In the shadows of Capitol Hill, a less-discussed yet thriving activity has taken root among Congress members—stock trading.
Despite limited coverage in mainstream media, Congressional trading has sparked controversy, shedding light on potential conflicts of interest between legislative duties and personal financial gains. In 2021, over 3,700 trades by lawmakers exposed the intertwining of public responsibilities and private investments.
As the curtain falls on 2023, we delve into the lucrative world of Congressional stock trading, revealing which US representatives secured the highest profits and how their returns stacked up against the broader market.
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4 Congressmen saw triple-digit profits from stock trading in 2023
For the third consecutive year since 2020, US politicians outperformed the broader market in 2023. Moreover, many of these lawmakers secured substantial returns on their stock transactions, the bulk of which were “unusually timed,” popular stock news account unusual whales noted on January 2.
The account shared a list showing Congress members who made the highest returns and how those investments fared against the broader stock market index, the S&P 500. The returns are calculated “by estimating current stocks held in each Member’s portfolios, then calculating YTD returns.”
In this light, New York’s 26th congressional district representative Brian Higgins is sitting on top of that list, securing returns of a whopping 238.9% in 2023, making him the top performer by some distance. That is a roughly 10 times bigger return than the 24.8% the S&P 500 gained last year.
With returns significantly less than those of Higgins yet still notably high, the runner-up stock trader on the Hill in 2023 was Republican Mark Green. Green, who represents Tennessee’s 7th congressional district, saw stock trading returns of 122.2% last year, per unusual_whale’s calculations.
Not far behind were representatives Garret Graves and David Rouzer, whose returns on investments hit 107.6% and 105.6%, respectively. Rounding up the top five is Seth Moulton with an 80% return.
The portfolios of numerous other Congress members saw robust, double-digit profits in 2023. To be more specific, a total of 32 lawmakers notched returns surpassing those of the S&P 500.
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