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The United States presidential election is quickly approaching, which means the usual political rhetoric will be kicking into high gear for the next few months. Last weekend, presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan is often known for his opinions and views on government finances, but how does his own investment portfolio stack up against the market?
The vice presidential candidate appears to be a firm believer in diversification. According to Ryan’s 2011 personal financial disclosure statements, provided by the Office of the Clerk of U.S. House of Representatives, he holds a wide variety of equity investments in some the world’s most recognized brands.
In the tech sector, Ryan reported positions in companies such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). All of these companies, with the exception of IBM and Google, are currently outperforming the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) this year. Apple is the top gainer, surging more than 50 percent year-to-date. Meanwhile, Amazon and Citrix Systems have increased 34 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Ryan also reported selling Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares in January and March last year, but did not report any capital gains in excess of $200.
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Ryan has criticized President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” tax plan, because “class warfare will simply divide this country more,” but he is able to place differences aside when it comes to making investment choices. In the disclosure statements, Ryan reports holding a position in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKB) Class B shares. Furthermore, he has a stake worth between $15,001 and $50,000 in Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), one of Buffett’s largest holdings and favorite bank. In fact, many of Ryan’s equity picks can also be found in Buffett’s portfolio.
There are also several large cap stocks which make up Ryan’s portfolio. These include names such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Kraft (NYSE:KFT), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Visa (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA). Ryan also reported having a stake worth between $100,001 and $250,000 in Home Depot (NYSE:HD), which has played out well this year with shares up 25 percent.
While many of Ryan’s stock picks are in the green this year, he does have some laggards. The stock price of positions such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) are down by double digits this year. Earlier this month, Bristol-Myers suffered a pullback after suspending testing of a new pill for hepatitis C. McDonald’s most recently reported its first month of flat same-store sales growth since 2003.
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