Robinhood-obsessed day traders are increasingly abandoning Reddit meme stocks and Dogecoin and closely following TikTok and Twitter accounts that have sprung up to track Nancy Pelosi’s stock-buying wizardry. There’s even a “social investing” app called Iris that allows users to snap up everything she buys.
“Every single stock she has bought in the last two years has gone up significantly,” Christopher Josephs, cofounder of Iris, told Yahoo.
That’s why the Speaker of the House is our 2021 Wall Street Trader of the Year. In the halls of Capitol Hill, she might be a dove meekly brokering compromises with moderate Democrats on policy, but on the New York Stock Exchange, she’s a Gordon Gekko–like hawk unleashed, a psychic with an uncanny ability to read the market better than Warren Buffett.
The Oracle of Omaha is dead. Long live the Queen of Stonks.
To understand how Pelosi became a Wall Street mega-influencer, just look at the numbers. Since last year, she and her husband Paul Pelosi traded over $50 million in assets, with annualized returns at 69 percent as of October, according to an estimate from the Nancy Pelosi Portfolio Tracker. That’s higher than Buffett, George Soros, Cathie Wood, and other star investors of the past. Members of Congress aren’t required to provide an exact figure for the value of their assets, but Pelosi’s wealth grew by an estimated $16.7 million in 2020, just as millions of Americans fell into poverty and struggled to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, 2021 is shaping up to be even nicer for Nancy.
Social media users started taking sharper notice of her trading prowess in July when Paul exercised a “call option” move that let him buy 4,000 shares of Google parent company Alphabet right before the House Judiciary Committee voted on antitrust regulations for Silicon Valley monopolists. Ka-ching! The move meant $5.3 million more for the Pelosis to add to their estimated $100 million–plus fortune.
At that time, top Democrats, Pelosi included, squawked about new federal regulations to hold the Big Four — Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon — to account. Yet they’ve dragged their feet on bills to strengthen privacy and encourage competition in the months since then. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of Pelosi’s stock transactions since 2020 have included those tech giants.
Fawning followers have pointed out the genius of her other moves, like purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Roblox stocks when the gaming company went public in March. Many were skeptical of the value of a kids’ video game, but that stock has doubled in value since then. In July, Pelosi invested at least $1 million in computer chipmaker Nvidia, which has seen its stock skyrocket by 70 percent since then because of a worldwide chip shortage. It’s no wonder a TikTok account called @Quicktrades got 70,000 likes for a post highlighting the “queen of investing.”
Some haters, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called for members of Congress to be barred from playing Wall Street. “It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office,” Ocasio-Cortez recently tweeted. “The access and influence we have should be exercised for the public interest, not our profit. It shouldn’t be legal for us to trade individual stock with the info we have.”
Perhaps they’re just jealous of Pelosi’s money (she’s one of the richest in Congress) and her fame among traders. When asked by a reporter on Wednesday if members of Congress should own stocks considering they get confidential briefings full of nonpublic information directly related to the price of stocks, Nancy said no.
“We’re a free-market economy,” she said. Congressmembers “should be able to participate in that.”
Her retort was reminiscent of the time Donald Trump was asked by Hillary Clinton in a 2016 debate about his years-long avoidance of federal income tax. “That makes me smart,” he said. Likewise, our 2021 Wall Street Trader of the Year is smart enough to know that conflicts of interest, appearances of corruption, and the will to regulate Silicon Valley are secondary to being Wall Street’s biggest baller.