Donald Trump net worth
In 2016, Forbes estimated Trump’s net worth at $3.7 billion, and Bloomberg $3 billion. These estimates would make him one of the richest politicians in American history. He has often given much higher estimates, sometimes over $10 billion, with the discrepancy due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values, as well as his own assessment of the value of his personal brand. As of 2016, Forbes ranked him the 156th wealthiest person in the U.S. and the 324th wealthiest in the world.
On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released a one-page financial statement “from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected”—stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000. “I’m really rich”, Trump said. Forbes believed his claim of $9 billion was “a whopper,” figuring it was actually $4.1 billion. In June 2015, Business Insider published Trump’s June 2014 financial statement, noting that $3.3 billion of that total is represented by “Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments”, described by Business Insider as “basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion.” In July 2015, federal election regulators released new details of Trump’s self-reported wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate, reporting that his assets are worth above $1.4 billion, which includes at least $70 million in stocks, and a debt of at least $265 million. According to Bloomberg, for the purposes of Trump’s FEC filings Trump “only reported revenue for [his] golf properties in his campaign filings even though the disclosure form asks for income”, noting independent filings showing all three of his major European golf properties were unprofitable.
Mortgages on Trump’s major properties—including Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, and the Trump National Doral golf course—each fall into the “above $50 million” range, the highest reportable category on FEC filings, with Trump paying interest rates ranging from 4% to 7.125%. Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013. Trump is a leaseholder, not owner, of the land beneath 40 Wall Street. Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates. A 2012 report from Trump’s accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and other collateral obligations. Filings in 2015 disclosed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine. Bloomberg documented debt of at least $605 million in 2016. Trump’s outstanding debt was at least $650 million in August 2016, in addition to an outstanding loan of $950 million to the Bank of China and Deutsche Bank (among other creditors) on 1290 Avenue of the Americas, in which Trump is a minority owner.
Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals in 1982 as having an estimated $200 million fortune, including a share of his father’s estimated $200 million net worth. After several years on the list, Trump’s financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from 1990 to 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings’ trusts in 1993; in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump’s “verbal billions” in a skeptical article about Trump’s self-reported wealth. At the time, three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump’s finances told reporter Timothy L. O’Brien that Trump’s actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion. Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal; Trump refused to turn over his unredacted tax returns despite his assertion they supported his case. In a sworn deposition, Trump testified that he once borrowed $9.6 million from his father, calling it “a very small amount of money”, but could not recall when he did so; Trump has since told campaign audiences he began his career with “a small loan of one million dollars” from his father, which he paid back with interest: “it has not been easy for me”, Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.
A July 2015 campaign press release, issued one month after Trump announced his presidential run, said that the FEC filing “was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump’s massive wealth” and that his “net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS [sic]”. However, Trump has testified that “my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings.” On the same day, Trump’s own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion. Trump has also acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been “good for financing”. Forbes has said that although Trump “shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish,” he “consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand.” Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump’s net worth by $125 million following Trump’s controversial 2015 remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, which ended Trump’s business contracts with NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy’s, Serta, PVH Corporation, and Perfumania. An internal Young & Rubicam study of Trump’s brand among high-income consumers showed “plummeting” ratings for traits such as “prestigious”, “upper class”, and “glamorous” at the end of 2015, suggesting that Trump’s various businesses could face market difficulties and financing challenges in the future.
The value of the Trump brand may have fallen due to his presidential campaign. Some consumers say they are avoiding purchasing Trump-branded products and services as a protest against Trump and his campaign. Bookings and foot traffic at Trump-branded hotels and casinos fell off sharply in 2016, primarily driven by a decrease in visits to the properties by women. Following the release of the Access Hollywood tape recordings in October 2016, the value of the Trump brand was reported to have taken a further hit, with estimates of the reduction in the brand’s added value of up to 13 percentage points.