I'm feeling pretty special these days. Donald Trump sent me two "Special Guest VIP Tickets" to a wealth-building seminar he's holding nearby. As one of the fortunate few ("you'll learn what others have paid over $20,000 to learn"), I'll get to hear his daughter Ivanka and four "self-made multi-millionaire experts" divulge The Donald's wealth-creating secrets.

Now, getting to meet Ivanka might be worth the trip itself, but I can only imagine she'll be able to impart some wisdom along the lines of, "Be lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family." Really, what has Ivanka done to help the family build wealth?

I also wonder about these reputed, unnamed experts. Are they actually self-made multi-millionaires, or are they experts on people who became multi-millionaires by dint of their own sweat? Depends on how you read the sentence.

Heck, even if it was The Donald himself giving the seminar, instead of just inviting me to hear his daughter talk, I might still have, um, reservations about attending. As my Foolish colleague Mike Norman recently pointed out, Trump's Trump Entertainment (NASDAQ:TRMP) has run up an eye-popping $430 million in losses over the past 15 years and only just recently emerged from bankruptcy. Certainly, the discussion won't center on shareholder wealth-building techniques.

OK, maybe Trump got some bad deals. After all, he's been known to have blamed poor managers, the economy, a tough gaming industry in Atlantic City, and a host of other conditions for his troubles. Let's see how well he stacks up against the competition by a few key measures.




Ttl Debt-Capital

Trump Entertainment




Harrah's Entertainment (NYSE:HET)








Penn Nat'l Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN)




TTM figures courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

So I'll hazard a guess it's not on the gaming industry that his daughter will be expounding. In fact, this "once in a lifetime" conference will be a typical real estate seminar. Considering the meltdown in the subprime mortgage lending market these days, I find it humorous that Trump wants to help us "cash in on the new trillion dollar booming foreclosure opportunity" that's looming where we can get guaranteed returns between 9.6% and 32% that are "government approved."

While the date of the conference is touted as "the day you make money the Trump way," I'd much prefer to make money "The Warren Buffett Way." I never met Warren Buffett. I don't know Warren Buffett. But The Donald is no Warren Buffett.

However, I do have an extra ticket if someone wants to join me in meeting Ivanka.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.