President Donald Trump’s comments about the stock market going down has fired up fact-checkers who are graciously reminding us what causes a selloff.
It’s a bit of comic relief for everyone who’s actually lost money on the stock market over the past 10 days. But what’s missing from the humor is the sad irony: The President doesn’t actually have much skin in the equities game.
The losses are everyone else’s, and probably not his.
Real Estate, Not Stock
His investments mostly involve real estate and not stock, which probably explains why his Tweet about stocks has caused so much confusion.
It’s quite possible that Trump might have lost a little bit of money but definitely not to the extent that everyone else has since the market started going down last Monday, Jan. 30.
In his last public disclosure of his holdings — filed July 15, 2015 as a prerequisite to run for president — stocks comprised no more than 10% of his $10 billion in holdings. A copy of the form is embedded below.
Look at This Form
The form indicates that he held at least $1 million in Apple and Bristol Myers Squibb, at least $500,000 in AT&T, Verizon, Altria, IBM, ConocoPhillips, Caterpillar, and JPMorgan Chase, and at least $250,000 in Visa, Waste Management and Microsoft.
In the 2015 disclosure, Trump also reported a capital gain of at least $5 million from Bank of America and capital gains of at least $1 million from Apple, Best Buy, Boeing and Facebook.
That means he sold these stocks and reaped a $9 million profit on the sale.
Since then, Trump has told interviewers that he doesn’t invest in the stock market, preferring real estate over stock.
Donald Trump Likes REITs
However, he does invest in a few things that trade as stocks: include real estate investment trusts (REITs) and exchange traded funds (ETFs) comprised of REITs and other pooled real estate.
As for the equities in his portfolio that aren’t related to real estate, it’s possible he has been selling them off since he made his disclosure.
He may well have chosen to unwind some of this over the past ten days. Now what if managed to capture his gains by selling stock when the jobs report came out on Friday, January 27, or thereabouts?
Indifferent to Others’ Stock Losses
If he did, then he might be indifferent about everyone else’s losses on the markets — but political commentary goes beyond the scope of this blog.
Figure that he lost no more than $2.4 million if he held onto all of his equities that don’t involve real estate.
He may well zero exposure to the parts of the market that declined, which seems a more likely explanation of his tone deafness to the market rout right now.
Readers, what concerns do you have about the stock market right now?