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October 15, 2021

Trump critics have long claimed that if the former president had simply taken the money his father gave him, stuck it in the S&P 500 and watched the money appreciate over time, he’d be far richer. But for years, those critics were wrong.

In fact, Trump outperformed the market for much of his life, developing some great buildings, lucking out on a couple of other projects and capitalizing on a knack for marketing.

But markets change, and so do fortunes—especially in times of upheaval. Since U.S. equities crashed in the early days of the pandemic, they have gone on a stunning run, largely thanks to the growth of big technology companies. Trump’s fortune also plunged at the outset of the pandemic, but his real estate empire, concentrated in urban office buildings, hotels and storefronts, hasn’t come roaring back.

The result is that the oft-repeated, long-false claim that Trump would have been richer if he’d just stuck his inheritance in the S&P 500 has—finally—turned into truth. As of today, Trump would be an estimated $400 million richer if he had just put his father’s money in the index.

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