The truth is Donald Trump never filed for personal bankruptcy. His businesses filed bankruptcy. There is a huge difference. That means even though Donald Trump's business suffered greatly, Donald Trump still protected his personal fortune. But during those rocky times, he was very close to losing his personal fortune as his businesses had a hard time reviving back to life.
Donald Trump was a success and still is however during the '90's his bad habits and bad mistakes nearly wiped him out. How can a billionaire lose so much money? How can a very talented, smart man like Donald Trump begin to lose? He made some deadly mistakes. Mistakes that you need to avoid, especially in the game of real estate investing. Please, for the sake of your wealth and sanity, learn from the 7 deadly mistakes that nearly made Donald Trump bankrupt.
#1 Deadly Mistake: Taking Your Eyes off the Ball (Losing Focus)
Did Donald Trump lose his focus during the 1990's, when his empire started to crumble? You bet. Donald Trump didn't keep up with the current trends and pretty much took him by the seat of his chair. Ooops almost, typed hair. (I guess you can interchange it :) ) See that, I lost focus. Taking your eyes off the ball may mean using your energy in other means that is not conducive to your goals. It also may mean the act of not paying attention. Donald Trump stopped paying attention, the very thing that made him a success in the first place.
#2 Deadly Mistake: Over-Leverage (Borrowing way too much)
How do you know when you borrowed too much money for your real estate investing? When one little event can spell disaster. His real estate investments were leveraged to the moon. Though it can be rewarding to take big risks like that, Donald Trump did not figure out what would happen if the properties and businesses he had would be able to pay the debt service if an unlikely event happen--- like I don't know--- a recession! Real estate investors got caught in the wave of overvalued properties, and because of that, borrowed way too much with no realistic plan to pay it off.
#3 Deadly Mistake: Got too Cocky
Yes, we already know Donald Trump is one helluva cocky guy. Real estate investors get cocky too but don't let it cloud your judgment. Your over inflated ego does not mean everything will always go your way. There will be forces beyond your influence and control that can impact your investments and acknowledging that helps you find solutions from a humble, clear, realistic state of mind. Contrary to popular belief, Real estate does NOT always go up. It is a cycle. Thinking that you got everything handled does not qualify you as the expert, if anything; it makes you susceptible to costly mistakes you would have caught if you did your due diligence. Cockiness leads to carelessness. Don't be cocky. Got that? :)
#4 Deadly Mistake: Not Looking Ahead
There were some law changes in the late 1980's as well as other factors in the mortgage industry that changed the game of real estate investing. Donald Trump didn't look ahead of these game changers quick enough, along with other famous real estate investors back then. When you don't look ahead on how certain things can affect your investing such as a large corporation closing down near the properties you own, you will be caught in a bloody trail of failure. For example, if you own properties where 60% of your tenants work at ABC Company, and you found out that ABC Company will be laying off half of its employees, don't you think that will affect your property's performance? You bet. Look ahead, be sharp.
#5 Deadly Mistake: Doing Something You Don't Know
Real estate investors should just stick to real estate investing. If that's what you want to be good at. Stick to it. Of course there are people who are talented and can dab into different things and still come out as stars but you'd only risk losing the money you made from doing what you do best. Donald Trump thought he could do it all. Airlines, casinos, model agency, and other ventures along with his real estate investments. The problem? Real estate was the only thing that consistently made him money. Lots of money. Why? Because he was actually good at it. Do something you're good at and love and master it. Don't be distracted and chase everything you think will make you money. Doing that is a guaranteed waste of time-- and smart way to lose your wealth.
#6 Deadly Mistake: Surrounding Yourself with Losers
Donald Trump is a smart guy. He just got even smarter when his real estate business as well as his other businesses started to crumble. He got to see who are his true friends were. He got to see who really had his back and believed in him. He got to see who willing to take the road to redemption. Fortunately and unfortunately, Donald Trump had to learn the hard way on who to do business with. Is your real estate team winners or losers? Do they have your back if something happens? Are they there if sh*t hits the fan? Real estate investing has its risks, surround yourself with winners, who are willing to go for it and stick it out.
#7 Deadly Mistake: Lose Your Competitive Edge
This one speaks to all investors and business minded people. Picture this: property A is doing well, and you pay little attention to it because you know it's doing well on "auto-pilot." Tenants are paying, it has positive cash flow, and every year it becomes more profitable. Then WHAM, real estate investor Jack comes in and builds a property 10 times cooler near your neighborhood. Jack builds a multifamily housing unit that has everything yours don't. Built in washer and dryer in every unit. High ceilings. Dishwashers for all units, not just the fancy ones. And to top it off, the rents are WAY cheaper. You got a big problem. Everybody will eventually move to Jack's new development while you see your profits deteriorate like the logo on a t shirt after being washed 70 times. This phenomenon is known as: losing your edge.
It happens to the best of us. Remain competitive and always give value.