Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had an incredibly impressive career. Having the foresight and vision to push technology forward and making savvy investments along the way helped turn Gates into one of the richest men on the planet and a billionaire several times over.
United Nations officials released a statement this week that said food shortages were going from bad to worse. They attributed the increase in scarcity to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate emergencies. Just one example in a litany of contributing climate factors is the current state of affairs in India. Experiencing unprecedented heat, India banned wheat exports a few months ago. The United Nations has warned similar conditions are likely to decrease crop production 30% by 2025.
According to the World Food Programme, roughly 50 million people across over 40 countries are already on the verge of famine. Nearly 350 million people endure near-starvation conditions, a number that is up 25% since the start of the year.
Climate change and its effects on hunger and global pandemics have been on Gates’ radar for years.
Gates invested $10 billion in global health in 2019, a smart move because making vaccines more accessible creates a 20-to-1 return, according to the Microsoft co-founder.
His foresight is uncanny and had you mimicked his investment patterns, you probably would have made money, too. Just because you don’t have $10 billion doesn’t mean you can take what you do have and copy his trading decisions.
It may be beneficial to do the same with farmland. Gates has been gobbling up farmland for years and has recently become the largest owner of U.S. farmland in the world. Other billionaires are also buying land, including Jeff Bezos and Ted Turner
Concerns were shared earlier this month by farmer Will Harris, who owns a family farm that’s over 150 years old. Benzinga covered the story. The farmer shared his concerns, ranging from overuse of technology to misplaced blame on animals and the focus on plant-based protein. Most alarming was his reference to Gates’ attempts to influence agriculture systems in India and Africa and their perceived failures. Harris even went so far as to call the attempts a fiasco.
Whether or not you believe in Gates’ intentions is up to you. From an investing standpoint, however, it can be wise to mimic the rich. If you want to make moves like Gates and possibly achieve massive returns consider investing in a farmland real estate investment trust (REIT) like Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI) or a crowdfunding option like AcreTrader.
While farmland may not be exciting, it has proven sustainability and returns.