Everyone knows Donald Trump is rich. But how about the 25 people jockeying to replace him as president? Forbes dug into the details—examining financial disclosure statements, scouring local real estate records and calculating pension benefits—to figure out the finances of the 2020 candidates.
24. Pete Buttigieg (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $100,000 Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $52 million
Mayor Pete has enough money to live comfortably in the Midwest, but he’s still the poorest 2020 contender. Chalk that up to his age (at 37, he’s the youngest candidate), student loan debt and his decision to give up a lucrative McKinsey job to run for treasurer of his home state of Indiana in 2010. He lost but got a six-figure gig as mayor of South Bend two years later. Still, he and his husband, Chasten, a former teacher, disclosed between $100,000 and $230,000 in student loans.
23. Tim Ryan (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $500,000 Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $1 million
Elected to the House of Representatives at 29 years old, Ryan has been earning a congressional salary for years. After getting a law degree in 2000, he briefly served in the Ohio state senate, then won his House seat in 2002. In 2013, Ryan married a public school teacher, who is still paying off her student loans, according to his most recent financial disclosure report.
22. Tulsi Gabbard
Net worth: $500,000 Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $9 million
Gabbard invested in the cryptocurrency craze in 2017, buying between $2,000 and $30,000 worth of Litecoin and Ethereum, according to documents she filed with the government. By the time she turned in her most recent financial disclosure report, in July 2019, she had gotten rid of those investments. It’s not clear if she made money on them. Most of her fortune is tied up in an $865,000 home in Washington, D.C., which has an estimated $560,000 in debt against it.
21. Julian Castro (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $700,000 Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $8 million
Barack Obama’s former secretary of housing and urban development has more than $100,000 in cash accounts, plus stock in a handful of mutual funds. After Obama left office, Castro joined the faculty of the University of Texas’ school of public affairs. His $40,000-per-year university pension is worth about $110,000. He also owns a modest, 2,000-square-foot home in San Antonio, where he served as mayor from 2009 to 2014.
20. Andrew Yang (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1 million Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $15 million
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang left a corporate law gig to go into the startup world. In 2000 he cofounded Stargiving.com, a website that gave charitable donors the chance to meet celebrities. After it folded he went to work for small mobile software and healthcare companies, then became CEO of test prep business Manhattan Prep in 2006. Yang helped grow the company to $11 million in revenues before industry giant Kaplan bought it in 2009 for tens of millions.
19. Seth Moulton (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1 million Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $2 million
Moulton got a physics degree from Harvard, then joined the Marine Corps and served four tours in Iraq. Back Stateside, he used the G.I. Bill to get master’s degrees from Harvard’s public policy and business schools, before running for Congress. His $1 million fortune is largely spread among mutual funds, index funds and a 2,750-square-foot condo in Salem, Massachusetts.
18. Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1 million Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $16 million
Gillibrand owns a $350,000 home in Troy, New York, with her husband, Jonathan. She’s the breadwinner, earning $174,000 annually for serving in the senate. He made just $185,000 as a consultant and investor between 2007 and 2018, according to tax returns. Their most valuable asset appears to be Gillibrand’s federal pension, worth an estimated $450,000.
17. Marianne Williamson (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1.5 million Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $6 million
Williamson made millions as a self-help guru and author (with books like the 1992 bestseller A Return To Love), but she hasn’t held onto most of the money. What she does have sits in mutual funds, money market accounts and cash accounts, along with a handful of publicly traded stocks like Apple, Home Depot and VF Corp. While Williamson is not likely to win the election, she’ll almost certainly make money off her campaign: In April, she released her latest book, A Politics of Love.
16. Steve Bullock (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1.5 million Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $4 million
The governor of Montana is a small-time landlord. He owns 50% of a historic building in Helena, Montana, where he rents out two commercial spaces and one residential apartment. It’s in a convenient location for Bullock, just a mile down the road from his office at the state capitol. His stake is worth roughly $300,000 after debt. The rest of Bullock’s portfolio is mostly composed of retirement accounts.
15. Cory Booker (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1.5 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $18 million
When the New Jersey senator arrived in Washington in 2013, he owned stock in companies like Netflix, Facebook and Amazon. He sold all of that within a year of taking office, putting the proceeds into checking and savings accounts. Today Booker’s portfolio includes a 2,800-square-foot house in Newark, where he served as mayor from 2006 to 2013, and a New Jersey state pension. His federal tax returns show average annual giving of 11%, higher than any of the other 14 candidates who have released their filings.
14. Amy Klobuchar (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $2 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $18 million
A prosecutor turned politician, Klobuchar holds a plain-vanilla portfolio. Her retirement holdings include a federal pension worth an estimated $560,000, the result of 12 years in the U.S. senate.
13. Jay Inslee (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $2 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $7 million
Since 1988, Inslee has bounced back and forth between the Washington state government (serving as a legislator and now governor) and the federal government (representing Washington’s 4th district, then its 1st district). That’s made him eligible for an estimated $68,000 per year for life in state and federal pensions, an income stream worth around $750,000 in all. He owns a five-bedroom, $1 million home outside Seattle.
12. Bernie Sanders
Net worth: $2.5 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $75 million
Turns out, the socialist senator is a pretty successful capitalist. After running for president in 2016, Sanders inked three lucrative book deals that have brought him more than $2 million so far, catapulting him into the 1%. Since the 2016 election, he has shelled out $575,000 for a northern Vermont summer home and paid off a 30-year mortgage on his Burlington, Vermont, house—25 years early.
11. Bill De Blasio (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $2.5 million Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $1 million
Mayor Bill de Blasio has spent most of his life in public service, but like the Oval Office occupant he hopes to replace, he owes his fortune to timely investments in New York City real estate. In 2000 de Blasio, who held a handful of city and federal jobs before being elected mayor, and his wife bought a 1,200-square-foot row house on a quiet Brooklyn block. Four years later, they picked up a 1,600-square-footer just down the road. Since then, real estate values have skyrocketed. Last year de Blasio collected $108,450 by renting out the two properties while he and his family live in Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence.
10. Beto O’Rourke (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $4 million Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $18 million
The former Texas congressman married into a rich family—his wife, Amy, is the daughter of an El Paso real estate tycoon—but only a small chunk of that wealth has trickled down to the couple. Their largest asset is a note held by Amy, worth $2.5 million, according to a campaign spokesperson. Beto holds a minority interest in a $2.5 million El Paso strip mall, which he got from his mother.
9. Joe Sestak (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $6 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $375,000
Sestak graduated second in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 and retired as a three-star admiral three decades later. For his service, he gets roughly $120,000 every year for the rest of his life. That pension is worth nearly $1.5 million. Sestak has funneled his salary into a diversified portfolio, which includes more than $15,000 of Apple stock and at least $100,000 in Amazon shares.
8. Kamala Harris (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $6 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $37 million
Senator Harris married lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014, creating a California power couple. She brought the clout, and he brought the money. Since then, they have raked in $8.2 million—most of it from Emhoff’s work at law firms Venable and DLA Piper. The couple owns homes in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, worth a combined $5.8 million before debt.
7. Joe Biden
Net worth: $9 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $38 million
“Middle-class Joe” is now solidly upper class. The former vice president and his wife, Jill, earned more than $15 million in the two years after they left the White House, cashing in on a multi-book deal with publisher Flatiron. In 2017, they dropped $2.7 million on a 4,800-square-foot pad in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The next year, they paid off a mortgage on their other home, in Wilmington, Delaware.
6. Elizabeth Warren (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $12 million Financial transparency score: 4/5 Money raised: $60 million
Teachers aren’t paid so poorly after all—at least not Harvard professors. Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, both longtime instructors at the university, have built up a small fortune through years of teaching, writing and consulting. Their largest holdings include TIAA and CREF accounts—available to educators and nonprofit employees—worth more than $4 million. One of their best investments has been their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, purchased in 1995 for $447,000. It’s now worth an estimated $3 million.
5. Michael Bennet (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $15 million Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $6 million
The Democratic senator got millions working for Republican megadonor Philip Anschutz. After serving in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, Bennet left Washington in 1997 to join the Anschutz Investment Company. There, he worked on a deal to merge three movie theater chains into Regal Entertainment Group and ultimately joined its board of directors. Today his assets include hedge fund holdings and Colorado real estate
4. John Delaney (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $200 million Financial transparency score: 2/5 Money raised: $27 millio
Delaney made a fortune in the business world before serving three terms in Congress. The son of a union electrician, he launched HealthCare Financial Partners, a lender to health care businesses, in 1993. One of his major backers: Tom Steyer, whose hedge fund invested $25 million. Delaney took HealthCare Financial Partners public in 1996 and pocketed $30 million when he sold it three years later to Heller Financial (later rolled into GE Capital). He quickly founded a second company, commercial lender CapitalSource, raising $542 million to launch it—$190 million of it from Steyer’s firm.
3. Tom Steyer (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $1.6 billion Financial transparency score: 3/5 Money raised: $50 million
After years of backing other Democrats, the hedge funder is trying his own luck as a candidate. Money won’t be an issue. Steyer founded Farallon Capital in 1986 and turned it into one of the largest hedge fund firms in the country. He stepped back in 2012 to focus on politics and philanthropy, concentrating his early efforts on protecting the environment. That struck some people as odd, given that he had previously invested in the fossil-fuel industry. Oil tycoon Harold Hamm, a prominent Trump supporter, once called Steyer “the world’s biggest hypocrite.” For his part, Steyer said he had a change of heart and divested his old fossil-fuel holdings.
2. Donald Trump
Net worth: $3.1 billion Financial transparency score: 0/5 Money raised (as of June 2019): $165 million
The billionaire-in-chief is rich enough to fund his entire presidential campaign by himself. Not that he will. While donors around the country have been pitching in to support his reelection effort, the richest president in American history has donated exactly $0 of his own, according to the latest filings.
1. Michael Bloomberg (Dropped Out)
Net worth: $53.4 billion Financial transparency score: 1/5 Money raised (as of September 2019): N/A
In November, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg joined a dozen other Democrats aiming to unseat Donald Trump. He has the money to compete, thanks to an 88% stake in financial information company Bloomberg LP, which generates an estimated $10 billion in annual revenue and throws off piles of cash. Bloomberg used $250 million of his own money running for mayor three times, and he has funneled $8 billion into philanthropic and activist causes, including fighting climate change and guns.