The True Extent of "The Donald's" Wealth!
We've seen a lot of speculation about Donald Trump's net worth. Well this week's contribution to the Oyster Ed tries to shed some additional light on the matter.
If there's one thing the public knows about GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, it's that he's a very rich, and very successful, businessman. Whether its money earned with his reality shows like The Apprentice, or in royalties from his bestselling book - The Art of the Deal, "The Donald," as he's affectionately known to many, cares deeply about the public perception of his business acumen and his overall worth. His huge successes in business are a big part of his appeal to voters looking for a take charge, bottom-line oriented Commander-in-Chief. So seriously, just how much is Trump worth?
In Trump’s own words his is worth in the neighborhood of "TEN BILLION DOLLARS." He announced these numbers in all caps, just like we’ve reprinted — in a campaign statement in July 2015, when a detailed review of his fortunes was disclosed by the Federal Election Commission. The emphasis was, in part, because he believes his fortune is too “complicated and massive" to be detailed in a simple financial disclosure form, so he noted his objection and included the emphasis to drive home his point.
Halving the Donald’s estimate was an extended profile into the real estate mogul's fortunes, by Forbes in October 2015. They authors’ of that report gave an estimate of Trump's net worth at about $4.5 billion. For 2015, that placed him at 121 in the Forbes 400 — an annual list of the 400 richest people in America. The publication came to this conclusion after a deep-dive into his fortunes, which they also detailed.
"After interviewing more than 80 sources and devoting unprecedented resources to valuing a single fortune, we're going with a figure less than half that — $4.5 billion, albeit still the highest figure we've ever had for him," Forbes editor Randall Lane wrote.
Trump was also given a self-made score of 5 by Forbes' 10-point scale estimate. According to Forbes, a score of 5 indicates someone who "inherited small or medium-size business and made it into a 10-digit fortune." This underscores what many Trump supporters say – Donald Trump made most of his huge fortune after receiving a modest inheritance, he was not born with his billions nor were they simply given to him as his detractors like to say.
The magazine noted that it's had a long history with Trump and his net worth, as he's constantly valued himself much higher than they feel he is worth. Trump's counter argument, which has a basis in fact, is that Forbes does not account for the "Trump brand," something that the magazine considers to be "phantom billions" and added that his worth was calculated by Forbes in the same way as every other member of the Forbes 400.
Furthermore, the Federal Election Commission's disclosures form on the real estate mogul revealed other key insights about his worth. According to CNN, of the 515 entities in Trump's overall brand, 276 of them have "Trump" in their name, which underscores “The Donald’s contention about the value of his name as a brand. An additional report from USA Today, showed that Trump owes about $50 million in loans for mortgages on several Trump buildings, though his golf clubs alone rake in about $50 million annually.
Regardless of Trump's arguments over his net worth, going by Forbes'estimates, he still has an impressive amount of money. To put this in perspective, if Trump's net worth were a country, he would be the 158th richest country in the world — ahead of 35 countries' GDP. And if someone were to weigh his money in the form of $100 bills, it would be roughly 90,000 pounds, or 45 tons.
Additionally, when compared to presidential candidates for both parties, his net worth is far and away the highest. In a report from GoBankingRates, Trump's closest competitors’ are former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, worth an estimated $58 million and $45 million, respectively. If Fiorina wanted to match his net worth, she'd have to earn about 78 times what she's presently valued at. And Clinton’s money has mostly been obtained from her elected positions of public trust, whereas both Fiorina and Trump obtained their money in the private sector.
In the end, whether Trump’s fortune is 4.5 billion dollars as Forbes claims or 10 billion as he says, his financial posture, or as one source has stated – “his monetary “footprint” is, unequivocally, HUGE.