OC’s Wealthiest 2023: Bill Gross

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BILL GROSS
CO-FOUNDER
PIMCO

THE MONEY: Known as the “Bond King” for building Pimco into one of the world’s biggest money managers; it now has $2 trillion assets under management. Departed in 2014 in acrimonious split; has since reconciled. Retired in 2019.

THE NUMBERS: Nearly 50-year career, three-time Morningstar Bond Manager of the Year, Bond Manager of the Decade. Inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society’s Hall of Fame. Famously avoided 2008 financial crisis with his bond fund returning 4.8%, while his benchmark dropped 4.2%, and S&P 500 Index fell 38%.

BIG BREAK: After a car accident in 1966, spent months in a hospital where he read Edward O. Thorp’s “Beat the Dealer.” Pair became friends, with Gross telling Thorp, “all the time that he’s responsible for my career.” Says arrived at Pimco at the right time—30-year bond bull market that began in early 1980s.

INVESTMENT TIP: “It’s fiscal policy not just monetary policy—stupid,” he tweeted on July 10. Predicted consumers are on track to run out of cash in Q4, implying the result may be a recession.

SECRET WISH: “I’ve always told myself and close friends that I wish I could start a bank,” Gross wrote in an investment outlook in April. “It’s a license to make money even when run conservatively. Some in recent months have hit the front pages when they weren’t so conservative—like Silicon Valley Bank which in turn produced a moderate financial crisis cratering the market prices of regional banks deemed susceptible to withdrawals of deposits. As a result, many regionals are down 30%-40% since and it’s possible to own (or in effect) start a bank at 60%-70% of book value.”

PHILANTHROPY: Managing investments at William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, which is now up to $453 million. He aims for 5% annual return to donate about $20 million annually. Gave a record $22.7 million last year, with recipients including “Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, African Women Rising, Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, and several other Orange County, national and international recipients.”

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