By Nathaniel Valyo,
Money and Investing Writer
President Donald Trump is not as wealthy as he once was, according to the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans.
Trump dropped from his previous ranking of No. 156 in 2016 to No. 248. Forbes Magazine estimates that his net worth dropped from $3.7 billion to $3.1 billion, a $600 million drop. He is now tied with 15 others, including Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel.
Forbes Magazine claimed that the number one cause of President Trump’s decline is due to the weakening New York City real estate market. Property values of multiple New York City properties, especially properties on or near Fifth Avenue (where Trump Tower is located), have declined in the past year.
In addition, some of Trump’s golf properties located in various places around the world lost their values as well, as potential guests steered clear of staying at a resort linked to Trump’s name, presumably offended by his recent involvement in politics. This decrease in New York City property value, combined with the lack of guests at Trump’s resorts, shaved an estimated $400 million off of Trump’s overall net worth, according to Forbes.
A $25 million lawsuit filed against President Trump in March of 2017 is another contributing factor for his drop in the rankings. 6,000 students of the now disbanded Trump University claimed Trump falsely promised to teach them his secrets of real estate success through enrolling in his university. Additionally, Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign cost him an estimated $66 million.
“We’ll see if he tweets today,” said Forbes Magazine’s senior wealth editor Linda Kroll when the rankings were released. “I know he cares a lot.”
Trump has a history with challenging the Forbes 400 rankings whenever they are released annually, claiming they repeatedly underestimate his net worth. He has been recorded on the list every year since its inception in 1982.
However, some of Trump’s personal assets did rise this year, including a hotel-condo tower in Las Vegas which he owns with fellow Forbes 400 member Phil Ruffin. In addition, his minority stake in a San Francisco office building rose substantially due to San Francisco’s booming real estate market.
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates topped the list this year for the 24th consecutive year, with an estimated net worth of $89 billion. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, came in second this year with a net worth of $81.5 billion, followed by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The minimum net worth to make it on the Forbes 400 list this year was $2 billion, a $300 million increase from last year’s minimum of $1.7 billion.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.
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