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Writers offer personal finance advice to Obama

Published: Saturday, May 18 2013 1:21 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak, AP

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The nation got a glimpse into Obama’s wallet Wednesday, with the release of the president's financial disclosures.

Even though their net worth has reportedly dropped 50 percent since 2010, the Obama’s remain part of the country’s 1 percent, having an estimated value somewhere between $1.9 million and $6.9 million.

Some finance writers think the disclosure, which was released in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, reveals there is much to learn about the president from his portfolio, and that the president has much to learn about keeping one.

For example, roughly 15 percent of the president’s money is invested in S&P 500 stock index funds. In general, these funds rise and fall with the U.S. economy, which Yahoo Finances’ Rick Newman thinks is an indication that the Obamas are confident in the economy’s future.

“By putting a large portion of their overall nest egg in U.S. stocks, the Obamas are betting that the U.S. economy will remain dominant for years to come.”

Overall, however, Newman was unimpressed by the president’s portfolio.

“The Obamas seem to be lazy investors” he wrote Thursday on The Exchange, a blog hosted by Yahoo Finance. “Virtually all of the Obamas’ investments are passive assets that require no regular monitoring whatsoever.”

While commending him for an early start on retirement, Jeff Reeves of USA Today suggested Obama be more aggressive with his retirement investments “with so much daylight until retirement.”

Reeves also recommends that the president refinance his home in Illinois.

“Save yourself some interest.” He wrote in his article directed at the president. “The house is worth between $500,000 and $1 million, so this isn't chump change.”

Among the most impressive uses of his funds was the president’s investment in his children’s future. According to the financial disclosure, the Obamas have at least $200,000 set aside already to pay for their daughters' college educations.

As Newman pointed out in his Yahoo Finance article, this won’t be enough to fund eight years of room and board at one of the nation's top universities, but it is certainly a start.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on DeseretNews.com. Email: jfeinauer@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @johnorjj.

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