How Much Is Donald Trump Really Worth?

Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images.
Donald Trump's wealth and penchant for the finer things in life are well documented.

But, while he has hotels, planes, and gilded penthouses to his name, it's harder to sum up how much the businessman has in the bank.

Trump has been cagey about his finances during the 2016 election cycle, refusing to release his tax return while touting the fact that he is self-funding his campaign (something that may soon be coming to an end). Refinery29 gathered some numbers to try to paint a clearer picture of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's net worth.

According to the man himself, Trump is worth “in excess” of $10 billion. In a statement posted to his campaign site last week, he stated that his worth had even increased in the year since he began his campaign.

But financial experts are less certain. Three publications known for evaluating the financial status of the wealthy have all valued Trump’s net worth to be significantly lower, in a range of $2.9 to $4.5 billion. Nothing to sneer at, but also a pretty far cry from the $10 billion Trump claims to have in his pocket.

Using publicly available information, Bloomberg estimated Trump's worth at $2.9 billion in 2015, as he began his presidential campaign. Fortune, relying on the same information, placed him at $3.7 billion at that same time, a number the publication bumped up to $3.9 in March of 2016. And in September 2015, Forbes had the most generous assessment, using an estimated value that covers all of Trump's property, including licensing of his name and the value of his various aircrafts, to come up with $4.5 billion. (Trump took issue with the number in an accompanying interview with Forbes.)

What’s behind the discrepancy? One big factor is the lack of available information. Because Trump’s worth is heavily tied into real estate property, for which value can be negotiable, it’s difficult to assess his overall value. Though he has filed financial disclosure reports, the information they include is incomplete.

When it comes to talking about his personal finances, Trump tends to be...optimistic. In an analysis of Trump’s financial status, Forbes points out that Trump exaggerates both the worth of his properties and his shares in them. In a 2007 deposition, Trump stated that he determines his net worth in part according to his “general attitude at the time the question [regarding his worth] may be asked.” But he also said that he wouldn’t go on record to say that he was doing poorly.

Trump is historically tetchy about allegations that he's not as obscenely wealthy as he says he is. In 2006, he filed a lawsuit against the author of a book who alleged that he was only worth $150 to $250 million, rather than the billions he claimed at the time. Trump lost the case.

Whatever he is worth, it's not enough to fund his campaign. Both Forbes and Bloomberg put his liquid assets in the $300 million range. (Fortune didn't hazard a guess.) So far, Hillary Clinton has spent $181 million on her campaign, while Bernie Sanders has spent $207 million, according to The New York Times.
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