The net worth of President-elect Donald J. Trump was a popular story in last year’s presidential election. He has said on multiple occasions that his net worth is around $10 billion. But, if you take the average of the three best outside estimates, Donald Trump's net worth is actually $3.5 billion.
What we did just learn from David Cay Johnston's DCReport.org article on Trump's 2005 Form 1040 is that, in that year, Trump and his new wife, Melanija Knavs, earned $153 million. They paid $36.6 million in federal taxes that year, a tax rate of 24%. In a statement, the White House confirmed that the document, which appeared in Johnston's mailbox and was shared with the White House, is real.
This glimpse of the Trumps' returns are a snapshot of one year. They do not reveal his entire net worth.
Here's what we do know about that worth and how it breaks down:
In May 2016, Trump released his Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) forms with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). In true Trump fashion, he was quick to let everyone know. “I filed my PFD, which I am proud to say is the largest in the history of the FEC," Trump said.
The PFD revealed Trump had:
- At least $1.4 billion in assets, which includes 40 Wall St, the Trump Tower, golf course resorts in Florida, NY, NJ and Scotland and an aircraft, all which are valued at over $50 million.
- Over $300 million in income from the golf courses and resorts.
- Over $100 million in rental income and sales from his property.
- At least $25 million in Blackrock's Obsidian fund.
- Liabilities, which include debt of $50 million or more on each of the following; the Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, Trump National Doral, Trump International Hotel and Trump Old Post Office.
Forbes recently reduced its estimate of Donald Trump's net worth to $3.5 billion (as of February 2017), down from $4.5 billion in early 2016. Forbes said the softening of the high-end retail and commercial property market in New York City is to blame for the reduction. In their reassessment, Forbes looked at 28 assets of which they said 18 had declined in value since the last estimate.
Fortune magazine say Trump is worth $3.9 billion (as of May 2016), up from $3.7 billion in 2015. Fortune states the revenue he discloses in the PFD does not fit someone with a net worth of $10 billion. However, they believe the Presidential campaign is having a positive effect on his worth. "Rather than damaging his brand, Trump’s notoriety appears to be boosting his business, and making him even wealthier. By our best calculations, Trump’s net worth has indeed grown over the 10 months since the last filing," Fortune said.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated Trump to be worth $3.02 billion (as of February 2017). Bloomberg notes the toughest calculation is his brand. While Trump estimates his brand to be worth $3.3 billion, Bloomberg valued it at just $35 million.
Whether it's $3 billion or $10 billion, as he claims, it's safe to assume he is a billionaire, so the exact amount doesn't really matter. However, Trump campaigned for the presidency on the size of his wealth. "I'm really rich. I'll show you in a second. I'm not saying that in a bragging way," Trump said when announcing his Presidential bid in 2015.
Any concrete estimates of his wealth would require a detailed look at his tax returns, which he continues to withhold. Two pages of his 2005 Form 1040 are just a quick look at one year.