For a time, many thought speculating in the market or trading stocks was reserved for the elite few, but this has been turned on its head recently. With the advent of cryptocurrency, Robinhood and even zero-trading-fee brokerage services, now the little guy has a shot.
Investors and traders just getting into the game may not have the experience of Wall Street pros, but the data and strategies are out there. Many look to the likes of Jim Cramer, a host at CNBC, or Wall Street analysts for tips to get ahead in the market, but there are still some untapped sources for returns on investment that most might overlook; namely, politicians.
The salary for a sitting member of Congress is $174,000 annually. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it begs the question of why there are so many millionaires in Congress. Investing in the stock market is sometimes the answer. And Congress members seem to be pretty good at it.
About 51% of Congress members were millionaires in 2018. Comparatively, the United States had 17.4 millionaires, out of the total population of 243 million. That is roughly 7% of the population. It is hard to believe the difference is from salary alone, but considering the stock market is the greatest tool for wealth creation in the history of the world, things start to make sense.
Members of Congress are required by the STOCK Act to publicly file and disclose any financial transactions they make. According to Wikipedia:
The STOCK Act requires a one-year study of the growing political intelligence industry, and requires every Member of Congress to publicly file and disclose any financial transaction of stocks, bond, commodities futures, and other securities within 45 days on their websites, rather than once a year as they do now.
This bill was introduced and passed by Congress in early 2012. However, not everyone has followed the rules, and a few members of Congress failed to report up to $22 million worth of trades earlier this year, according to Forbes.
Here, 24/7 Wall St. has a look at Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and the trades are going on around her over the past month. Many know Greene as a firebrand for the Republican party and one of the more active Representatives, but she is also a very active trader. Note that these trades were filed through a joint account. Also, we recently looked at Nancy Pelosi’s husband’s trades as well.
Some data was not available for some of these trades, but we do have the rough numbers. So here’s a look at Greene’s past month of trading:
A block of Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) shares were purchased on August 5, with a total value in the range of $15,000 to $50,000. Clorox closed at $163.56 on August 5 and is up 2.8% to its most recent closing price of $168.20. The 52-week range is $159.32 to $231.11.
Around $1,000 to $15,000 was used to purchase a block of Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) shares on August 5, and another comparable block was purchased back on July 19. The closing price on July 19 was $240.08, and the stock has fallen 2.5% since the purchase. The most recent closing price is $234.14. The 52-week range is $179.23 to $252.67.
July 19 was a big day for Marjorie Taylor Green, as she also purchased a block of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares, valued in the range of $1,000 to $15,000. With a closing price of $54.29 on July 19, the stock is down about 2% since then. Shares most recently closed at $53.23 and have a 52-week range of $43.61 to $68.49.
Roughly $1,000 to $15,000 was used to purchase a block of Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) shares on July 19. The closing price on that date was $244.84, and the stock is down about 7.8% since then to its most recent closing price of $225.64. Amgen has a 52-week range of $210.28 to $276.69.
Another $1,000 to $15,000 was thrown at Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) on July 19. With a closing price of $413.38 on that date, the stock is up about 10% since then. Costco stock most recently closed at $454.93, and it has a 52-week trading range of $307.00 to $460.62.
A block of Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) shares valued around $1,000 to $15,000 was purchased on July 19. Nvidia stock last closed at $219.58, and the stock is up 16.9% from the July 19 purchase date ($187.80). The 52-week range is $115.67 to $219.97.