Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apparently earned between $164.06 and $1,563.92 per day in 2021 from his investments in the stock market alone. This is a total of something between $35,600 and $339,370 from January 4, 2021 to August 5, 2021. Annualized it comes to between $59,881 and $570,830, which is a lot of damn money!1 That’s the news, and the rest of the post consists of me showing my work. I put all salient information into a spreadsheet if you want to check my method.
We start with Moore’s 2020 Form 700.2 These require disclosure of some information about the employees’s investments including names of the stocks and which of four ranges includes their fair market value. The ranges are as follows, with links to their Yahoo Finance pages showing the historical data I used in the calculations:
- Over $1,000,000
Moore discloses ownership of fourteen different stocks, all of them but one with aggregate values in one of the two lower ranges. Here they are along with links to their Yahoo Finance pages, which is where I obtained historical price data:
|Stock name||Value range|
|Discover Financial Services||$2000—$10,000|
|Royal Dutch Shell3||$10,001—$100,000|
And here are the prices on January 4, 2021, on August 5, 2021, and the percent change in value:
|Stock||1/4/21 price||8/5/21 price||Absolute change||Relative change|
|Discover Fin Serv||89.61||127.1||37.49||41.84%|
All but one of Moore’s stocks pay dividends, which can be a significant part of investment income. Here are the dividend rates as of August 5, 2021:4
|Discover Fin Serv||1.59%|
And applying the percent change to the minimum and maximum values of each range of Moore’s holdings and adding twice the dividend yield shows his minimum and maximum investment gains, both total and daily, for 2021 through August 5:5
|Stock||Min 2021 gain||Max 2021 gain|
|Discover Fin Serv||$900.40||$4,502.00|
|Min daily gain:||Max daily gain:|
As stated in the opening paragraph, these calculations show that Moore’s estimated 2021 investment gains through August 5, 2021 were between $35,600 and $339,370. August 5, 2021 was the 217th day of the year, so simple division shows that from investments alone in 2021 Moore earned between $164.06 and $1,563.92 per day in 2021 from investments alone.
This isn’t insignificant, by the way. According to Transparent California Moore earned $462,648.52 in salary and benefits in 2019,6 which is $1267.53 per day. At the top end of my estimate, then, Moore’s investment income adds more than 73% to his annual compensation. At the very least he’s increasing it by 13%.
Does this mean something? Certainly. Am I going to speculate? Certainly not. Like I said above I put all the figures into a spreadsheet so you can check my work if you want to. And that’s it. That’s the blog post!
- To annualize I multiplied the daily rate by 365. How I obtained the daily rate is explained in detail below.
- Form 700s are financial disclosure forms required by law to be filed annually by eligible public employees.
- Royal Dutch Shell stock comes in two flavors: A and B. Moore didn’t specify which he holds so I just used A because I couldn’t think of any other way to proceed than by guessing.
- Stock dividends are listed both as a percentage of share value and as an absolute dollar amount per share. The percentage value is determined from the absolute dividend payment per share as a fraction of the share value and therefore changes with the share price. The absolute value per share is set by the company and therefore only changes when the company decides to change it. I assumed that the percentage as listed on August 5, 2021 was the same as the percentage on January 4, 2021. This is provably wrong since the shares were priced differently on the two days. It would be more accurate to use the absolute value of the dividend to calculate a percentage value on January 4, 2021 and then use that percentage value to estimate Moore’s dividend income. I didn’t do this because it’s a lot of work to determine the absolute dividend values in January whereas the present values are readily available. Given the likely inaccuracy of the method for other reasons it didn’t seem worth the effort. Also this method consistently yields an underestimate if the present share price is higher, which it is for every one of Moore’s holdings so it’s extra-fair to him and thus a reasonable simplification.
- This is assuming that Moore didn’t change his holdings during 2021, which is possibly wrong but there’s no way to fix it. It’s not an entirely unrealistic assumption given the fact that Moore’s 2019 Form 700 shows exactly the same holdings as does his 2020 form. Also dividends are usually paid quarterly in March, June, September, and December, which is why I add in two dividend payments. Obviously this is only an estimate!
- The last year that data is available as of this writing. His pay is surely higher now.