What's Donald Trump worth? We'll know soon, sort of.
Donald Trump may be the wealthiest person to ever run for president. Trump will file personal financial disclosure forms Wednesday or Thursday.
Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress via AP
As other presidential candidates fight to raise money, Donald Trump is reminding everyone he's already got a lot of it.
The celebrity businessman's campaign is expected to reveal details Wednesday of his fortune, which he estimated last month at nearly $9 billion when announcing his Republican presidential candidacy.
If accurate, that number would make Trump the wealthiest person to ever run for president, far surpassing previous magnates like Ross Perot, business heirs like Steve Forbes or private-equity investors like Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee.
"I have a Gucci store worth more than Romney," Trump told the Des Moines Register last month, referring to the fashion company's flagship store in New York's Trump Tower. Forbes estimates Trumps net worth to be $4.1 billion.
We break down what Trump says he is worth v. what we at Forbes estimate he is truly worth. The major difference: his brand. Trump claims that his brand and brand-related deals are worth some $3.3 billion. We value his brand at just $125 million; we give him another $128 million in management fees for Trump-branded hotels. Another major discrepancy is golf courses: Trump has been advocating for a valuation for his chain of American golf courses as high as $800 million. Independent valuation experts tell us our figure of $200 million is much closer to the mark. The other difference is properties under development. Trump claims nearly $300 million here; we don’t give properties full build-out value until they’re actually fully built and running.
On an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday, Trump said the personal financial disclosure forms will be filed Wednesday or Thursday.
"The numbers will be far in excess of what anybody thought," he said. "I built a great company."
How much the personal financial disclosure form will reveal is uncertain. Personal financial disclosures generally require candidates to list the value of their assets within broad ranges, with "above $5 million" as the top bucket. Many of Trump's holdings, such as Trump Park Avenue in New York, or the hundreds of millions he says he holds in cash, would far exceed that upper limit.
Even if Trump were to include a detailed summary of his assets and debts, skepticism about his net worth will likely remain.
Trump, for example, valued his personal brand and marketing deals at $3.3 billion when he announced his candidacy. Forbes Magazine, however, valued his brand at just $125 million. And that was before Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants cost him business partnerships with companies such as Macy's and Univision.
Trump in the past has taken umbrage at suggestions he might not be as fantastically wealthy as he says. In 2009, he sued author Timothy O'Brien for defamation after O'Brien wrote that Trump's net worth might be as low as $150 million.
Trump lost the suit and a subsequent appeal. In a deposition, the panel of appellate judges noted, Trump conceded that his public disclosures of his wealth depended partly on his mood.
"Even my own feelings affect my value to myself," Trump said.
Associated Press Writer Frederic J. Frommer contributed to this story