Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump: Who Is The More Successful Businessperson?

There is a mathematical problem involved with comparing the growth of the personal assets of presidential nominees Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and others facing such scrutiny. The formula used to calculate the percentage gain of the value of an asset is ((present value – past value)/past value) x 100.

For those who started their business or investing careers with essentially nothing, as Hillary Clinton did, the percentage gain formula involves dividing by zero, which results in an absurd answer: infinite, or undefined, percentage returns.

For those who started their business and investing careers with significant assets, as Donald Trump did, calculating the yearly growth of their value is quite straightforward.

A conservative estimate of the amount Donald Trump received from his father, Fred Trump, in 1974, is \$40 million, as reported by PolitiFact.

Using the Money Chimp compound interest calculator, it can be determined that if Donald Trump had a net worth of about \$40 million in 1974 and has a net worth of \$4.5 billion today, as reported by Forbes, the value of his net worth has increased at an average rate of about 12.2 percent, compounded annually, barely beating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s (^GSPC) average annual 10 percent return, similar to the retirement accounts of average Americans, as reported by Investopedia.

The Inquisitr previously reported that if Donald Trump had invested the reported \$40 million he received from his father in the 1970s with Warren Buffett’s Bershire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) his net worth would be over \$200 billion today, more than 20 times his reported \$4.5 billion net worth, and more than Warren Buffett himself, whose net worth is estimated at \$65.2 billion by Forbes.

The growth of Donald Trump’s net worth has not kept pace with anywhere near the growth of Warren Buffett’s, regarded by many as the most successful investor of all-time. Warren Buffett is also a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Not unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has served on several corporate boards, including TCBY, Lafarge, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). The Wall Street Journal has reported that a total of at least 60 companies involved with State Department lobbying made \$21 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The Journal commented that the Democratic nominee’s “web of connections” to corporate interests emerged as “an issue” for Clinton “as income disparity and other populist themes” gained the interest of voters.

There is little doubt among observers that Hillary Clinton is an American capitalist, and a successful one at that.

When Bill Clinton lost the 1980 Arkansas governor’s race, Hillary’s role in holding the Clintons together was lauded, as reported by the New York Times. The newspaper reported that Hillary was worried about “caring for her aging parents” with the election loss.

Hillary Clinton’s father, Hugh Rodham, died in 1993 after working as a curtain manufacturer and installer. Reports of any inheritance left for Clinton are elusive. Combined with the fact that the former secretary of state was reported worrying about caring for her parents in the early 1980s suggests that any inheritance Hillary Clinton did receive from her family may have been modest.

Hillary Clinton’s net worth is estimated at between \$31.3 million and \$45 million. So great is her success as a businessperson that using mathematical formulas to quantify it returns absurd answers, similar to the story of all successes who began with nothing.

In plain language, how many Americans know of women with net worths in the tens of million of dollars who received almost nothing from their family? And how many of those have created foundations that raised \$325 million for charitable causes in 2014 alone and then distributed 88 percent of that amount to programs, as reported by CharityWatch.org?

In comparison to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s foundation has come under close scrutiny for the timing of a contribution made to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s political campaign, a \$20,000 purchase of a painting of Donald Trump himself, and the arrangement the Republican nominee had with a Florida police association that involved the candidate making charitable contributions using other people’s money, while at the same time he was thought to be charging the organization steep rent on facilities, as reported by the Inquisitr.

While many judge the business prowess of political candidates based on the growth of their net worth, a category in which Hillary Clinton appears to trounce Donald Trump, others, such as Bill Gates, estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of \$81 billion, feel that once businesspeople have reached a certain level of success, charitable giving also becomes a factor, as evidenced by his Giving Pledge program.

Hillary Clinton not only appears to have bettered Donald Trump in growing her own personal wealth, the millions of dollars that has been directed to charitable causes as a result of her work, though her net worth is nowhere near that of Bill Gates and fellow Giving Pledge-taker Warren Buffett, appears to indicate that she has bettered Trump with her charitable giving as well.

Together, Bill and Hillary Clinton are reported to have personally contributed \$22.5 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2001.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]