Monday, March 27, 2006

A night in San Francisco with Donald Trump

This weekend, yours truly went to see The Donald speak at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. I'll repeat what I remember. Keep in mind, the following is a report on what Mr. Trump said, so don't assume I agree or disagree with anything. I'm just repeating what I remember.

One thing I just got to love about Trump is he loves to be surrounded by beautiful women. While the other speakers wore real spiffy suits and talked about real estate investing, Trump was proceeded by beautiful women dancers in tank tops. Ten dead zombies for the intro.

Trump started off a story of how The Apprentice started. It was nice, but more you had to be there so I won't bother repeating it.

What I did like though is that he gave five points on what it takes to succeed in real estate investing. He drummed into our heads that real estate is still the best investment out there. People make more money in real estate than pretty much everything else combined. He gave the example of how the average American family's best asset is their house.

After he ended his speech, a lot of the 61,000 people audience left. Yes, it was that big. So we pushed our way up to the front so we could actually see the man in person.

He came across confident. Some people confuse that with arrogance, but people like me see it as a strength, not a character flaw.

He opened up the floor to a Q&A section, where the audience was allowed to ask anything, and he really meant anything. A few highlights...

Mr. Trump made it clear that he is in no way a homophobe, which delighted the San Francisco audience greatly.

As his mentor, he mentioned his father, who also doubled as his main role model in life. Yes, he had a strong father, and that he cites as one of the big reasons he's as successful as he is today.

He is happy, and loves what he does. He emphasized strongly that if you don't like what you're doing, do something else. You have to love what you're doing or else you won't do a good job at it. He noted that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and he prided himself in actually steering away some people he cared about from being entrepreneurs.

When asked about Martha Stewart, he said he harbors no ill will towards her, but yes, he was mad that she blamed her failures (of her version of The Apprentice) on him, even though he helped her every way he could.

Someone asked him about the Iraq War and he went off on it. He thinks it's a huge waste of money, and the real threats are not Iraq but Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan having nukes. He said something like 700 billion dollars is spent in the Iraq War, and that could hypothetically cause interest rates to go up, which would be an economic disaster.

He made it clear that he's disappointed that we're spending that kind of money in Iraq but we have yet to fix Louisiana.

So someone else asked him if he wanted to run for President, and he made it clear he wouldn't. He loves his current job and his life as is. Although he has political opinions, he has no intention of running for political office.

Someone else asked him what success is, and he said that it's being happy at what you're doing. It doesn't matter if it makes you money or not, if you're happy doing it, you're successful.

Back to money, he still believes real estate is the best investment there is. Someone asked if he owns anything in San Francisco, and he said yes, 30% of the Bank of America building.

The next Apprentice will be in Los Angeles.

Someone asked him why it's such a bad thing that Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan have nukes. Mr. Trump said that Iran and North Korea are rogue states, and Pakistan is a revolution away from becoming a rogue state. All it takes is a nuclear bomb dropped in San Francisco and we'd have a serious disaster.

Someone else asked him what would happen to San Francisco real estate if a rogue state dropped a nuke in San Francisco. Trump immediately dismissed the question as being stupid.

Someone else asked boxers or briefs. Geez, you have one of the best real estate investors in the country in a Q&A and that's all they could ask? What a moron. That's almost as stupid as the guy who asked about San Francisco real estate if a nuke was dropped.

Someone brought up the Forbes list and he's mentioned as having $2.4 billion in net worth. He hinted that Forbes made a low estimate. He said that he really doesn't care where he is on that list, because he loves what he does, and that's enough for him.

All in all, it was a good experience. Of all the things I'll remember most, Trump emphasized liking what you're doing and being a good parent. He talked about parenting skills many times and despite his dislike for his ex, she's a wonderful mother. Oh, and he said many times to get a pre-nup.


Blogger lime said...

i think i would have been compelled to ask if he'd still love what he was doing if he were not worth 2.4 billion or whatever. i'd also be compelled to ask about his own parenting skills since his track record as a husband seems kind of spotty and his wives get increasingly younger. but i guess that is just me being a cynic.

i certainly can't argue that he is getting results.i'm glad youhad this opportunity and enjoyed it so much and i am even gladder that you posted. hoping things are getting better and better for the zsmfamily!

3/27/2006 3:45 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Hi Zombie Slayer!!
Long time no hear!

I used to think that Trump was a pompous *ss...then, I saw him on (I think the first? Maybe not.) episode of Martha Stewart (the new show) and I found him to be very sincere and actually humble. It seemed that he truly loved his wife, too. Perhaps she's not all trophy.

The Donald does seem a bit arrogant, but I think that you have to be 'strong' like that in order to succeed in business.

Cool post.

I'm still a bit 'shocked' that you went to see Donald Trump, but I suppose if you want to learn about real estate investing, he would be the one to see!

Happy Monday!

3/27/2006 8:04 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Lime - The first question I can't answer for him, but as for his parenting skills, he seems okay. Donald Junior and Ivanka are both in the same business college he went to, which is supposebly pretty good. They're both getting good grades and are already successful in the Trump Corporation.

Now, are they happy or are they just doing it to please Dad? I couldn't answer that for him.

His track record as a husband is pretty shabby. He's been divorced twice if I'm not mistaken, and he appeared bitter about the first one, but I think his second one he had regrets about himself, from what I heard.

As for our family, thanks for asking. Doing great. In a waiting period now, so this week hopefully I'll do a little blogging. :)

Bhakti - The Donald does seem a bit arrogant, but I think that you have to be 'strong' like that in order to succeed in business.

My thoughts exactly. You have to be sure of yourself or no one will believe in you. Hey, that's an Ozzy Osbourne lyric. ;)

As for seeing Trump, the price was the Bay Bridge toll. Tickets were already paid for, so I said what the heck. It turned out to be a good experience. I didn't go necessarily to learn about investing, but actually I like seeing speakers, no matter what they speak on.

3/27/2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Well, I've gotta say I have zero, that's right, z-e-r-o respect for Trump. I think he's a pretentious, silly man who only collects beautiful women as some people collect stamps. His advantage is his wealth cuz he's certainly no looker and his personality is a dead zero as well.

He inherited the money, loses plenty in poor speculations, but is lucky enough to know how to make a name for himself. I see him as a man-whore.

3/27/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

"Someone else asked him what success is, and he said that it's being happy at what you're doing. It doesn't matter if it makes you money or not, if you're happy doing it, you're successful."

I like that. I've heard him say the same thing when he talks about his kids entering the family business.

I'm glad to hear that everything is going great with your family. Keep Trump's words in mind and STAY HAPPY!

3/27/2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger Moni said...

It sounds like it was a good experience for you and that you learned a lot. I don't like the way The Donald changes wives like he changes his socks, but you've got to give him his due. He's one hell of a business man.

What I want to know is did he share his comb over secrets with anyone? ;p

Glad to see you back Zombie, how's the business developement going? Good I hope.


3/27/2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Lovely to hear from you ZS!!

Can't say I'd go listen to him but glad you got what you needed from it...

3/27/2006 4:00 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

OK, I'm back. To back my assertion that Donald Trump is not the savvy businessman he wants us to see, please go here, here, or here. There are other stories too, discussing the reality of Trump.

3/27/2006 4:43 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I like his definition of success the best. Glad to see you back, if but breifly. :-)

3/27/2006 6:02 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Saur - So I guess Mr. Trump won't be getting a b-day card from you any time soon. ;)

Tshsmom - We're definitely staying happy. Yeah, I liked that part of the speech.

Moni - It's going. It's out of my hands now, in someone else's hands. I did all I could do and now all I could do is wait.

I've written a 7 page business plan with 300 pages of notes in the past few months. So that's why I've been so busy.

As for his hair, it's real, but he has a hairdresser. you'd have to ask his hairdresser.

Bridget - Funny how he negatively affects some, and others love the guy. I was kind of indifferent, but the tickets were free (for me) so I went. Plus, any chance to go to downtown S.F. I take.

Saur - Too bad you weren't at the Q&A session.

Notta - Yeah, I agree with Trump about success. Mine is similar, more along the lines like if you're an asset to your community and have a good family, you're successful. Or something like that.

3/27/2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Someone else asked him what success is, and he said that it's being happy at what you're doing. It doesn't matter if it makes you money or not, if you're happy doing it, you're successful.

Nice. I love that!
If you are a stay-at-home mom that enjoys staying home--you're successful. If you are a mom that works outside the home and you're happy and your kids are happy--you are successful.
That's great logic. Props to Trump!

It's good to hear from you, Z.
I'm glad I checked in today.
Guess what? Dan and I are in the process of buying a piece of land downtown where we live to build a house.
Wish us luck! We are grown ups now! :)
Miss ya!

3/28/2006 8:34 AM  
Blogger mckay said...

i wonder if i would have had the guts to ask him about his horrible comb over. he can afford the best toupe in the world, why not splurge for a rug or a hair transplant, or join the hair club for men?

and i agree on the prenup. (once upon a time i didn't, but now i do, and i will do before ever saying i do again)

3/28/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger SME said...

I'd love to have Mr. Trump for tea just so I can ask, "And would that thing on your head like anything to drink?"

3/28/2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Sadie - You may have loved the seminar then. It was really a real estate seminar, and all the speakers kept saying that real estate is where the money's at.

Agreed with you about success. I hope a lot more women realize that stay-at-home mothers are successful if they like doing it. My wife was one for eight years, and really played a strong role in his development. Now she's a full-time student.

Best of luck with the land. That's really cool. I hope it both brings you happiness and wealth.

McKay - Trump gave examples of women who should have signed pre-nups, because they had much, much more money than the men they married (who took half). So it went both ways.

Yeah, that comb-over is hideous. He has a personal hairdresser that helps him with it. I say just let the hair go.

SME - "And would that thing on your head like anything to drink?"

I think his hairstylist will be remembered as the worst hairstylist in history. Or maybe he doesn't know how to stand up to Trump. Or maybe Trump's comb-over is where Jimmy Hoffa's body is hidden.

3/28/2006 6:05 PM  
Blogger clothosfate said...

Wow... that sounds like a pretty good experience all in all. Regardless of how he got his money, or his sexual preferences and entanglements,(bla bla bla) it always makes me happy to hear a person with alot influence saying things that are truly smart and helpful, and not being total bubble heads just because they can. Mr. Trump gets a gold star for effort.

As for YOU... welcome back, no matter how brief the return. You can tell how much we all miss you when you're gone... ever consider running for office? Wait I know the answer to that question... and I know you'll be the very BEST leader in Zombieslaying that there ever was!!

3/29/2006 12:10 AM  
Blogger Vest said...

No comment,nice to see you have returned, and thanks for calling the daily gaggle.

3/29/2006 2:01 AM  
Blogger Thomcat said...

welcome back ZS!

I am not a big fan of Trump, but I always hear that he is somewhat of a charismatic fellow. Strong individual. Good leader.

I would've like to hear him speak.

see ya around!

3/29/2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger Kurt said...

interesting to me that there are people that would "dis" this guy rather than use the opportunity to learn from him. he is, without question, a success in his field.
i'm curious as to whether he thought that a home was a good investment for people or if he took the robert kurasawa (i think that is right - rich dad, poor dad dude) view that a 30 year mortgage is one of the WORST investments a person could make...(which i am in the first third of, btw :)

3/29/2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Clothosfate - Yeah, I'll run for political office in about eight years. I want to get done personal stuff first. Won't get higher than Congressman, because I have too many skeletons in the closet. Wasn't exactly a saint growing up, but then again, I wonder who was. ;)

Vest - Always a pleasure. Looks like I'll have to brush up on my Australian history. It's been awhile.

Thom - Even if you hate the guy, I really think he's worth hearing. He's really concerned about raising interest rates, of which is starting to happen right now. He said many times that if interest rates go up too high, we'll have an economic disaster.

Kurt - With all due respect to Mr. Kiyosaki, I'm in disagreement with him about the whole 30-year mortgage thing. You have to live somewhere. Owning a house is much better than renting, given you build equity and you have tons of tax breaks.

Trump echoes a similar sentiment to what I just said. he said most people's best investment is their house.

3/29/2006 7:45 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

Gud to see ubck(hugs)

DT... well i should say "the Apprentice" is gettin pretty monotonous 4moi... i wouldn't watch it.. he may be rich but he's ugly!! *evil laughter* & the show is borrrrrrriiiiiiiin'
to tell ya... i kinnda hate all those live TV thin'

ZS, you forgot one imp question DT was asked
Q: what do you think of your daughter
DT: *grins* if she wasn't my daughter, i would be dating her!

man! there there... i just lost my appetite

3/29/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

TC - Funny thing is, I've only seen a few episodes of that show, and never saw DT's daughter. I'd imagine she's hot.

Yeah, Trump's definitely no Johnny Depp, but when he talks about making money, I take notes.

3/29/2006 10:52 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Like the song goes Zombie, nothing from nothing leaves nothing. I don't need no pre-nup.

3/30/2006 4:46 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Scott - I have none either. But then again it's because I think with a pre-nup, you're going into a marriage with a fatalistic attitude. Of course, people like Trump should get one because you know it probably won't last.

3/30/2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

So what about the high price of real estate in the SF area? Did he mentioned whether he thinks the high prices here are still worth investing in?

3/30/2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Joe - He did mention S.F. real estate and said as long as the interest rates stay low, it's still a good investment. He said something along the lines that if it goes down, wait it out and you will still make a killing.

the people who rode out the 1990 crash made a killing. the people who panicked and sold (of which my family is one of them) missed out big time.

3/30/2006 6:15 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

His vehicle to success was already in motion when he boarded it, hardly a rags to riches fairy story. Anyhow, far too many riches can buy a hell of a lot of misery.

3/31/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Rat In A Cage said...

You have a lot of animated guests. I hope they are not zombies in disguise.

3/31/2006 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His hair is scary

4/02/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Raemius said...

There will not be a revolution in Pakistan, I've been there many times, the can tell you that military has and will control that country for a very long time. Fortunately, the military attracts the best and brightest that the country has to offer.

Iran will not attack the US unless attacked first.

Trump may be smart, but he doesn't understand international affairs, and he sees Iraq as a waste of money rather than a waste of human life.

4/04/2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger dave said...



the internet is boring without your blog.

4/04/2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

anonymous> haha

Dave> mwhahaha

thanks for a good laugh!

4/05/2006 3:57 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Vest - maybe so, but he still has access to better lawyers and accountants than I do, so I'll take his advice when it comes to finances. He may be a lousy person as a person, but he definitely has more access to money knowledge than I do.

Rat - Funny how Donald Trump can get responses. The tickets were free, that's why I went.

Anon - If anyone should be fired, it should be Trump's hairstylist.

Raemius - Never been to Pakistan, so I'll take your word for it. However, the Pakistanis here are good tippers and heavy partiers. From my experience at least.

As for Iraq, I've been intentionally avoiding that subject. I've yet to see a civil argument one way or another. It's like abortion and the Vietnam War. No matter where someone stands, they start foaming at the mouth and lose all traces of civility.

Dave - If only I had more time.

TC - Okay, something funny coming up...

4/05/2006 6:42 PM  
Blogger Raemius said...

ZS, That Iraq thing can be quite a tinderbox.

4/06/2006 8:26 AM  

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