Chasing Stocks of Forbes Richest Americans (MSFT, BRK-A, DELL, ORCL, GOOG, WMT, LVS, CHTR)

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Forbes has released its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.  We really wanted to see the corporate impact of the wealthy.  What is interesting is to compare how these companies tied to the super-wealthy have performed.  We did not include the companies where there are multiple ties not direct to an underlying public company and we eliminated the private company billionaires.

We did a list in order of the top 20, and consolidated the names where appropriate.  Based on the close of Thursday, September 20 the S&P 500 Index was up 7.08% year to date, and here is the performance each stock year to date based on a dividend adjusted close on December 29, 2006 (9/20 closing price included):

Microsoft (MSFT) $28.42; -3.8%
    William Gates III

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) $117,400 ;+6.73%
    Warren Buffett

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) $131.27; +46.7%
    Sheldon Adelson

Oracle (ORCL) $21.04; +22.75%
    Larry Ellison

Google (GOOG) $552.83; +20.05%
    Sergey Brin & Larry Page

Dell (DELL) $27.85; +11.00%
    Michael Dell 

Charter Communications (CHTR) $2.66; -13.07%
    Paul Allen

Wal-Mart (WMT) $44.32; -2.63%
    The Walton Clan: Jim, Christy, S. Robson, Alice

Microsoft (MSFT) $28.42; -3.8%
    Steven Ballmer

As you can see, not all of these are up.  But out of the shortened list  on a net-net basis you would have done well chasing the wealthiest in 2007.  No wonder so much attention is paid to when they invest in companies, but then everyone already knew that.  If you’d like to review the full list, you can link it here on the site.

Jon C. Ogg
September 21, 2007