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The Politicos Trading Gold Stocks

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When members of Congress aren’t passing laws, holding committee meetings, or more cynically fundraising endless dollars, some of them choose to pass the time by trading stocks. And for whatever reason, keen insight or perhaps insider trading, members of Congress tend to beat the market.

A report by the website, Unusual Whales, shows that in 2023, Congress beat the market once again, with Democrats doing better at trading stocks than Republicans. And just because politicians in Washington tend to love fiat currency and hate gold, doesn’t mean that they’re averse to trying to make money from gold and other precious metals.

In fact, there are members of Congress who are actively trading stocks related to precious metals, such as shares in gold-mining companies. While not all investments are public, Congress members have to report some financial transactions due to the STOCK Act and transactions can be found online, including from the website, Capitol Trades.

Here is a table of the Congress members who in 2023 or later traded any of these gold and precious metal-related stocks or ETFs. The companies examined are SSR Mining; Sibanye Stillwater; Osiko Gold; B2Gold; Pan American Silver; Royal Gold; Wheaton Precious Metals; Newmont; Agnico; Barrick Gold Corp; and the SPDR S&P Metals Mining ETF. And here’s how much the stock changed in the approximate week following the transaction with data from MarketWatch. (Historical data is sometimes reported weekly and may not be from the exact date of transaction). The final column indicates whether the member appears to have timed their transaction correctly such as selling before a decline or buying before an increase.

Table 1. Congress members trades of precious metal-related securities

One takeaway is that members of Congress look like they’re timing the short-term market fluctuations well. It’s hard to say conclusively since we don’t know the member’s overall investment strategies or the tax implications and so forth. But most of the time the members appear to sell before declines or buy before increases.

It also does not look like transactions of precious metal stocks are timed according to the Federal Reserve’s changing interest rates. The Federal Reserve changed rates four times in 2023 but Congressional transactions are not bunched around them.

But the frequent stock trading of members of Congress, including precious metal stocks does raise a question. Congress members might be happy with volatile fiat currencies and stock market investments, especially because they perform strangely well, but wouldn’t it be better for American workers, families, and investors if our economy were based around a more stable store of value and medium of exchange?

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