Not a single lawmaker in Hawaii claims to have a child with at least a $5,000 stake in a stock or mutual fund.
The news is surprising, given the popularity of some mutual fund investments, such as HI529, a Legislature-endorsed college-savings program.
All 76 state legislators are required to file public financial disclosures listing income, sources of income, board memberships, real estate holdings, etc. Among the requirements of the disclosures, politicians must report any stock or mutual fund investments worth $5,000 or more. They must do the same for a spouse and dependent children.
But a Civil Beat review of the documents shows no lawmakers made any such disclosure for their kids. Of the few that reported any investments in stocks or mutual funds, only three disclosed spouses with such holdings.
If the disclosures are accurate, the filings are a stark contrast to the rest of America.
A related Civil Beat article reports that the majority of Americans have investments in stocks or mutual funds. If college-educated, the number of Americans with such holdings is about 73 percent.
While it’s impossible to say how many — if any — of Hawaii’s legislators use stocks or similar investments to save money for their children’s college tuition, mutual funds are a popular option.
HI529, the Hawaii 529 College Investment Program, was launched by the Legislature in 2002, “to assist and encourage families to save ahead for higher education expenses,” according to the Department of Budget and Finance.
The program offers a choice of mutual fund investments. People can pick options depending on how long they have to save and how much risk they’re willing to take.
A January 2010 report on the program delivered to the Legislature states that more than 3,000 accounts are open.
According to the state’s financial disclosures, however, Hawaii lawmakers are investing their money elsewhere.
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