See The Donald: Big Inheritance, Marginal Business Acumen
It’s a lot easier to be a “successful” businessman when you start at the head of your father’s multimillion-dollar business. His first and only job, essentially, has been caretaker of his father’s ingenuity, a position he received in his mid-twenties.
Trump is not a self-made man, unlike his father, Fred Trump, who built a huge multi-million-dollar real estate empire back when being even a “one million” millionaire meant something. Mitt Romney, George Soros, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and countless others are truly “successful” businessmen, self-made men who built businesses from nothing and became multimillionaires and billionaires without any help from a rich father.
Marginal Business Acumen
Donald Trump started off rich (he says he was worth the equivalent of $1 million dollars while still an undergraduate), inherited the position as head of Elizabeth Trump and Son (later The Trump Organization), plus a $40 million dollar stake in his father’s company. Had he invested the capital value of that inheritance in the S&P 500, he would have made more money than he says he is worth today (which is highly doubtful and unconfirmable anyways since he refuses to release much of his financial documentation, including his tax returns).
At best, his management of his father’s legacy has been mediocre at best. Donald Bren started his own real estate empire with a $10,000 dollar loan and is worth $15.1 billion dollars, more than three times what Forbes estimates Trump is likely worth ($4.5 billion), if that. Trump has been at the head of many failed business ventures: Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump Airlines, several Trump Casinos (it takes a real “successful” businessman to kill the adage “The House Always Wins!”), and four bankruptcies show Donald Trump is at best a man with a great head start in life who showed marginal business acumen by not squandering the fortune he inherited. He hasn’t done poorly, but he is certainly no genius.