Former United States President Donald Trump's net worth has reportedly dropped from an estimated $3.2 billion in the fall of 2021 to $2.5 billion as of now, according to Forbes. The biggest reason for this decline is his social media business, Truth Social, which has failed to meet the hype it once generated, leading to a loss of $550 million from his net worth.
In October 2021, following his ban from Twitter in January, Donald Trump announced his plan to build his own social media platform, dubbed Truth Social. The announcement was met with excitement from his supporters, and the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) for Truth Social, Digital World Acquisition Corporation, saw its shares soar from $10 to $175 in just two days, implying that the business was worth $22 billion, with Trump's interest amounting to $19 billion.
However, the hype surrounding Truth Social has not matched reality. In December 2021, a group of big-money investors promised to inject $1 billion in cash into the venture, but only if they received a sweetheart deal. By that point, shares were trading for $45 on the open market. Under the agreement, the new investors would be guaranteed a profit as long as the shares stayed above $10. When previously estimating the value of Trump’s stake, Forbes used that $10-per-share figure and came to $730 million.
Since then, the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Financial Regulatory Agency have all started examining the venture, looking at trading activity and communications between the SPAC and Trump's business. The SPAC, which fired its CEO last month, only has until September 8 to complete the merger. Meanwhile, Elon Musk bought Twitter in October and promptly reversed the ban on Trump and other right-wing figures, undermining the case that the world needed a more conservative version of Twitter. As of now, shares of Trump’s SPAC are 92% off their highs, trading at $14 apiece, a level that suggests the former president’s business is worth $1.2 billion.
One major problem for Truth Social is that hardly anyone uses it. An investor presentation before the launch suggested that the app would attract 81 million users by 2026. But over a year after going live, it has only an estimated 5 million users. Given that Trump owns roughly 85% of the business and Truth Social is worth an estimated $42 per user, the former president’s stake probably adds up to about $180 million today.
The decline in Donald Trump's net worth is not limited to his social media business. Trump, who is primarily a real estate investor, has seen the value of his Manhattan portfolio drop from an estimated $1 billion a year ago to $770 million today. Rising interest rates have contributed to this decline, as has a new analysis of records, which suggests that the billionaire had been lying about the size of Trump Tower, claiming it included 246,000 square feet of retail and office space, while property records list only 235,000 square feet, 53,000 of which cover less-valuable common elements like elevators, public restrooms, and mechanical spaces, reported Forbes.