As one of the most successful and eccentric investors in the world, Bill Gross feels guilty for amassing his $1.5 billion fortune at the expense of laborers and thinks the scrooges of the world should pay higher taxes. Known as the “Bond King,” Gross founded Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), and its Total Return Fund became one of the largest mutual funds in the world under his management. In 2014, Gross controversially left PIMCO to manage a much smaller fund at rival, Janus Capital Group, which is now Janus Henderson after a merger with Henderson Group in May 2017.
As of Jan. 31, 2020, Bill Gross has a net worth of $1.5 billion. In November 2016, his then wife, Sue Gross, filed for divorce. The separation was finalized in October 2017. Among the assets Bill Gross lost in the divorce is his $36 million Laguna Beach Home.
Gross releases a monthly newsletter in which he forecasts market activity, famously getting sidetracked on subjects such as his disgust for public toilets or a touching tribute to his beloved female cat named Bob. However, he last released a monthly newsletter in October 2019, and before that, February 2019. Gross’s unique personality is also shown in what he chooses to do with his own money.
In his October Outlook, Gross claims that "stock prices in 2019 have risen 15% or so, because real 10-year Treasury rates have declined by 80 basis points." He goes on to caution investors to expect "slow economic growth globally and an end to double-digit market price gains."
Why Stamps Are Bill Gross’ Favorite Investment
Most people do not consider stamp collections an investment, but Bill Gross has reportedly spent between $50 and $100 million of his fortune buying stamps. Not just a hobby, stamps have proved to be among his most profitable investments. He sold a small portion of his collection for four times his initial investment at a charity auction, calling the gains “better than the stock market.” In 2018, Gross sold a portion of his stamp collection for $10 million.
While stamps are certainly considered an alternative investment in the United States, 64% of Chinese millionaires reportedly invest in rare stamps, relying on the investment’s diversification and stability. Stamps have almost no correlation to traded securities and are not affected by market swings, offering steady returns.
Between 2007 and 2014, he sold his non-U.S. stamps for $27 million. He donated the proceeds from these sales to multiple charities, including Doctors Without Borders.
Bill Gross Plans to Give It All Away
Gross is a major philanthropist in the United States. Saying he defines success differently as he ages, he plans to give his entire $1.5 billion fortune to charity. He has also donated millions to his alma mater, Duke University, to be used for financial aid. Gross and his now ex-wife, Sue, have donated millions to the University of California at Irvine’s stem cell research and Duke University’s stem cell and Alzheimer’s research. They also funded a hospital emergency department in their hometown of Laguna Beach, California.
The William and Sue Gross Family Foundation is also known for its contributions to Doctors Without Borders and the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum, which showcases many stamps donated from Gross’ prized collection. His three children work for the foundation, and Gross says a plan is in place for them to distribute his entire fortune to charity once he passes on.