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Donald trump standing at a podium

5 Surprising Ways Donald Trump Makes Money

Donald Trump rose to riches through real estate. In the 2000s, we came to know him as host of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice.  Since June 16, 2015, we know him as a 2016 presidential candidate. Presidential candidates are required to release a personal finance disclosure a month after officially joining the race; when the Donald shared his financial disclosure, we were learned about some interesting sources of his income. Beyond the buildings, beauty pageants and television shows, how does Donald Trump build his fortune?

  1. The Trump Carousel
    Who doesn’t love a merry-go-round? Donald Trump certainly does! He owns the 53-horsed carousel in Central Park and profits from the attraction’s admission fees. Approximately 250,000 ride the carousel every year, and Trump reported $588,518 in income from the ride.
  2. Pyramid Schemes
    If we had a dollar for every time Trump said something controversial on the campaign trail, we’d have enough money to join the American Communication Network (ACN). ACN is a multi-level marketing company that has been charged with operating a pyramid scheme. Trump has close ties with the company; he’s featured ACN twice on The Celebrity Apprentice and is one of their regular public speakers. He’s made $1.3 million in public speaking fees from ACN alone.
  3. Golf Courses
    We all know about Trump Tower, but did you know how much green Trump makes from his greens? Donald Trump owns golf courses in Scotland and Ireland and makes $176.4 million from them.
  4. The Screen Actors Guild
    Donald Trump has made several appearances on the small and silver screen. He’s made cameo appearances in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Days of Our Lives, and Zoolander, and he even had a minor role in The Little Rascals 1994 film. Trump has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—and an annual $110,000 pension from the Screen Actors Guild.
  5. Anything and Everything Trump
    Imagine this: you check in at a Trump luxury hotel after a long day. You change out of your Donald J. Trump signature collection suit (the scent of Empire by Trump lingers on the lapels) and pour yourself a glass of merlot from the Trump winery. This Trump-branded scenario can be your reality. Donald Trump’s largest source of income comes from his name-branded properties. He raked in over $3.3 billion from anything and everything with his name on it.
Last Updated: May 16, 2024