Warren Buffett really let Donald Trump have it on Monday during a rally for Hillary Clinton.
Famous for his investing prowess, Buffett of course went after the one time Trump took a company public on the stock market.
“In 1995, Donald Trump went to the American people and he said join me — I’m a winner — and invest in my company: Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts,” Buffett said. “They listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Mr. Trump very modestly made the ticker symbol DJT. Guess what that’s for.”
That business eventually turned out to be the worst part of Trump’s business portfolio.
“The next 10 years, the company loses money every year,” Buffett continued. “Every single year.”
Buffett added that while shareholders saw their investment crumble, Trump took home $44 million in compensation during that period.
You would’ve done better betting on a monkey with a dart
The truth is it’s very difficult to find success in the stock market. Time and time again, studies show that professionals very rarely are able to generate above average returns.
For Trump, it wasn’t that he couldn’t deliver above-average returns. It was that he wasn’t even close to delivering an average return.
“In 1995 when he offered this company, if a monkey had thrown a dart at the stock page [of a newspaper], the monkey on average would’ve made a 150%,” Buffett quipped. “But the people who believed in him, who listened to his siren song, came away losing over 90 cents on the dollar. They got back less than a dime.”
The illustration in which monkeys are armed with darts isn’t a new one. It simply suggests that no amount of careful analysis will guarantee success in the stock market.
With regard to the presidential election, the stakes are arguably higher. For Buffett, such a choice deserves at least a quick look at each candidates’ track records, which are clearly unfavorable for Trump.
Sam Ro is managing editor at Yahoo Finance.