Forbes India 30 Under 30 2023

Donald Trump's bad bet

The former president refused to divest his assets when he took office in 2017. It cost him some $1.6 billion

Published: May 6, 2021 12:47:29 PM IST
Updated: May 6, 2021 05:23:33 PM IST

Donald Trump's bad bet

From the time he entered the White House in January 2017 to his departure a few months ago, Donald Trump’s fortune fell by nearly a third, from $3.5 billion to $2.4 billion. The S&P 500, meanwhile, increased 70 percent.

Every investor at some point has kicked himself for holding an asset too long. Perhaps none, however, has made such a monumental miscalculation. By refusing to divest his portfolio upon taking office, Trump bogged down his presidency with ethics issues for years, while also missing a chance to cash in on a market boom he helped propel.

If he had sold everything on Day 1, paid the maximum capital-gains taxes on the sales, then put the proceeds into a conflict-free fund tracking the S&P 500, Trump would have ended his presidency an estimated $1.6 billion richer than he is today. Below are his four biggest losers and top two gainers.

Donald Trump's bad bet

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(This story appears in the 21 May, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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