Romney's Inscrutable Personal Finances

His vast fortune spreads out across numerous investments. His wealth is highly diversified and mostly hidden.

Financial disclosures filed by Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney reveal an investment portfolio that's sophisticated, well-diversified, and complex to the point of opaqueness, as you might expect with a multimillionaire who made his fortune working at an investment firm.

In fact, an analysis of Romney's personal finances, as we have done with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, is virtually impossible given how much isn't known about his fortune. For one thing, Romney has numerous investments that don't disclose their holdings. For another, federal disclosure requirements use vast income ranges as wealth increases, making any substantive assessment meaningless.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.