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Ever wonder what our all-knowing elected congressional leaders own in their personal portfolios? Once a year, every congressman, congresswoman, and senator is supposed to disclose their personal financial holdings. Although it should be pretty cut and dry, as with most things emanating from Congress, it is a bit murky.

In this high-tech digital age, most congressional financial disclosures are filed on paper. This makes compellation and analysis a bit more tedious. The filings include assets and liabilities, total personal income (minus government salary) and its sources, and income producing property, but not necessarily their personal residences. Spouse’s sources of income are listed, but not dollar amounts. Statements for year ending December need to be filed by May 15 of the following year, and then it takes a while to figure out who own what.

Opensecrets.org offers a breakdown of congressional investment holdings by dollar value range of specific financial categories and by the number of legislators that own a specific stock. The most recent numbers are for yearend 2009, with yearend 2010 due to be filed by May of this year. 2010 analysis numbers should be available in the fall.

Legislators are only required to give a predetermined range for the value of a specific investment, such as from $3,000 to $5,000. If three legislators declare holdings in this range, opensecrets.org lists the minimum value as $9,000 and the maximum value as $15,000.

As a refresher, there are 535 congressmen, congresswomen, and senators combined. The numbers listed are from the congressional delegation prior to the 2010 election and change in power.

The top 25 categories for 2009 congressional personal investments:

Rank

Category

Minimum Value

Maximum Value

1

Real Estate

$478,424,112

$1,488,140,747

2

Recreation/Live Entertainment

$255,518,006

$260,096,000

3

Securities & Investment

$127,332,516

$403,113,112

4

Misc Finance

$86,466,273

$188,608,215

5

Electronics Mfg & Services

$56,662,036

$79,401,957

6

Oil & Gas

$47,716,733

$104,559,191

7

Crop Production & Basic Processing

$43,060,582

$159,027,480

8

Computers/Internet

$39,914,848

$139,858,142

9

Health Services/HMOs

$35,423,868

$83,612,796

10

Automotive

$28,077,359

$134,069,279

11

Commercial Banks

$27,099,970

$101,171,443

12

Misc Manufacturing & Distributing

$26,664,259

$94,610,805

13

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

$26,051,680

$70,997,081

14

Livestock

$21,233,023

$99,695,000

15

Retail Sales

$12,338,159

$39,331,932

16

Food & Beverage

$12,134,520

$36,810,320

17

Education

$10,992,954

$40,489,913

18

Food Processing & Sales

$10,600,220

$33,643,101

19

Air Transport

$10,410,324

$36,878,250

20

Business Services

$10,390,623

$48,438,562

21

Insurance

$9,493,493

$27,138,268

22

Lodging/Tourism

$8,407,088

$40,934,072

23

TV/Movies/Music

$7,596,215

$16,330,046

24

Forestry & Forest Products

$6,907,221

$17,277,189

25

Railroads

$6,596,284

$27,788,245

Source: opensecrets.org

The top 30 most widely held stocks by number of congressional holdings at year end 2009:

Rank

Company

Total

Democrat

Republican

1

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

106

52

54

2

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)

78

35

43

3

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

73

34

39

3

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

73

35

38

5

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)

70

33

37

6

AT&T Inc (NYSE:T)

65

25

40

7

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)

63

31

32

8

Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC)

53

25

28

9

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

52

20

31

9

Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO)

52

24

28

11

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)

51

15

36

11

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)

51

21

30

13

IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM)

50

18

31

13

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

50

22

28

13

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

50

23

26

16

PepsiCo Inc (NYSE:PEP)

49

25

24

17

Apple Inc (OTC:APPL)

47

21

26

18

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ)

43

18

25

19

Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

41

19

22

20

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)

39

21

18

21

McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD)

38

17

21

21

Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK)

38

18

20

23

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)

37

18

19

24

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

32

10

22

25

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)

31

10

21

25

CVS/Caremark Corp (NYSE:CVS)

31

11

20

25

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

31

12

19

28

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)

30

13

17

28

Monsanto Co (NYSE:MON)

30

11

19

30

BP (BM)

29

7

22

Source: opensecrets.org

While not advocating that congressional leaders are the best investment advisors, it sure is interesting to learn where our lawmakers have their money invested.

As always, investors should conduct their own due diligence, should develop their own understanding of these potential opportunities, and should determine how it may fit their current financial situation.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Stocks Owned by U.S. Lawmakers