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Friday, January 22, 2016

Presidential Contenders Prefer This Fund Family

News summary by MFWire's editors

When it comes to their own investments, it looks like current presidential candidates strongly prefer Goldman Sachs [profile]. But the picture is far from complete.

Frederick William McNabb III
The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Luciana Lopez and Grant Smith of Reuters highlight the wire service's own analysis of the remaining 12 Republican candidates' financial disclosures to figure out which asset managers the candidates favor. By Reuters' count, eight of the Republican candidates had a combined 57 investments in Goldmans' offerings.

The analysis draws on filings that cover the candidates and their spouses, from 2014 through mid-2015, so it's not clear what the numbers would look like today. The report also lumps together Goldman Sachs funds from Goldman Sachs Asset Management with Goldman Sachs stock. And Reuters reports that the disclosures do not clarify whether or not the candidates bought these investments directly or through FAs or other intermediaries.

The analysis also leaves out the holdings of Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders. Reuters does note that Sanders has said it's time to "shut the revolving door" between Goldman and government, and last summer it was widely reported that Clinton owns just a single mutual fund, from Vanguard [profile]. Good luck finding media coverage of O'Malley's investment choices.

The second most popular asset manager among the Republican candidates is the same one Clinton uses: Vanguard. Seven of the Republican candidates reported a combined 28 investments with Vanguard.

Here's how the investments break down, per Reuters. Carly Fiorina and her husband reported 21 investments with Goldman and none with Vanguard. The wire service notes that Goldman advised HP on its 2002 Compaq purchase when Fiorina was leading HP. Reuters also notes that Fiorina has significant direct stock holdings, too.

Chris Christie and his wife reported 14 investments with Goldman and none with Vanguard.

Ted Cruz and his wife reported 14 investments with Goldman and two with Vanguard. The wire service notes that Cruz's wife is on leave from Goldman's wealth management business, where she is a managing director. And Reuters notes that Cruz previously told Bloomberg that the government has given Goldman "special favors."

Rand Paul reported 12 investments with Vanguard and none with Goldman.

Jeb Bush reported six investments with Vanguard and two with Goldman.

John Kasich reported five investments with Vanguard and one with Goldman.

Billionaire Donald Trump reported three investments with Goldman and one with Vanguard. Yet Reuters notes that Trump's wealth is largely in his real estate business and individual stocks.

Ben Carson reported one investment with Goldman and one with Vanguard.

Jim Gilmore reported one investment with Goldman and none with Vanguard.

Rick Santorum reported one investment with Vanguard and none with Goldman.

Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio both reported no investments with Goldman, and Reuters doesn't list them as having any with Vanguard, either. 

Correction: A prior version of this gave the wrong investment holdings information for Rick Santorum. Reuters' analysis shows that Santorum reported one investment with Vanguard and none with Goldman.

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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