Former US president Donald Trump has dropped out of the 2021 Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people for the first time in 25 years after failing to make the cut by $400 million.
With a net worth of about $2.5 billion, Mr Trump’s fortune, which is mostly tied up in real estate through the Trump Organisation, has fallen by $600m since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Forbes.
“Technology stocks, cryptocurrencies and other assets have thrived in the Covid era,” Forbes said on Tuesday. “But big-city properties – which make up the bulk of Trump’s fortune – have languished, knocking the former president out of the nation’s most exclusive club.”
The Forbes 400 list is an annual compilation of the richest Americans who own assets in the US and ranks them by their net worth. The list, which was first published in 1982, now requires a minimum net worth of $2.9bn, up $800m from a year ago.
Mr Trump is currently ranked in 1,299th place on the list, down from 339 last year. This is the first time he has failed to make an appearance in the top 400 of America’s wealthiest people since 1990, when he dropped off the list for five years before returning in 1996.
The Trump Organisation is a real estate conglomerate that owns numerous commercial and residential properties across the world, including its flagship Trump Tower in New York, golf courses in Scotland, the US and Ireland, and the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where Mr Trump has been living since leaving the White House in January.
Mr Trump has also earned hundreds of millions of dollars since 2000 after licensing his name for a range of products and real estate development projects across the world, according to Celebrity Net Worth. This includes the 18-hole Trump International Golf Club – Damac Hills in Dubai.
“If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself,” Forbes said. “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.”
Mr Trump, however, refused to divest his assets and passed control of the Trump Organisation to his sons, Donald Jr and Eric, during his one-term presidency.
“I could actually run my business and run government at the same time,” he said just one week before entering the White House in 2016. “I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to. I would be the only one that would be able to do that.”
Mr Trump is under investigation in New York for tax fraud and other reported wrongdoings relating to the financial activities of his Trump Organisation.
The US Justice Department in August also ordered the Treasury to provide a congressional committee with six years of records that Mr Trump has long refused to make public.
Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the 2021 Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $201bn, followed by Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk with $190.5bn.
“The 400 wealthiest Americans saw their collective fortune increase 40 per cent over the last year to $4.5 trillion. Nearly all are richer than they were a year ago,” Forbes said.
2021 Forbes 400 top 10 list of America’s richest people
- Jeff Bezos: $201bn
- Elon Musk: $190.5bn
- Mark Zuckerberg: $134.5bn
- Bill Gates: $134bn
- Larry Page: $123bn
- Sergey Brin: $118.5bn
- Larry Ellison: $117.3bn
- Warren Buffett: $102bn
- Steve Ballmer: $96.5bn
- Michael Bloomberg: $70bn