Members of Congress Invest Big in These Individual Stocks

Many members of Congress are wealthy. What stocks does Congress own? Should investors pay attention to how members of Congress invest?

Rachel Curry - Author

Dec. 28 2020, Published 11:38 a.m. ET

stocks congress owns
Source: Getty Images

Research suggests that members of Congress invest more in firms that favor their party. This begs the question of whether or not the investment is a form of quid pro quo for the nation's leaders.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Whatever the motive, the median net worth of Congress is $511,000, though big names like Kelly Loeffler (whose net worth is up to $500 million) and Greg Gianforte (with $135.7 million) exceed that mark tremendously. Insider trading is a hot topic in the capital, too. Here's where Congress is investing in the stock market.

Most popular stocks held by Congress over time

Prior to the STOCK Act of 2012, members of Congress weren't affected by insider trading laws. In 2011, the five most popular stocks across the parties were General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Bank of America, and ExxonMobil.

Article continues below advertisement

Democrats also held Intel heavily, while Republicans leaned toward AT&T.

The interesting thing about these stocks is that they all provide dividend payouts. Reportedly, members of Congress tend to hold their positions longer than the average investor, which ultimately heightens their returns above the market average.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

In 2019, updated research from Sludge showed that senators were invested in five sectors the most (with a primary focus on public companies):

  1. Communications and electronics
  2. Defense
  3. Energy and natural resources
  4. Finance, insurance, and real estate
  5. Health

Congressional fiscal reports are only required to provide ranges of investment values and not precise numbers. Republicans invested a maximum of $3 million in Wireless Telecom Group. Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet all earned upwards of $2 million each with investments split between parties. 

Article continues below advertisement

Wells Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, Empire State Realty Trust, Crown Castle International, and Visa are also high up on the list. Empire State claimed primarily Democratic congressional investors.

Article continues below advertisement

Congress invests heavily in these tech stocks

In 2020, Nancy Pelosi reportedly invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in options contracts for a cybersecurity company called Crowdstrike Holdings. Crowdstrike has seen a big boom of capital this year with shares gaining 338.94 percent of value YTD.

Article continues below advertisement

Classic blue chip tech stocks like Google, Amazon, and Apple aren't different from the average investor's portfolio. However, the size of the investments is much more sweeping.

Chinese stocks are on the fritz with Congress

On Dec. 2, the House passed a bill aimed at delisting companies from U.S. stock market exchanges that are controlled or owned by foreign governments. It's called the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA) and aims specifically at Chinese companies (like the NYSE-based Alibaba, for example). 

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

The bill has since made its way through the rest of the legislative process and requires companies to receive financial audit reviews from American legislators. Otherwise, they risk delisting. 

Overall, the average range of investments for members of Congress is between $551,000 and $1,874,000. That's a massive range and it only includes Congress members' public investments. There's bound to be some Chinese stocks that Congress favors, so the HFCAA likely won't do too much damage.


Latest Macroeconomic Analysis News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.