Former US president Donald Trump falls off Forbes 400 rich list for first time in 25 years

For a quarter of a century, Donald Trump has enjoyed a place on the prestigious Forbes 400 rich list.

But in 2021, that coveted spot has proven to be out of reach for the former president and reality TV star.

According to the magazine, Trump failed to secure a place on the ranking of America’s richest people for the first time in 25 years.

It comes after the publication estimated that the 75-year-old’s net worth had plummeted to the tune of US$600 million during the Covid-19 crisis, as property values crashed.

It means he was left with a net worth of around US$2.5 billion, missing the cut-off to make it on the list by a cool US$400 million.

But according to Forbes, Trump’s change in fortunes is also the result of his own actions.

“If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself,” the publication explains.

“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.”

But instead, he decided to hold on to his assets – a decision which may have cost him dearly.

In the past Trump downplayed the value of rich lists, saying of Forbes in a 2015 interview: “They have no idea what I own, and it’s irrelevant”.

But Trump’s apparent change in fortunes comes at the worst possible time, with the real estate giant facing mounting debts which will come due in the near future, according to a New York Times bombshell investigation into his tax returns which emerged last year.

“He appears to have paid off none of the principal of the Trump Tower mortgage, and the full US$100 million comes due in 2022,” the Times wrote in September 2020.

“And if he loses his dispute with the IRS over the 2010 refund, he could owe the government more than US$100 million (including interest on the original amount) … He appears to be responsible for loans totalling US$421 million, most of which is coming due within four years.”

As rumours continue to swirl that Trump is plotting another presidential run in 2024, insiders believe the determining factor in whether he throws his hat in the ring or not may be his financial situation.

Meanwhile, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos took out the top spot in this year’s Forbes 400 list with an estimated net worth of US$177 billion, followed by newly single Tesla CEO Elon Musk with US$151b, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on US$134b, Microsoft’s Bill Gates on US$134b and fellow tech guru, Google co-founder Larry Page, on US$123b.

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