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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

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

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