Trump's sub-par record as a businessman has been widely discussed, but a recent analysis suggests the extent of Trump's underperformance is vastly greater than previously recognized. The new results emphasize the degree to which Trump has relied on his family's wealth and connections in order to create his fortune.


In 1976, Trump told the New York Times that he was worth $200 million. Had he put that money in an ordinary fund based on the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, the kind that many people use to save money for retirement, he'd have $12 billion today. That is more than the $10 billion he has claimed he is worth. Bloomberg estimates his wealth at $2.9 billion.


Yet compared to that of the average real-estate investor over the same period, Trump's performance is even worse... [the REIT index] has earned 14.4 percent a year since 1976. Had Trump done as well as the average among others in the industry, making investments that returned 14.4 percent over the long term, he would have turned the $200 million he said he had in 1976 into $23 billion as of last year, Griffin calculated.

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