State Treasurer of Iowa

State Treasurer of Iowa News: 2013 First Quarter

2012 has ended and the new year is here at last. The first thing most people think about are their goals for the new year. What is the most important goal? It is becoming smarter with your money. With your finances in check your other goals, such as losing weight or decreasing stress, will come easier.
The treasurer’s office is providing a few tips as you start the new year:
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State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald recently concluded Iowa’s first unclaimed property eBay auction. “This auction was a tremendous success. We had a roll of 1887 Morgan silver dollars that sold for $2,425 and even a 1931-S Lincoln penny that sold for $104.02. We brought in over $6,800 that we will hold for the owners of the boxes to claim at any time,” Fitzgerald said. “Items went for much more than we expected.”
Items sold in the eBay auction are from abandoned safe deposit box contents that were reported to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property by various financial institutions across the state. Prior to any auction, the Treasurer’s office completes an exhaustive effort to locate the owner. Letters are mailed to the last known address; names are published in a newspaper in the county of the last known address; names are posted on; and names are taken to the Iowa State Fair and other events around the state.
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Welcome from State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald

As State Treasurer, I serve Iowans in many ways. I act as the state's banker, invest Iowa’s money, coordinate bonding, return millions through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, help families save for college through the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan and promote financial literacy. I hope to use this electronic newsletter as a way to keep you informed about the state's financial health, treasury programs and current financial news. Thank you and feel free to contact my office with your questions or concerns.

Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald
State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald presented a $5,290 College Savings Iowa account to nine year old Audrey Kosel, a Bryant Elementary School student, in Dubuque on Wednesday. Audrey’s parents, Gwen and Terry, took everyone by surprise when they decided to pay their good fortune forward and open a College Savings Iowa account for each of the 20 kids in Audrey’s class. This act of kindness comes out of the recent tragedy in Connecticut.
“My husband and I were so touched, but my heart and thoughts were with the school at Sandy Hook,” Gwen Kosel said. “We decided to give each of the 20 students in Audrey’s class a College Savings Iowa account, each starting with $26.00 – a dollar for everyone who went to school at Sandy Hook to learn that day and did not make it home. It is not much, but it is a start.”
“The Kosel’s generosity is touching,” Fitzgerald added. “As always, our goal for College Savings Iowa is to encourage families to start saving early for their child’s higher educational expenses. Even $26 can go a long way if invested properly, and the Kosel’s reinforced this by helping 20 more Iowa children become one step closer to meeting the challenge of paying for their higher education.” 
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Iowa’s economy in 2012 again saw improvement from the previous year. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9%, ranking Iowa with the 4th lowest in the nation. Helping to reduce Iowa’s unemployed has been the resurgence in the manufacturing sector; creating over 8,000 new jobs since 2011. Spurring this growth in manufacturing has been the strong performance of the agricultural sector over the past two years, with the price of corn, soybeans, and land values at all-time highs. Though the impact of the current drought has been severe, Iowa’s economy is well diversified, helping to diminish the impact of the drought. While the housing market in Iowa never experienced the significant downturn that the national housing market suffered, Iowa’s housing market has rebounded with prices of existing homes and new housing starts increasing from the previous years. Overall, if the progress Iowa’s economy made in 2012 acts as a guideline for the future, then Iowans should be excited for 2013.
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