ESSAYS

Investing in the Great State of Illinois Back to Main


In 2010 we bought 25 year State of Illinois Bonds yielding 7.1%. This bond has now gained 12% in capital appreciation alone. Our winning investment in these Bonds when there were concerns about the State’s finances was based in my confidence in our home State of Illinois. A key tenet of MWS Capital’s Core Beliefs and Vision is investing locally. We invest as much as practicable in companies and in the State’s bonds. We do invest across the US and worldwide, but investing here in our home state is part of MWS Capital’s investment strategy.

We are aided in this by our great state which has a highly diversified economy which is the fifth largest in the US. Chicago, the third largest city, is the home of egalitarian ideals and has historically led progressive democracy. Chicago is a center for law and education, medicine, accounting, insurance, advertising, printing, manufacturing and distribution. Our booming internet sector connects US consumers with major web sites. Along with Opera and Arts, Chicago is even a leading city for, of all things, dealings in rare violins and bows.

Chicago is home to a myriad of manufacturing and industrial enterprises from metal fabrication and home products, cars to chemicals and especially food and candy. Chicago is a key distribution center boasting a commercial port, huge rail yards, and highways to all points. O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world, home of UAL, our largest airline. In Rockford, UPS has as a major air and trucking hub. The world’s earth moving, construction and farm equipment is made by Caterpillar in Peoria and John Deere in Moline.

Outside of the city, the suburban triangle of Schaumburg to Aurora and Naperville houses headquarters or subsidiary offices of scores of major companies. The depth is astonishing. Illinois sets the standard of American food as the home of MacDonald’s, Kraft Foods and Sara Lee. Candy production is carried out by Masterfoods and Wrigley. In drugs, we boast Abbot Labs and Baxter, in retail Sears and Walgreens, Allstate in insurance. Complementing this industrial and corporate depth, downstate Illinois boasts some of the most profitable and valuable farmland in the US, annually #1 or #2 in corn and soybeans, and #4 in hogs. ADM based in Decatur processes much of this, shipped worldwide along our highways, the Mississippi and the Great Lakes. And let’s not forget prices for these commodities and for the stock and bond markets as a whole are set right downtown on Chicago’s financial exchanges. Where yours truly MWS Capital observes the markets and readily invests in our State and our people.

Here is a list of our Illinois Investments - Abbott Labs, Boeing, Baxter, Caterpillar, Deere, Kraft, GATX, Lifeway Foods, Morningstar, McDonalds, Nicor, Northern Trust, UAL, and Walgreens. Notes and Bonds of the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, McHenry County and the Village of Wilmette.

Matthew Shapiro, President MWS Capital LLC                                                            February 2012

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