How Donald Trump Could Have Saved His Fortune

Have you ever taken a peek at your bank account balance and thought of all the ways you could've saved money instead of buying all the useless things you don't need? Many of us have unfortunately been there. Even the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, might have experienced something similar. Many political analysts have written about Trump's inheritance, speculating that if he didn't touch it at all, he would've been richer today than he is currently. However, according to Forbes, Trump was doing just fine before 2020 came along with the pandemic in tow.

Most of Trump's fortune is made through commercial real estate, and he also owns more than 500 residential locations all over the United States, per Forbes. However, when the pandemic was at its peak and the United States went into lockdown, public markets and real estate took a dip. Many companies weren't willing to rent out an office space while a global pandemic was going on, especially since remote work is still proven to be what the American public wants, according to U.S. News. Plus, once-bustling streets and businesses turned into vacant spots once foot traffic lulled. 

More eyes are on Trump now that it seems like he has lost some money. So, what could he have done differently? 

Trump could have been worth $1.96 billion dollars

While campaigning for the 2016 election, Donald Trump used to deny that his deceased father, Fred Trump, gave him an exuberant amount of money for his inheritance. He even spoke about it during NBC's first presidential debate in 2016, and reiterated that those claims were false. "My father gave me a very small loan in 1975," he said (via CNBC), "and I built it into a company that's worth many, many billions of dollars."

Forbes did a deep-dive on Trump's inheritance, which was at least $413 million, per the The New York Times, and came to the conclusion that it was affected by the ongoing pandemic. Pre-pandemic, Trump was worth $3.1 billion, per Forbes, but after COVID-19 hit the streets, Trump's businesses began losing money. A month into the pandemic, for instance, he had lost a billion dollars of his wealth. 

In October 2018, The New York Times conducted a special investigation on Trump's tax returns and the money he inherited from his father. The article was over 13,000 words, and it included a small line that mentioned how Donald could've retained his fortune in the long run. "Here is what can be said with certainty, had [Donald] Trump done nothing but invest the money his father gave him in an index fund that tracks the Standard & Poor's 500, he would be worth $1.96 billion today," the article stated. This means Trump would've had almost as much money if he invested all of his inheritance in the S&P 500, instead of investing in his businesses.