It took a month and work from Forbes writer Edwin Durgy, but we now have the best estimate for just how rich Mitt Romney is: the wealth-counting magazine pegs the Republican presidential candidate's net worth at $230 million. Up to now, everyone has known that Romney is rich, but the specifics have been blurry. Earlier this year Romney said the figure is "between $150 and about $200-and-some-odd million dollars." News outlets like CNN and ABC haven't done any better by relying on Romney's disclosure filings with the government. "Romney's assets total between $85 and $264 million, according to his official disclosure document filed with the Federal Election Commission," wrote CNN in January. The same month ABC reported "Financial disclosures with the Office of Government Ethics showed Romney's net worth to be between $190 million and $250 million."
So how did Forbes get that magic number of $230 million? Well: "The core basis for our valuation comes from Romney himself – specifically, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics disclosure forms, which he filed in August 2007 and August 2011, plus discussions with high-level Romney officials familiar with specific changes to his holdings since that last report," writes Durgy. Adding:
Our core method: noting the shift in ranges between the 2007 filing, the 2011 filing and now (much of his wealth has been consistently held over the whole period). Comparing which assets changed brackets – or didn’t – with their underlying price fluctuation (or in some cases, a good comparable) over that period, we were able to get better estimates of where each fell in the range. Supplemented by a dozen interviews – from local real estate experts to private equity partners – we get a detailed look at the current state of Mitt’s money, pinpointing his net worth at$230 million, split between 9 different asset classes.
Thanks to that number-crunching, you can actually a see how much Romney has sunk into real estate ($18 million), gold ($260,000), and his horses and cars ($425,000)--and you know, his "some odd-millions" in Bain and other investments.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.