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The President earns about $46 an hour. Here's how he invests

By Dian Vujovich

Getting the scoop on how the leader of the free world invests his money might sound juicy but if the reports are correct, there’s nothing too exciting about his investment portfolio. In fact, it’s kinda boring and conservation but hey, maybe we all can tear a page from it.

Incase you’ve forgotten, the President earns only $400,000 a year– plus
$50,000 in expenses, for his 365/24/7 job. That breaks down to $45.79 an hour, not including the 50 g’s in expenses, and assumes he works morning to night every day of the year —or 8760 hours– as the guy is always connected. Even if you looked at the job as an 80-hour a week one, it would only translate to $96.15 an hour. (A nice chunk of change, but would you do it for that?)

So basically this is a huge responsibility low-paying job but guess it’s not about the pay. As an FYI, George Washington earned $25,000 a year and since 1789 pay increases for the Presidential position have only happened five times. Five times in 222 years! Like I said, it’s not about the pay.

Of course the retirement plan is a terrific one—$196,700 a year– right close to the pay so maybe there is no need to take huge investment risks with his portfolio.

Whatever… in a MoneyWatch.com story earlier this week, author Carla Fried wrote about what’s inside of Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s portfolio. Here are some of her findings:

•Bonds. The Obama’s seem to like Treasury securities. The story reports that they have between $1.1 million and $5.25 million invested in Treasury bills and $1 million to $5 million in Treasury notes. They don’t appear to have any tax-free municipal bond investments.

• Cash. There is something between one-quarter of a million dollars and $500,000 in a checking account at JP Morgan Chase.

•Stocks. It’s the low-cost Vanguard 500 Index Fund that has caught Obama’s attention. He and his wife have between $200,000 and $450,000 invested in it.

• Retirement accounts. Mr. Obama has a SEP-IRA with between $100,000 and $250,000 invested in Treasury bills funding it.

•College for the girls. Illinois’ Bright Directions College Savings 529 Plan is the one chosen by the President. It reported has between $100,000 and $250,000 in it.

If you’re wondering about the broad range in investment assets under each heading, from the story: “The Obama’s reported total financial assets valued between $2.8 million and $11.8 million in 2010. That wide range is a function of the reporting rules that allow public figures to disclose their assets within broad bands, such as $100,001-$250,000 or $1 million-$5 million….”

So what’s the bottom line? The Obama’s are debt free. Lucky them.

Read the full story, more about how Obama invests and the Biden’s too, at:

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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