How Did Nancy Pelosi Make Her Money? Nancy Pelosi has been a member of Congress since she won a special election in 1987. Over the years, she has held several critical positions in the House of Representatives. She has even been the House Majority Speaker twice.
The Democratic caucus selected her for the role in 2006, and she held the office from 2007 to 2011. After Republicans gained the majority, she served as House Minority Leader from 2011 to 2019. She returned as House Majority Speaker after the 2018 election and continues to hold the position.
Currently, the Speaker of the House earns $223,500 per year, a salary established by Congress. Despite the relatively modest salary for such a lofty position, Nancy Pelosi is estimated to be a centimillionaire. How does a politician making less than a quarter million dollars per year become one of the 10 wealthiest members of Congress?
Nancy Pelosi’s Early Life
Nancy Pelosi was born Nancy D’Alesandro into a political family. At the time of her birth (March 26, 1940), her father served as a Maryland representative in Congress. Later, he would spend seven years as Baltimore’s mayor. Her mother was a Democratic organizer and networker.
Nancy attended many of her father’s political rallies and related events. After graduating from Trinity College with a bachelor’s degree in political science, she interned for Senator Daniel Brewster, a fellow Democrat from Maryland. She met her husband, Paul Pelosi, while attending Trinity College. Paul was a student at nearby Georgetown University. They were married in 1963.
In 1969, Pelosi moved to San Francisco, where she got involved in the area’s Democratic politics and formed a friendship with Phillip Burton, the congressman for District 5, which Pelosi would later represent in DC.
Nancy and Paul may have chosen to settle in San Francisco because Paul grew up there. Paul’s brother, Ronald Pelosi, also played a role in politics as a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.
When Did Nancy Pelosi Get Elected to Congress
Nancy Pelosi joined the US House of Representatives in 1987. In 1983, Phillip Burton passed away while serving as District 5’s representative.
Burton’s wife, Sara Burton, won a special election to complete her husband’s term. Sara Burton won two more elections but was diagnosed with cancer in 1986. She decided not to pursue another term in 1988. Instead, she put her support behind Nancy Pelosi.
When Burton died in 1987, Pelosi and San Francisco supervisor Harry Britt competed for the position. Pelosi narrowly won the primary but easily defeated her Republican competitor in June.
Pelosi has held the position ever since.
How Long Can Nancy Pelosi Be in Office
Nancy Pelosi could potentially stay in Congress for the rest of her life. Congress does not have term limits, so officials can serve as long as they win elections.
Whether she can retain her current position as Speaker of the House, however, depends on whether Democrats can maintain a majority within the House. If Republicans take the majority, she will lose her position.
She will still be a member of the House of Representatives as long as residents of her district vote for her. Of course, the 82-year-old politician could decide it’s time to hang up her political boots and retire.
It’s unlikely that a Republican candidate in Nancy Pelosi’s district could win an election against her. The district includes most of San Francisco and has solidly voted for Democrats since the 1960s. Another Democrat could primary her, but that approach has not so far worked for younger Democrats challenging her position.
Nancy Pelosi’s Net Worth
According to Open Secrets, a watchdog group that covers money in politics, Nancy Pelosi had a net worth of $114,662,521 in 2019. The median net worth of House members at the time was $489,510.
Some of Pelosi’s largest assets include:
$46.5 million in real estate
About $15.375 million in Apple stock
- About $15.8 million in electronics manufacturing and equipment
How Did Nancy Pelosi Make Her Money?
It’s important to note that Pelosi did not build her wealth alone. Her husband, Paul, is a successful business owner with degrees from two prestigious universities (a BS from Georgetown University and an MBA from New York University).
Much of the couple’s wealth comes from successful stock trading, which Paul manages via a venture capital firm named Financial Leasing Services.
Nancy Pelosi Stock Trading Scandals
The amount of money the Pelosis has made through the stock market raises some concerns.
As a leading member of the House, Nancy Pelosi has access to information that could influence the stock market. For example, she would have known details about the COVID-19 lockdown, proposed government assistance, and potential vaccines days or weeks before the public.
Similarly, someone in her position could use insider knowledge to choose successful businesses in technology, energy, pharmacology, and real estate.
Thousands of people working in Congress, including elected officials and their support staffs, have access to information that could make it easier to predict changes in the stock market.
In 2021, some Congressmembers began to take this concern seriously. Groups in the House and the Senate drafted bills that would ban members from trading stock while in office.
Not surprisingly, Pelosi didn’t embrace this idea. However, she has said that she would support a bill if members of Congress could reach a consensus. So far, bills have not been brought to the floor for a vote. Some believe that wealthy Congressmembers are just giving the idea lip service and never plan to schedule a vote.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, has been more receptive to a stock-trading ban. According to Open Secrets, he has considerably less wealth than Pelosi.
In 2018, he had an estimated net worth of $1.123 million. More recent estimates put his wealth between to $69 million and $85 million. These estimates are unverified. Regardless, it’s easy to see why a politician with less interest in the stock market would find it easier to support a ban on trading.
Is Nancy Pelosi Guilty of Insider Trading?
Some of Nancy Pelosi’s critics have accused her of insider trading, but she has never been formally charged with any crimes.
It’s also difficult to find any specific instances when she or her husband might have used privileged information to make investment decisions. According to the STOCK Act, all members of Congress must disclose stock trades within 45 days.
Stocks trades made by Nancy and Paul Pelosi in 2021 and early 2022 include shares in:
- AllianceBernstein Holding L.P., an asset management firm primarily focused on retail
- Alphabet Inc. (Class A)
- Alphabet Inc. (Class C Capital Stock)
- Amazon.com, Inc.
- American Express Company
- Apple Inc.
- Micron Technology, Inc., a data storage hardware developer
- Microsoft Corporation
- NVIDIA Corporation, a software and hardware company
- Paypal Holdings, Inc.
- REOF XX, LLC, a commercial real estate company
- REOF XXII, LLC, a commercial real estate company
- Roblox Corporation (Class A), a video game developer
- Salesforce.com Inc
- Slack Technologies, Inc (Class A)
- Tesla, Inc.
- Visa Inc.
- Walt Disney Company
- Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Series A)
Several of these companies benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more employers turned to remote work, Slack’s stock prices increased. As the world relied more heavily on e-commerce than in-store shopping, companies like Salesforce and Amazon thrived.
At least one company on this list, REOF XX, has been accused of misusing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
The couple’s trading don’t include any pharmaceutical companies during this time. Regardless, Nancy Pelosi has never been charged with insider trading, so it’s inaccurate to say she’s guilty of the crime. People might have their suspicions, but nothing formal has taken place.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.