What is the effect of being president on a person's net worth?

I am most interested in the current president. And any possible reasons.

  • 1
    Do we actually know anything about his net worth?
    – chirlu
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:27
  • 6
    I think that the economic effect of being President, even when limited to the current present, is highly relevant to politics. I don't necessary agree that there is any reliable evidence that the premise of the question is true. There is good circumstantial evidence to suggest that it might be, but the questioner doesn't offer any support for the premise and I've never seen any definitive source agree with this premise.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:44
  • 2
    @ohwilleke phrased like that you are probably right, I made a stab at the edit.
    – user9389
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:59
  • 1
    People are FAR too quick to close this type of question. The influence of office on one's personal wealth obviously has an enormous impact on who decides to run for office. Very much on topic. Note also a not-closed question along the same lines: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/7709/… Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 11:19
  • 4
    I think that the close reason is wrong. This is politics. But it still should be closed. Because this is entirely speculative in regards to the current president. We don't know how being president will affect Trump. It may make him richer from advertising effects or from people doing business with Trump companies to support him or in an attempt to influence him. Or it may make him poorer because he isn't spending as much time promoting his brands or because people who would have done business with him previously won't do business with his political identity. We can only speculate.
    – Brythan
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


The President's salary is $400,000 a year. But compared to other things, that's actually chump change.

In recent times, a big economic benefit for some Presidents has been the speaking fees one could command afterwards. Bill and Hillary Clinton apparently received a combined $153 million in speaking fees during the years 2001-15. Obama can earn $400,000 by giving a speech. George W. Bush earns about $175,000 per speech; the lower number may be due to the fact that his speeches were generally in private fora, and he also avoided criticizing Obama. Even Jimmy Carter could earn $50,000 for a speech.

Another big plus is book advances. The Obamas recently got a $65 million book advance, part of which they are donating to charity. George W. Bush got $7 million.

In Trump's case, his net worth, as estimated by Forbes, dropped $400 million last year. The article gives two reasons: a weak New York real estate market, and Trump's Presidency itself. He has been donating his salary to various Federal departments.

Before Trump, Presidents typically put their assets into a blind trust, meaning that other people managed their assets, and the President was in the dark about them. But that would have been difficult for Trump; part of the value of (say) the Trump Tower lies in the fact that it is, in fact, the Trump Tower. If he were to sell it, and it were to become (say) the Gates Tower or the Buffett Tower, it just wouldn't have the same ring, and in the business world, that matters. He has instead elected to have his children run his business, and also has said he won't do any new foreign deals while he is President, and is putting restrictions on US deals. That doesn't remove the ethical issues, but it does reduce them, as doing foreign business deals while President would be far too easy, for all the wrong reasons. The Onion had a cute take on this that probably has a grain of truth.


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