An App That Aligns Trading Strategies with Elite Investors

A revolutionary application, enabling users to align their trading strategies with those of Congress members and elite investors, recently surpassed a significant milestone of $100 million in total investments.

Despite this triumph, the app's founders fervently hope it will prompt Congress to implement trading restrictions upon themselves.

Launched in January 2023, the app, named Autopilot, leverages publicly disclosed trading data from Congress members, offering its users the ability to replicate these trades. Following the enactment of the STOCK Act in 2012, Congress members and their immediate relatives are mandated to disclose their investment activities within a 45-day window or incur financial repercussions.

Furthermore, Autopilot empowers its users to emulate the investment strategies of renowned hedge fund luminaries such as Michael Burry, whose investment acumen was spotlighted in the 2015 film "The Big Short," through their mandatory 13F filings.

Chris Josephs, co-founder and the mind behind the widely followed "Nancy Pelosi Stock Tracker" on social media, reported to Business Insider that the platform effortlessly achieved the $100 million investment milestone, attributing over $55 million to trades inspired by Congressional disclosures.

The platform selectively enables users to replicate the trades of four specific legislators — Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Dan Crenshaw, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Dan Goldman — alongside a curated selection of stocks from "the top 10 political traders based on their 2022 performance."

Josephs highlighted that the investment portfolios associated with Crenshaw and Pelosi, the latter purportedly managed by her husband, Paul Pelosi, are especially popular among users.

App analytics reveal a notable appreciation in the value of reported trades, with Pelosi's investments witnessing a 45% uptick and Crenshaw's a 41% increase in 2023.

When solicited for comments, Corry Schiermeyer, a spokesperson for Crenshaw, informed Business Insider that Crenshaw is "not a millionaire and has minimal market investments." Pelosi's office, on the other hand, declined to comment.

The discourse around prohibiting Congressional stock trading intensified at the end of 2021 when Pelosi, then the House Speaker, initially opposed such a ban. This stance sparked widespread public criticism, leading to her eventual change of heart.

Efforts by members of both major political parties to enforce a trading ban in 2022 were unsuccessful. A subsequent attempt by a group of Democratic senators to pass a similar prohibition in 2023 has so far been stalled in committee.

Josephs stated, "This is precisely why we've launched this initiative. It's a means to persistently advocate for transparency and accountability. We're here to stay."

Donald Sherman, Deputy Director at the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, praised the app as an "innovative concept," expressing no surprise that many legislators' trading portfolios outperform those of the average investor.

Adopting an optimistic viewpoint, Sherman observed, "Given their roles, Congress members are uniquely positioned to meticulously analyze market trends, economic indicators, and the dynamics that influence market movements — insights most investors would covet."

Echoing the sentiments of Autopilot's co-founder, Josephs: "If joining forces is what it takes, so be it."


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