Donald Trump Is Rich Because He Was Born Rich

Donald TrumpWhen I was a kid, Esphyr Slobodkina’s book, Caps for Sale terrified me. It involved this guy who I now understand was a cap peddler who wore many caps on his head at the same time. I thought he was Satan. I have no idea why I thought that. I was a strange kid. Anyway, I now wish that I were that peddler, because I would love to tip a hundred caps to SV Dáte who wrote the best article I’ve read in ages, The One Easy Way Donald Trump Could Have Been Even Richer: Doing Nothing.

People often ask me where I get my story ideas. I tell them it is mostly cartoons (which is true). Perhaps as a result, it would not occur to me to do what Dáte did. We all know that money makes money. And since Donald Trump was born rich, Dáte decided to look at how rich he would be now if he had just floated along: put his money in a regular investment vehicle. In this case, he chose an indexed mutual fund. These are funds designed to do roughly as well as the market itself. His results: if Trump had just put his 1974 inheritance into an index fund, he would now have $3 billion; if he had put his $200 million estimated fortune in 1982 into an index fund, he would not have $8 billion.

Even the smaller figure exceeds the lower range of his possible net worth as reported to the Federal Election Commission, while the larger number exceeds by billions recent estimates of Trump’s worth by financial publications. And it would have come without the high-drama, roller-coaster career that has included four corporate bankruptcies.

That a purely unmanaged index fund’s return could outperform Trump’s hands-on wheeling and dealing calls into question one of Trump’s chief selling points on the campaign trail: his business acumen.

He added that if Trump had given War­ren Buf­fett his money to invest, Trump would now be worth almost $70 billion. But most of the rest of the article is about how much Trump is actually worth. Most recently, Trump has claimed that he is worth ten billion dollars. But that number is certainly not true. And it is possible that he is only really worth something like hundreds of millions of dollars. It doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that he hasn’t done any better than a simple computer algorithm in terms of managing his money.

At Vox, Dylan Matthews looked into the question a bit more deeply.
Even after taking into account all of the costs associated with a mutual fund (fees and taxes), it turns out that Trump currently has (based on the most liberal estimates) just about the same amount of money that he would have had. And I think the title of his article says all that need be said, “Donald Trump isn’t rich because he’s a great investor. He’s rich because his dad was rich.”

That, my friends, is the story of modern America. Meritocracy? American exceptionalism? It’s all rubbish. Donald Trump is the perfect symbol of America.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “Donald Trump Is Rich Because He Was Born Rich

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  5. Donald Trump was born rich, he did make himself great. He has always been a spoil rich kid and now he thinks Americans are stupid enough to make him the owner of the country. How can he make a country great again that is already greater than any other? One way to do it is to sell fear and hate! no1 People Mexico will never build a wall for America. Trump has no real plan to keep out terrorist or illegal aliens. Will Donald Trump become president and fire all the many foreigners and illegal’s that is employed for him currently. Will he close his businesses overseas and return his monies to American banks? He has gone against every issue that he currently states that he is for, he has voted Democrat for years. So why do some Americans buy that he has changed overnight? He feels that he is larger than any person or organization because he has money not because he is actually tough. He is a bully who would run at the first sight or real trouble. Trump is a big spoiled baby. America cannot afford to have such a leader. He disrespect women, minorities and anyone who is not rich. He has only recently called blacks African Americans before this elections they were always, “the blacks.” He still feels that blacks, Hispanic, Muslims, many women will vote for him although he has shown time and time again by his words that he despise them. If not for affirmative action or political correctness, some of them would not be allowed to be in his company. The weirdest thing of all is how Evangelical Christian can listen to a man who cannot recite proper biblical text, who says he does not have to ask forgiveness from God(perhaps he thinks he is God since his mother’s name was Mary), talk to people un-Christ like and act un-Christ like. He thinks no one has noticed how he does not think some people are unworthy to be in his presence and that he call them second class or third class as he calls them. Trump always acts as if he is tough around people with less money than he, but America do not need some who is tough, we need someone who is smart. Trump stated that we should only speak English in America, did his foreign wives always spoke English only. How can he possible be against immigrants, his grandparents were German immigrants and his mother was not even born in America. Trump’s “Freedom Girls” sings as if they were the Hitler Youth. ‘Hail Trump!’ are his praises at some rallies. We do not need a new Hitler! America, we do not need a greater real estate man, we need a commander in chief. We do not need a cowardly 5 time draft dodger, who only lately call veterans heroes when he needs a vote. People flock to see Trump because he will have them get back jobs that are taken away by immigrants, Trump never tell them in the rallies how many immigrates he has on his payroll; they would leave disgusted. We do not need a reality show host or actor. Does he tell poor farmers how he has a fortune, gold plated sink, rolls and that he will not guarantee them anything. Why does someone not ask him, “What is your plan?” What are your plans?” Donald Trump has no plans for our country, he is just rolling around from state to state acting like a rock star until the people wake up and realize that the worse thing they could ever do is put D. J. Trump in the White House. When the imminent domain king takes their lands, then they will see but it will be too late. He is playing them all for suckers. Someone like Putin may call his bluff if he decides to get up from the table without talking. Trump does not want to face others in the final debate before the Iowa elections. It has nothing to do with not liking a message from FOX Exec, it has to do with fear. It has nothing to do with trying to mimic President Regan, it’s fear. It has something to do with the rich kid mentality, ‘Your ratings sucks because everyone wants to see me. I will be on at the same time raising money for veterans.” Iowans since Trump has said no to you, you say no to him. America because Trump is not man enough to stand up to one talented female journalist asking questions, America should say to him on election day, “Throw that fake squirrel piece away from your head, You’re fired!”

      • Sounds like someone who’s got some experience with being passionate about Christianity and veterans’ issues. Who is kinda feeling their way around how to voice these things. If I’d participated on the Internet 20 years ago, I would have written much the same.

        It’s a process, you learn as you go. I’m the Rant King in some places, and I need to scale it back.

        But you gave good advice. Paragraphs help a lot.

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  8. What would I know, I am only a Poet.
    One who tells the truth and you know it.
    That People with intelligence can say,
    what will happen will happen one day.
    He is just a little boy, in an older body.
    Never told “No”, which is rather shoddy.
    With the way he was brought up,
    Had a dog not a pup.

    So now you have the Boy you elected.
    And during the campaign he defected.
    To talk with Putin, on the Russian side.
    No winners no losers, let all abide.
    In the tragedy that has unfolded.
    To me he is the Boy never scolded.
    I may be just be a little known Poet.
    But I am more a man and I know it.(c)

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