Donald Trump is marking his first 100 days in office as president, but his odyssey as “tweeter-in-chief” began more than seven years ago, when he — or, possibly, someone in control of his account — launched his very first Twitter salvo.
Like any successful business man with a penchant for peacocking, Trump gave his followers a relatively tame taster of the self-promotion that would soon become a hallmark of his social-media presence:
Be sure to tune in and watch Donald Trump on Late Night with David Letterman as he presents the Top Ten List tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2009
The reviews of his after-hours performance soon poured in, including one from his biggest fan: “Very funny!” Trump tweeted.
This was back in 2009, when David Letterman, who was critical of Trump during the election, handed him the reins to the show’s “Top Ten” list. He introduced the “Celebrity Apprentice” star at a time when the fog of the global financial crisis had just begun to lift.
“They’re worried now that this recession could go on and on and on, so I said to myself, ‘What can we do to make people feel better?’ ” Letterman said. “Information, that’s how you fight ignorance. Let’s throw some information at the folks; they’re going to feel better. So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, the category is ‘Donald Trump Financial Tips.’ ”
And with that, the man himself took the stage and rattled off the list. Some of these could even be considered useful … depending on how they’re framed.
10. Only buy things that are essential, like golf courses and beauty pageants.
The first part is a rather obvious approach to navigating financial troubles. And there’s an app for that. Who needs to spend the extra $1,000 a year on lattes? Perhaps it’s time to cut the cord. Golf courses? Well, the game has clearly seen better days.
9. When nobody’s watching, I go into 7-Eleven and stick my head under a soda nozzle.
Great visual, and sure, who doesn’t love a freebie? But there are other, less humiliating ways than stealing Cherry Coke from a convenience store. Like making sure you’re getting the absolute best credit-card perks available. The “Points Guy” can help.
8. Save money by styling your own hair.
Taking scissors to your own mane might not make sense for you, but how about being your own financial adviser? Or selling your home without the assistance of a Realtor? While it’s doubtful DIY is fully embraced in the gilded confines of the Trump household, it could certainly help cut down on your expenses. Before you go too far down the rabbit hole of frugality, however, you might want to read this: How to be frugal without being a cheapskate jerk.
7. Sell North Dakota to the Chinese.
Ah, yes, Trump had a thing for the Chinese even way back then. Still, not a bad idea if you could pull this deal off. North Dakota is definitely a “buy low, sell high” candidate, after assuming the title of the fastest-growing state in America last year. Of course, buying low and selling high is easier said than done when it comes to investing in the stock market.
6. Double your money at the Trump Taj Mahal casino, home of the loosest slots in Atlantic City.
Maybe too loose, considering the ultimate fate of the establishment. Who needs a casino when you have the stock market, anyway? If gambling isn’t your thing, here’s “The Big Short” author Michael Lewis talking about the prudent indexing approach.
That’s what you’ll likely do when the next crisis rears up, but resist. Your best chance of avoiding rash decisions is to prepare now, not later. You could always start with a panic room, but perhaps you’d be better served positioning your investments to weather the next storm. Here are five easy ways to hedge your portfolio in crazy markets.
4. For tip No. 4, simply send me $29.95.
Sure, but why pay for financial tips, when you can just follow these Twitter accounts for free?
3. If all else fails, steal someone’s identity.
Hey, it worked for this lady. Clearly, more people are turning to this approach. In fact, according to a recent survey, some 41 million adults in the U.S. have had their identity stolen. Here’s how you can avoid being a victim of this Trump tip.
2. We’re screwed.
It was hard to argue with that back then, and, for many, it’s still hard today. But here’s a chart that illustrates why it’s unwise to buy into the gloom, at least when it comes to the stock market.
1. The fastest way to get rich: Marry and divorce me.
Sorry, ladies. Trump’s not available. But, as the saying goes, it’s just as easy to marry a man with good credit. Or something like that.
Read: 3 reasons to marry for money.
Watch the clip and let us know if you feel better, as Letterman hoped eight years ago: