Presidential Taxes and Glass Houses

While everyone is talking about the candidate's taxes, here are a few interesting observations from the Clinton's tax return (found here:

After earning 100 million after taxes in the last 8 years, Bill and Hillary only have about $6.7 million to show for it.

Bill and Hillary declared $84,358 in taxable dividends from the Vanguard S&P 500 Admiral fund (VFIAX). This fund paid a total of $3.961 per share in dividends in 2015. Accordingly, they owned approximately 21,297.147 shares. At $200/share this amounts to a total of $4,260,505 in VFIAX. (fund info available at

Bill and Hillary earned $24,932 in interest on taxable savings. Assuming a generous 1% interest rate on every penny of their savings (which is probably twice actual earnings) would compute to $2,493,200 in principal. If they earned less than 1%, the balance would increase. I find it odd that they don't invest in tax-exempt savings instruments which in turn finance local and state finances. Most clients in their marginal tax bracket would be advised to do so.

There are no details on how long they have carried the $699,000 loss forward (page 17 of her return). Whittling away at it in $3,000 annual increments might make political sense but not much financial sense. Why not realize a gain on the index fund and offset it with the loss carryover and diversify the proceeds while you're at it.

Their Vanguard fund and bank deposits total approximately $6,753,705 in invested assets and savings that generated any taxable interest or dividends. One stock mutual fund at Vanguard and a few deposit accounts at JP Morgan and that's it. Looks like they employ a "bleachbit" mentality to sanitize their personal funds from political scrutiny.

CNN says Bill and Hillary earned $141 million from 2007 to 2015 ( If all they have to show for it is less than seven million dollars in investments and savings, something is wrong.

It looks like they either spend a ton of cash every year or found a way to hide the vast majority of their accumulated assets from current taxation (without relying on muni bonds). Someone might want to take a deeper look into this.

Glass houses, glass houses.
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