When you dedicate yourself to something it is inevitable to see the benchmarks of the sector. The good thing is that nowadays without knowing them directly and without them knowing it, they can become our teachers or mentors.
Here is a list of the 11 best investors or traders in the world (and in history). We will start with the lesser known until we go to what I consider the three indisputable. Of course it is not a definitive list, it is just my list and it may change over time:
11. Ed Seykota.
From a very young age, Edward Arthur Seykota became interested in trading thanks to his father being an experienced stock and commodity investor, who taught him the basics of investing.
Ed Seykota graduated in 1969 with a degree in electrical engineering. In 1970 he was already working for several brokerage houses or brokers in the futures market, implementing punched card computers and becoming the pioneer of automatic or computerized trading.
In the 1980s, it became very popular by revealing that it had been able to achieve a cumulative return of 300,000%, in just a decade and a half.
- Cut your losses.
- Keep winning trades.
- Make small bets.
- Strictly follow the trading rules.
- You have to know when to break the rules.
The truth is that today they are topizacos but it must be recognized that it has rained enough and in their day there were not so many.
“There is no need to change systems. The trick is for the investor to develop a system that it is compatible with.”
10. Nicholas Darvas.
Nicolas Darvas, better known as the dancing trader, was a Hungarian-born economist born in 1920. In 1943, due to the Nazi threat, he illegally fled to Turkey with only £50 in his pocket. Some time later he met his sister and they became dance partners in Europe and the United States.
Darvas was passionate and self-taught in the financial markets and spent his free hours as a dancer studying the stock market. He became famous thanks to his book “How to make $2,000,000 in the stock market”, in which he describes his investment strategy. “Theory of Boxes” that allowed him to earn $2 million between 1957 and 1958.
Nicholas William Leeson or also called Nick Leeson, was born in 1967 in the United Kingdom. He became famous for having led the bankruptcy in 1995 of the oldest bank in the United Kingdom, the Baring Bank.
After a successful start at Baring Bank in London, in 1992, the young trader is sent to the Singapore headquarters to operate the futures market. He got off to a good start and Leeson began making good unauthorized trades, but his luck would change quickly and to hide the losses he created the error account 88888. In 1994, the losses reached £208 million.
In 1995, Nick Leeson was arrested in Germany and extradited to Singapore where he was sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison. In 1996, while in prison, he published the book Rogue Trader, where he recounts how the events that produced the bankruptcy of the Baring Bank happened. Later, in 1999, Leeson’s story is made into a film with the same name as “Rogue Trader” although in Spain the film was called “El gran Farol”.
As you can already deduce, I have not included this trader in this list because he is an example to follow, but because we can learn from him what we should not do as well. And because the story as you have read brings them.
8. John Paulson.
Born in 1955, John Alfred Paulson is a billionaire hedge fund manager who made much of his fortune during the real estate bubble of 2007. He founded his own fund in 1994, with a capital of 2 million dollars and by 2003 the firm already had 300 million dollars in assets.
Paulson became famous in 2007, when predicted the housing crisis and decided to bet against the biggest rally in the US housing market. He bet against subprime mortgage-backed securities and invested in credit default swaps. This masterful move allowed his hedge fund to earn about $15 billion in 2007, while his personal account grew about $4 billion, not bad for just one year, right?
Jesse Livermore is regarded as the greatest speculator of all time. Born in 1877, Livermore began his journey through the markets at just 14 years of age and became famous for winning and losing his fortune on several occasions.
Although at one point in her time she was one of the richest people in the world, at the time of her suicide in 1940, her liabilities were greater than her assets, despite her liquid assets totaling $5 million, making her one of the largest personal fortunes on Wall Street for the time.
Livermore was never attracted to long-term investing so it became the day trading pioneer. However, later when writing his memoirs he would acknowledge his mistakes stating the following: you can’t make money consistently if you trade every day or every week.
6.Paul Tudor Jones.
Paul Tudor Jones is a American billionaire hedge fund manager. In 1976, she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and as early as 1980, she founded one of Wall Street’s most successful hedge funds, the Tudor Investment Corporation.
Tudor Jones is also a philanthropist and in 1988 he founded the Robin Hood Foundation with a mission to help reduce poverty in the United States.
One of the greatest successes of Tudor Jones’s career came when he managed to predict the Black Monday 1987 And while many investors lost their money during the crash of 1987, the fund managed by Tuder Jones made gains of about $100 million thanks to the short positions it took.
T. Jones’ net worth was estimated in November 2022 at about $5.3 billion, making him the seventh highest-earning hedge fund manager.
James Beeland Rogers is a American investor, writer and also financial commentator. In 1970, together with George Soros, he founded the successful and renowned investment fund, Quantum Fund. In just a decade, this fund achieved an extraordinary return of 3,365%, not inconsiderable gains when compared to the S&P index, which only achieved a return of 47% for the same period.
Jim Rogers became famous for having anticipated the strong rally experienced by commodities in 1999. His investment style is based on the macroeconomic analysis of all the economies of the world and he put it into practice in a very simple way: buying when there is panic and selling when there is euphoria.
In 1996, Rogers created the commodity futures index known as the Rogers International Commodity Index (RICI).
This investor is also the holder of a curious record in the Guinness Book for traveling 160,000 km between 1990 and 1992.
4. Peter Schiff.
Petter Schiff is American investor, writer, and economic commentator. At the beginning of the 90s, Schiff began his first steps as a trader at the world-renowned Lehman Brothers. In 1996, he started his own investment fund Euro Pacific Capital.
Schiff became famous for his pessimistic analyzes of the US economy that allowed him to predict the collapse of the United States housing market and the consequent financial crisis of 2008.
Schiff is known to be a fervent advocate of gold as a store of value and has always recommended long-term investing in physical precious metals. In recent statements, Schiff estimates that the price of gold will rise significantly and also considers that Bitcoin has no real value, generating great controversy with the crypto community.
Number three on the list undoubtedly belongs to the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Edward Buffett. Born in 1930 in Omaha, Buffett is an American investor, philanthropist, and businessman.
Buffett’s trading strategy is based on the value investing (value investing), which he learned from the equally famous Benjamin Graham, known as the father of value investing, during his economics studies at the Columbia Graduate Business School.
Buffett always appears in the first positions of the list of the richest people in the world published by Forbes magazine, with a fortune of around 87 billion dollars. Despite his vast fortune, he is known for having an austere lifestyle.
In 1965, Buffett bought the Berkshire Hathaway textile factory, which he would later use to unify all of his businesses. Currently, Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest companies in the United States in terms of market capitalization and Buffett is its CEO and main shareholder.
Through Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett owns large positions in shares of the world’s largest companies including: Apple Inc, American Express Co, The Coca-Cola Company, ConocoPhillips, Costco Wholesale, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, among many others.
In 1999, Buffett added another big hit to his successful investment career by predicting the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the resulting bankruptcy of most technology companies.
“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”
2. Ray Dalio.
Ray Dalio, born in 1949, is a American billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist. Dalio started in the world of investments when he was only 12 years old when he bought shares of Northeast Airlines, managing to triple his capital in his first investment. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and in 1973 earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
In 1975, Dalio founded the Bridgewater hedge fund, which was listed as the world’s largest hedge fund in 2005. As of 2022, Bridgewater had assets under management of $160 billion. In 2022, Forbes magazine estimated the value of Dalio’s personal fortune at about $17 billion.
In 2007, Dalio predicted the possibility of an economic crisis and in 2008 published an essay titled “how the economic machine works; A template to understand what is happening now.”
Personally Dalio has been an inspiration for me and a reference. In fact, I recommend his book, «Principles».
If you are one of those who hate mathematics or think that it has no use in real life, I tell you that James Harris Simons, born in 1939.
Jim Simons is a mathematician from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who decided to leave his academic career to dedicate himself to financial markets as a trader and fund manager.
In 1978, Simons founded the private investment company Renaissance Technologies Corporation. Currently, this high-risk fund is one of the most successful in the world and has assets of around $68 billion.
Renaissance Technologies operates in markets around the world using mathematical models to analyze various financial instruments to find repetitive patterns that allow it to predict possible price changes and thus make high profits on those movements. To develop these models, Renaissance employs mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, and other specialists who are not of financial origin.
Thanks to the success of his algorithmic trading strategies, in 2006, Simons was named the Financier of the Year by the International Association of Financial Engineers. Forbes magazine estimated Simons’ wealth at about $23 billion, a fortune that ranks him among the 40 richest people on the planet. Not bad for a professional mathematician.
As I told you at the beginning, it is very likely that you have your own list of trader and investors, If you think I left someone out of this list, leave their name in the comments. and share the reason why you would include it.
Thank you for reading!