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Congress’ favorite portfolio holdings? The top stock was General Electric

Database releases financial data, investments of members of Congress

ERIN E. ARVEDLUND
Inquirer.com Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 1:08 AM

How does Congress invest? We wanted to find out how our elected representatives invest their assets – and a new study from the Center for Responsive Politics is a gold mine.Among Congress’ favorite portfolio holdings? The top stock was General Electric, with 78 members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate listing the company as their No. 1 investment in 2012, the latest year for which personal financial data are available.

After GE, the most popular investments were the following blue-chip stocks: Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Apple, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Cisco Systems, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Intel, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Chevron, PepsiCo, Verizon Communications, McDonald’s, Qualcomm, Walt Disney Co., Berkshire Hathaway, and Wal-Mart.

By the way, for the first time, the majority of our elected officials have a net worth of at least $1 million, according to the center’s study. In my own state, the wealthiest Pennsylvania officials include Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Butler) with an average net worth of just over $14 million; Rep. Keith Rothfus (R., Beaver) with $7.19 million average net worth; Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D., Phila.) with average net worth $3.04 million, and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) with $2.97 million.

Nationally, congressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost exactly $1 million. In both parties, the figures were up from 2011, when median net worth totaled $990,000 and $907,000, respectively.

Anyone can access the net worth and top investments of their U.S. representatives and senators at the Center for Responsive Politics website (http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/).

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