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Trump investments losing money


REUTERS

Trump investments losing money

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NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is built on his business acumen. But some of the Wall Street funds that he has invested in have proven less successful, underperforming industry benchmarks in the last 15 months, according to a Reuters examination.

Eighteen out of 21 hedge funds and mutual funds in Trump’s portfolio lost money in 2015, and 17 of them are down so far this year, according to public disclosures and private performance data seen by Reuters.

The funds managed by Paulson & Co, BlackRock Inc, Baron Capital and others lost an average of 8.5 per cent last year, according to Reuters calculations, whereas stock market and hedge fund industry benchmarks broke even or came close to it. Trump’s funds are down another 2.9 per cent so far this year, underperforming many benchmarks again.

The performances in part reflect broader weaknesses in the investing climate. The last 15 months have been difficult for many portfolio managers amid volatile stock markets, tumbling oil and commodity prices, and an economic slowdown in China.

Trump defended his holdings in an interview with Reuters, saying he invested in the funds three or four years ago and they have done well over time.

“I put some money with people that are friends,” the New York businessman said by phone on Monday, without naming names.

“I have no idea if they are up or down. I just know that they have been very good over a period of time,” added Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the November presidential election.

Representatives for Baron, BlackRock and Paulson declined to comment.

To be sure, some of Trump’s funds have performed well this year. For instance, Gabelli Funds’ GAMCO Global Gold, Natural Resources & Income fund, a closed-end vehicle, has gained 16.27 per cent through March 22, beating a benchmark return of 15.89 per cent for natural resource funds, according to net asset value data from Morningstar.

Another fund that Trump has invested in, the Invesco European Growth Fund, gained 4.82 per cent last year versus a benchmark loss of 5.66 per cent, according to Morningstar.

Gabelli and Invesco declined to comment. Both funds are listed as small holdings within Trump’s broader brokerage accounts.

The 21 funds examined by Reuters were among 23 funds that Trump disclosed last year in a July 15 filing with the Federal Election Commission. The performance of two of the funds could not be discerned.

The Reuters review included performance data publicly disclosed by 14 mutual funds, as well as performance data on seven hedge funds seen in confidential fund reports or shared by people familiar with those firms. (Reuters)

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