The only question asked about Donald Trump more than "what's going on with his hair?" would be "how much money does the man have?"
Unfortunately, in both cases the real estate developer/media personality -- who declared himself a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States -- has made statements that many have questioned. Even when the man filled out a financial disclosure in connection with his campaign, it only sort of answered the question.
We know Trump is rich -- he has at least $1.4 billion, according to The New York Daily News' read of his financial disclosure -- but exactly how rich remains a question. The former Apprentice host often uses the figure $10 billion, but acknowledges that it changes due to market fluctuations.
The real number seems almost assuredly much lower, but it's still very impressive and people are interested now that he's officially brought his swagger to the national political stage.
Just got great national poll numbers-double digit lead! Thank you, we will all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2015
What is Trump saying?
Trump not only puts a $10 billion figure out there, he has gone to court to fight people who dispute that number. In 2006, he even sued Tim O'Brien, author of TrumpNation, because O'Brien placed his wealth at around $150 million to $250 million -- much less than The Donald was claiming at the time.
Now, while Trump still publicly uses the $10 billion number, his campaign disclosure forms aren't able to back it up. It's important to note that these documents do not require exact values to be placed on assets and liabilities. The forms are also not really made to measure the wealth of a billionaire, as the top range someone can report is "over $50 million."
After analyzing the forms, CNN said he reported at least $1.4 billion in assets and $265 million in liabilities. That makes him a billionaire, but it's much less than the number he cites in public.
Some interesting facts about Trump's income
Trump makes money in a lot of ways beyond his real estate empire, which CNN pulled from the disclosure:
- He gets book royalties: Trump has 15 books on his form, but only four of them make any money. All together, Think Like A Champion, The Art of the Deal, Time to Get Tough, and The Midas Touch brought in between $85,000 and $215,000.
- He gets speaking fees: The public figure made $1.75 million in speaking fees between May 2014 and March 2015.
- He has a lot of Trump stuff: Of the 515 different businesses for which Trump lists himself as an executive, 276 (54%) of them have "Trump" in the name. Another 63 involve an acronym with a "T" in it that almost always stands for Trump.
- He has a pension: Because of his television work, Trump will be entitled to $110,228 in Screen Actors Guild pension income, though it's not clear when he can collect.
However you look at it, Trump has a lot of money.
What is Donald Trump's net worth?
His financial disclosures show him to be at least a billionaire, and the most recent Forbes list placed his net worth at $4 billion.
Trump has money and he's almost certainly deserving of the title billionaire, but pinning down exactly where his holdings and liabilities net out is impossible because you have to take any statements he makes with a liberal grain of salt. He's a very rich man, but the billionaire who wants to be president may not be quite as rich as he wants the public to think.