Could the average Bozo have made the fortune of Donald Trump?

I realize that Donald Trump likely wouldn’t have made billions of dollars had it not been for the inheritance of $200 Million, at least I’ve heard that was the amount. Now I don’t consider myself as some natural entrepreneur or businessman but then I’ve never been given the opportunity either. I’ve also heard things like he could have just invested that same inheritance in the stock market and made the same amount of money, I’m not sure if that’s true either, just stuff that’s been said and social media and the like. Certainly a lot of his success is name recognition and licensing of his name.

Obviously, his Father was a successful businessman, so maybe its a combo of genetics, being shown the ropes by his father as he was growing up, and the sizeable amount of capital to work with at the start. I know a lot of businesses go under and I’m sure a lot of that is because some people don’t have the resources someone like Donald had from the get-go, and I’m sure he knew a lot of the right people whom he met through his father. I don’t know about myself, I don’t think I would have what it takes but then again if I was raised by his father maybe I would have also learned how to handle day-to-day business affairs.

Maybe we can even limit it to his success before he became a pop-culture icon and did things like The Apprentice, not sure how much money he earned and deals that got made simply because he was a famous name that people wanted to be associated with.

Sorry in advance if anyone has started a similar thread.

Do you think most people with his resources would have had the same success or even half of the money he has made.

I must protest-I met Bozo once when I was stationed in Chicago in 1977, and he was anything but “average”.

Right off the bat, your average Bozo would not have been accepted at Wharton Biz School. Assuming Trump used some of that knowledge (it offered a concentration in real estate, which was unusual for the times), to amass his fortune, then no.

But Trump also has the nerve (or the ignorance, who knows?) to not quit when he gets knocked down. It’s unlikely that your “average Bozo” has that same attribute.

Well if the average Bozo is smart enough to just invest in a low cost index fund, then Bozo would have done better.

That was what I was going to point out. Apparently it’s hard to tell exactly how successful he’s been.

And FWIW, he got a bachelor’s degree in business from Wharton (UPenn), not the more commonly referred to MBA. So saying “he went to the Wharton Business School” is kind of misleading. He did, but he didn’t get the degree most people are talking about when they say that.

I guess there’s no way to really be sure since we weren’t privy to the financial information and there is debate over how much he is really worth. I think in his description of his own net worth he includes the intangible, ephemeral worth of his own name and groups like Forbes do not include that in his net worth.

According to this his net worth in 1982 was more like $200 Million, not 500 and his father didn’t die till 1999 and there were also other siblings so I don’t know if he could have just liquidated those assets at that period in time.

Probably not, no.

Whatever his evils, Trump is rather clever at his core business, which is convincing other investors to make real estate and construction deals. His thing, basically, is to use his name and connections to construct things or swing real estate deals where the majority of the dough is not, in fact, his dough. (This is hardly a unique idea but he is famously good at it.) He gets other people/enterprises to assume most of the risk, while being central to representing or organizing the venture. When a venture fails, his exposure is relatively limited; if he succeeds, he designs his deals to maximize his cut. That’s why you hear about Trump this and Trump that failing, but he stays rich. Just because something bears the name “Trump” doesn’t mean his has much skin in the game.

That said it is generally true by every independent estimate that Trump’s performance in growing his fortune has been modest, at best, as compared to the market at large. The thing is, the average bozo would probably have blown the money entirely, as evidenced by the rather vast number of lottery winners who do just that. Trump does have some huge failures, most notably the Taj Mahal fiasco, but has done well in others, especially when he sticks to his core skill of real estate.

RickJay has the sense of it. Trump is very good at getting other people to let him use their money.

Most of us don’t have the moral hard-heartedness to do this effectively. It means saying, “Listen, trust me, I’ll make money for you,” and then, when that fails (as it must in a certain number of cases) having the callousness to refuse to take their phone calls. It means costing other people a load of money and not caring.

Hey, it’s perfectly legal. It’s all there in the fine print. “No guarantee against loss of principal.”

But it’s morally questionable. It entails asking for trust, then not living up it. In some cases, it involves deliberately betraying trust, as when investment bankers were happily lending money against instruments they knew at the time were worthless.

Could the average Bozo talk that talk and walk that walk? I believe not; most of us have better manners.

Do we have any idea how the other people who inherited 200 million dollars have done?

this is how I see it. You have to be endearing, appear trustworthy, and callous. It’s why Martin Shkreli is “worth” $45 million. it ain’t his money, but it’s sitting in his accounts.

I like the saying “He was born on third base but acts like he hit a triple.”

Nowhere near 200 million, but Elon Musk started Zip2 in 1995 with an “inheritance” of 28k and turned it into a net worth of an actual 10 billion dollars so far.

Well, a lot depends on this: just how rich IS Trump? He CLAIMS to be worth ten billion dollars, but refuses to release his tax returns, and many financial experts say he’s “only” worth about two hundred million.

What’s the truth? I don’t know. But if his net worth really is around two hundred million… well, then you or I could have taken the cash Trump received from his Dad, stuck it in CDs or a mutual fund and we’d be as rich as the Donald.

IMHO one of his advantages was growing up in a well-to-do family, with real estate development as the family business. These factors go a long way toward teaching him from an early age how to relate to money (his own and other people’s) and the basic process of real estate development. For someone who was not born into that background, there would be a greater distance they would have to traverse in learning the trade and the financial methods that would lead to success.

Just like a child of an auto-mechanic, growing up around the garage, would have a leg up on the average Bozo on how to fix a car.

Its generally believed that Paris Hilton has done pretty well

Her grandfather and father aren’t dead yet - so while she probably started out with one hell of an allowance and a lot of access to people, I don’t think she started out with anything near $200M.

I give Trump credit for this; he’s a great salesman. His main financial asset isn’t a knowledge of how to run businesses or make investments (it appears he’s only average at that). His main asset is the ability to convince other people to invest in his projects.

So to answer the OP’s question, I need to know if our hypothetical Bozo has Trump’s salesmanship.

I don’t have a simple answer to this interesting question.

But Trump did spend some money and enjoy himself. You’re positing a zero-net-income Bozo. :smack:

AND retire at a young age and live quite comfortably, thank you. Hey, I could live on that.

Another complicating factor of Trump vs. an average investor is how much money has Trump blown thru over the years? Sure, investing in an index fund would no doubt do better at the end, but that assumes you didn’t spend any of the dough over the years.

Assuming that Trump is “only” worth at most $200M, it does seem likely that the index fund investor would do better even living a reasonably sane millionaire’s lifestyle.

Oh, I agree. I’m just saying that IF Trump is worth “only” 200 million dollars, well, and ordinary bozo probably could have parlayed Daddy’s estate into a similar amount with no real business acumen at all.

If Trump IS, in fact, worth ten billion, then he’s done far, FAR better than a regular schmoe could have.

A random point. The “facts” as I understand them.

Donald got a loan for 1 million from Daddy Warbucks. That sounds like alot at first. But it was from DADDY Warbucks. To invest in NYC real estate (which bought like what…a couple of decent apartments?).

Supposedly, T Rump (aka Coco), parlayed THAT into a decent sized “empire” before he got the 200 mil when Daddy Warbucks kicked the bucket and T Rump inherited the 200 mil.

Another point. T Rump might have been better just investing in T Bonds or some such. OTOH, if he WAS an ACTIVE investor and managed to even stay afloat, that means as one guy he was at least as smart as the “market”, with the market reflecting the “wisdom” of a shit load of people.

If you can actively engage/fight the market and even stay above water…I’d say by definition you gotta be either pretty lucky and or somewhat above “average” intelligence.