Corporate real estate turned Donald Trump into a billionaire, and a regular on the annual Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people.
Unfortunately it’s corporate real estate that has taken him off that list for the first time in a quarter century.
Trump is still incredibly wealthy, and worth $2.5 billion, but his net worth is down $600 million from the start of the pandemic, and while other wealthy people have found ways to expand their fortunes through technology stocks and other assets, Trump’s holdings in real estate dipped, and it it knocked him off the list.
Since 1997, Trump has been a mainstay in the top 400, including a ranking of 339 last year, but he’s nowhere to be found in the latest edition.
The Forbes story laid out a scenario where Trump could have more than doubled his net worth since he became President of the United States in 2016.
When he won the election, federal ethics officials tried hard to convince Trump to divest his real estate assets. If he had taken their advice, and reinvested the proceeds into broad-based index funds, the Forbes story said even after paying capital gains taxes to the IRS and State of New York his net worth would have ballooned.
Trump was worth $3.5 billion at the time, and after paying roughly $1.1 billion in taxes he could have put his remaining $2.4 billion into an index fund tracking the S&P 500. If he had done that he would be worth $4.5 billion now, which is 80% more than his current estimated net worth.
The Forbes story also pointed out a section of the federal tax code that could have allowed Trump to get a certificate of divestiture, which would have gotten him off the hook on capital gains taxes. If he did that, his current net worth could be closer to $7.5 billion, and put him at No. 133 on the Forbes Richest Person list.
Bottom line, Trump is still rich and when the NYC real estate market bounces back he will be even richer.