimated $130 million, according to Wealth-X.

All the rest

The bulk of Gates' fortune is tens of billions of dollars in private holdings and common stock, including an estimated $15.4 billion worth of shares in Microsoft (which had a market cap of $1.15 trillion at 1:15 p.m. EST on Tuesday). He also has $13.8 billion in cash from things like previous salaries, bonuses, investment dividends, etc., according to Wealth-X.

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This story has been updated.