Have you ever wondered how the richest people in the world invest their wealth? Mark Zuckerberg is the seventh-richest person on the planet as of July 2020, with a net worth of approximately $89 billion. The founder and majority shareholder of Facebook (FB) is also one of the youngest billionaires. Learning what Zuckerberg holds in his portfolio can offer insight into which technologies he expects to reshape the world.
Giving It All Away
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan made headline news in 2015 when they pledged 99% of their Facebook shares, to be donated over their lifetimes, to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The initiative is propelled by two ideas: "advancing human potential and promoting equality." The couple made the announcement in a letter to their new born daughter.
Since its founding, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has issued more than 900 grants worth $2 billion in the areas of education, science, community, justice and opportunity, in addition to investing in a number of education companies.
The initiative, however, has drawn scrutiny because it is organized as a limited liability company (LLC), as opposed to a 501(c)(3) organization like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Zuckerberg said the LLC structure would give it greater latitude in funding non-profit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates. Under the tax code, 501(c)(3) organizations are barred from participating in political campaigns.
Zuckerberg also noted he would receive no tax benefit when transferring Facebook shares to the LLC, and the LLC itself would be responsible for paying capital gains taxes on the sale of the shares.
Zuckerberg's interests, much like that of his charitable organization, revolve around the areas of education and technology. A large part of his personal investments has been invested in these sectors.
Via their Startup:Education foundation, Zuckerberg and Chan participated in the Series A funding round of Panorama Education, which helps schools analyze data to improve learning. They also participated in the Series B via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Zuckerberg has also backed robotics company Vicarious, which has raised more than $150 million for its vision of robots equipped with human-like levels of artificial intelligence. Zuckerberg reportedly participated in a $40 million funding round that also included Elon Musk and actor Ashton Kutcher.
Zuckerberg was part of a $50 million round of funding into Asana, a project and task management cloud platform for teams with the goal to make the workplace more efficient. It was co-founded by Dustin Moskovitz, who also co-founded Facebook.
Lastly, Zuckerberg and Chan have invested $5 million into MasteryConnect, a company that builds software for teachers to better manage student progress.
Part of a person’s net worth, when you are as rich as Zuckerberg, usually contains real estate, and he is no different. Zuckerberg purchased his first home in Palo Alto, California, in 2011 for $7 million. He then began buying the homes around him for privacy reasons, spending more than $44 million. He owns a townhouse in San Francisco, a plantation in Hawaii and properties in Lake Tahoe.