U.S Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently disclosed details of his personal investments. Any lessons on personal investing from the Guru of Interest Rates?
As required by law, Bernanke and the other Fed Governors file financial disclosure statements annually. 2009 was a good year for the monetary policy expert. Bloomberg calculates that his assets rose as much as 31% in the market rebound of 2009. Though that beats the Standard & Poor’s 23.5% gain for the year, the Fed Chief didn’t rack up those numbers with exotic derivatives or rapid fire trading. In Bernanke’s case, his investment style seems to be as safe and conservative as the dark suits he favors for Congressional hearings.
Bernanke held tight.
He didn’t do a lot of selling in 2009, but rather held on to almost all the same investments he’d had the year before.
His portfolio is pretty straight forward.
Most of Bernanke’s money is invested in two annuities at TIAA-CREF, which is the dominant player in academia with over $426 billion in assets under management. Bernanke came to Washington from a career in higher education, and his largest holdings are a TIAA traditional guaranteed annuity and a CREF Stock Large Cap Blend variable annuity. He’s got somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in the two together. (All values are disclosed in ranges on these forms.)
According to TIAA-CREF’s web site, their Large-Cap Blend investment strategy “seeks a favorable long-term total return through both capital appreciation and investment income, primarily from income-producing equity securities. The investment team believes that in a dynamic marketplace the stock prices of large, historically successful companies do not always reflect their current or long-term values.”
A chunk of his investments are quite liquid and low risk.
Bernanke has more than $100,000 in a SunTrust Money Market account, earning the usual paltry interest rates those get.
He has multiple income streams.
In addition to his $196,700 salary as Fed Chairman, Bernanke earns more than $ 200,000 per year in royalties on two textbooks he wrote as well.
The The Associated Press called Bernanke’s investing style “no frills”.