Analysis estimates that Pelosi enjoyed a massive 65% return on stock investments in 2023, nearly three times the market average

 January 6, 2024

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has long been accused by some of violating ethics rules to make use of insider knowledge to buy or sell certain individual stocks in a way that maximizes profit and minimizes losses.

Those accusations will likely only grow louder and more strident after an analysis revealed that Pelosi and her husband enjoyed an approximately 65% return on their stock investments in 2023, according to Radar Online.

That 65% ROI was nearly three times higher than the 24% increase of the standard-setting S&P 500 throughout 2023.

Pelosi's estimated 65% returns on stock investments

The Daily Mail reported that an initial attempt in December that used a special tool to track former Speaker Pelosi's stock investments and calculate the returns she had received pegged her gains at around 50%.

That in and of itself was deemed "remarkable" in light of the fact that Pelosi and her husband Paul reportedly had a down year in 2022 and saw the value of their stock portfolio fall by nearly 20%.

However, the stock market tracking website Unusual Whales, which is focused on market transparency and keeps a close eye out for unordinary trades, particularly those involving members of Congress and how their transactions compare with the S&P 500, known as SPY.

That site's analysis found that while the SPY had gone up by 24.8% in 2023, Pelosi gained a 65.5% increase in returns derived from stock trades.

The former speaker actually ranked ninth on a list of elected representatives and senators who'd enjoyed lucrative returns on their stock investments in 2023, with four members of Congress earning more than 100% returns and one member in particular -- Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) -- receiving a nearly 240% increase over the year.

Questions raised about Pelosi's wealth

Former Speaker Pelosi and her husband Paul are not the wealthiest couple in Congress, but with an estimated combined net worth of around $46 million, they are undoubtedly doing quite well for themselves.

Some of that wealth comes from the several properties owned by the Pelosis, including multi-million dollar private residences in San Francisco and Washington D.C., as well as vacation properties and rental properties and a wine estate that brings in thousands of dollars per year in sales revenue.

A substantial portion of their wealth presumably comes from buying and selling stock in individual companies, particularly tech-related stocks, and Pelosi -- among other members of Congress -- has been accused of using insider knowledge about proposed or pending legislation or regulatory moves to make well-timed transactions involving businesses or industries that will be impacted either positively or negatively by the government's actions.

Efforts to rein in congressional stock trading

All members of Congress are purportedly prohibited from using such insider knowledge to buy and sell stocks, and since 2012 the STOCK Act has required members to make timely disclosures of all transactions by them and their spouses -- though that doesn't always happen and violators typically receive minimal, if any punishment above and beyond a small fine.

There have been multiple bipartisan efforts to push legislation that would more strictly regulate the stock transactions of congressional members and their families, but those bills have unsurprisingly languished after being introduced and are never moved on or passed.

One proposal in particular takes direct aim at the former speaker, the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments, or the PELOSI Act, introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), that if passed would prohibit members of Congress and their families from buying or selling individual stocks -- mutual funds and Treasury bonds would be exempted -- and would include real financial consequences for members who violated that law.

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