Donald Trump falls off Forbes 400 rich list for first time in 25 years

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Real estate mogul and former US president Donald Trump has fallen off the Forbes 400 rich list for the first time in 25 years.

Mr Trump has an estimated worth of $2.5bn (£1.8bn) but this was not enough to get him on the list of America’s richest people.

He was $400m (£293m) behind the 400th entry on the list – Arkansas investment banker Warren Stephens.

The magazine said the 75-year-old is just as wealthy as he was a year ago – when he ranked number 339 – but he is down $600m (£440m) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While assets such as cryptocurrencies and technology stocks have thrived in recent months, the sort of city properties which form the bulk of Mr Trump’s fortune have not done as well.

According to Forbes: “If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself.

“Five years ago, he had a golden opportunity to diversify his fortune. Fresh off the 2016 election, federal ethics officials were pushing Trump to divest his real estate assets.

“That would have allowed him to reinvest the proceeds into broad-based index funds and assume office free of conflicts of interest… Trump decided to hang onto his assets.”

Forbes said the decision probably cost Mr Trump around $2bn (£1.4bn).

The exact worth of Mr Trump’s assets has often been the subject of speculation, mainly because he refused to release his tax returns when he entered presidential office.

Donald Trump styled himself as a business advisor to Mike Tyson in the early 1980s. Pic: AP
Donald Trump styled himself as a business adviser to Mike Tyson in the early 1980s. Pic: AP

But after The New York Times got hold of two decades worth of his tax returns in September last year, it was reported that he has some large debts coming due very soon.

It said he appeared to have paid off none of the principal of the mortgage for Trump Tower, with the full $100m coming due in 2022.

He was also facing a possible bill of more than $100m if he lost a dispute with the US’s tax authority over a refund in 2010, the newspaper reported, adding: “He appears to be responsible for loans totalling $421m, most of which is coming due within four years.”

At the time, a lawyer for The Trump Organization told the newspaper that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate”.

A lot of Mr Trump’s original wealth came from inheriting a family real estate business from his father, but he also made his name into a brand.

He boosted his reputation with a decade-long run as host of The Apprentice, where his public firing of entrepreneurial hopefuls earned him a great number of fans.

Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the list for the fourth consecutive year with an estimated fortune of $177bn (£129bn).

He was followed by Tesla chief Elon Musk with $151bn (£110bn), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with $134bn (£98bn), and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also with $134bn.

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