When your cofounder and former CEO is regularly in the mix for richest person in the world, you know the company they founded is going to be a huge one, and Microsoft (MSFT) lives up to the billing. Founded by Gates and his business partner, Paul Allen, in Albuquerque, NM in 1975 as a software company focused on BASIC applications, Microsoft later moved to the Seattle suburbs and has become synonymous with personal computing and software ever since. 

Today Microsoft sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, cloud computing and a wide range of related products and surfaces, including the Microsoft Office software package, Windows operating system, Xbox video game consoles, and the Microsoft Surface table computer. It is the world’s largest software company by revenue, and also owns social networking site LinkedIn as well as online communications provider Skype.

As of 2019, Microsoft is the world’s most valuable company, with a market cap of $1.14 trillion and fiscal year 2019 revenues of $125 billion.

Rationale

The most direct way to gain exposure to Microsoft is to buy its listed shares. But investors have good reason to reconsider that approach given Microsoft’s participation in the extremely competitive and trend-focused personal computing market. Companies like Microsoft must constantly innovate and find new ways to drive revenue as both technologies and consumer needs change and evolve. This can be extremely lucrative for those can stay ahead of the trends, but those fortunes can change quickly when a new technology or need is overlooked or claimed by a competitor.

However, for investors interested in gaining exposure to the software sector, rather than buying MSFT shares themselves should consider buying funds that provide exposure to Microsoft and other similar firms. After all, the return drivers that will benefit MSFT might also benefit other similar tech firms. As investment management is gradually moving to the construction of portfolios using ETFs and mutual funds in addition to single stocks, investors would do well to consider gain exposure to firms like Microsoft through these types of funds.

Investing in MSFT

A search on Magnifi suggests that investors can gain access to Microsoft via a number of different funds and ETFs, including those shown below. 

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