No matter how experienced you are in the world of Forex, you are in it to make the most out of your investments, and what better way to do this than to follow in the footsteps of the trading superstars. There are a number of Forex mavens who are willing to share their wise advice, and while we encourage you to learn from any established trader, some stand a good head and shoulders above the rest. Here, we give you a glimpse into the lives and successes of the top 5 Forex traders of all time.
George Soros was born into the Hungarian Jewish Schwarz family, and in 1936, his father dropped the Jewish surname as a means of protection from the Nazis in Europe. He changed it to Soros, meaning ‘successor’ or ‘will soar’ and this became Soros’ life philosophy. This business magnate is one of the world’s 30 richest people, and is known as ‘The man who broke the Bank of England’. This is because in the UK’s 1992 Black Wednesday currency crisis where the Treasury lost over £3 billion, his sharp wits and business acumen led him to make $1 billion in profit. However, success was certainly not handed to him on a plate. In 1947, Soros gained admission into the London School of Economics, and to support himself, he worked as a waiter and a railway porter. After graduating, He continued in similar roles while his passion for finances motivated him to apply for jobs at every merchant bank in England. Finally, he was offered an entry level post at Singer & Friedlander, where he worked alongside a colleague with associations in New York. Soros moved there to work as a trader for FM Mayer. This opened up the floodgates for him to gain experience and create his own investment funds. As well as sealing his reputation as one of the top traders of all time, Soros is well-known for his philanthropy and his co-authoring of numerous books in which he shares his knowledge and experience as a businessman and trader.
Stanley Druckenmiller started his financial career at Pittsburgh National Bank, during which time he founded his own firm, Duquesne Capital Management. He later went on to become the Lead Portfolio Manager of George Soros’ Quantum Fund. Druckenmiller left that position after 12 years in order to concentrate fully on Duquesne, which gave an average annual return of 30% with no money losing years. In 2010, Duquesne was closed, because despite containing more than $12 billion worth of assets, Druckenmiller felt that the return on investments was too low. Along with other financial achievements and capabilities, an expert trading style, which he learnt from Soros, has certainly paid off for this now retired hedge fund manager. Druckenmiller is currently estimated as being worth $4.4 billion, which has allowed him to become one of America’s most generous individuals, and he has a reputation for donating to medical research, education and anti-poverty movements.
A multi-talented New Yorker, Bill Lipschutz gained a BA in Fine Arts at Cornell as well as an MBA in Finance. Lipschutz became a hobby investor when he was a student. He would spend his free time researching stocks and shares, and in his early days of trading, built up an impressive portfolio of $250,000. One wrong decision and a change in the market meant that he lost his money, although the resilient Lipschutz turned the scenario to his advantage by using it as a learning experience. His investment skills were recognised at a Salomon Brothers training programme, where Lipschutz was asked to join their new foreign exchange department. It was at this time that forex trading took off, and Lipschutz started earning $300 million a year for the Salomon Brothers, making him one of the top 5 Forex traders of all time. Lipschutz founded Hathersage Capital Management in 1995 and he stresses that his financial success, which continues to this day, is very much due to an emphasis on risk management and an awareness that Forex is a 24-hour platform that does not stop while we sleep.
Bruce Kovner is yet another extraordinary New Yorker, as well remembered for his basketball and piano playing skills as for his business capabilities. After studying at Harvard where he worked on a number of political campaigns, Kovner became a cab driver. It was during this time that he discovered commodities trading, which set the stage for a lifetime of financial achievement. Kovner’s first trade in 1977 was a risky one in soybean futures contracts. The $3,000 that he borrowed using his MasterCard paid off as the contract value increased to $40,000. He sold the contracts only after the price had dropped to $23,000 and to this day, he says that that harrowing experience taught him about risk management. Kovner went on to become a trader at Commodities Corporation, and then founded and chaired the diversified trading company Caxton Associates, LP. At the start of 2012, Kovner founded CAM Capital as the platform on which to manage his investment, trading and business activities. As well as chairing this organisation, he sits on the Boards of Synta Pharmaceuticals and various arts committees such as the Metropolitan Opera. His trading experience gives him a net worth of $5.3 billion.
Andy Krieger has always displayed a flare and passion for finance and entrepreneurship. After doing his undergraduate degree at Pennsylvania University’s Wharton Business School, he worked as a currency trader at Bankers Trust, where he had his lucky break. In 1987 at the age of 32, while most investors were panicking over the Black Monday crash, Krieger kept a cool head and turned the situation to his advantage. While all the world’s currencies had suffered, Krieger noted that the New Zealand Dollar, also known as the Kiwi, was in a stronger position. He took up a short position against the Kiwi that was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so that his sell orders exceeded New Zealand’s actual money supply at the time. Krieger made $300 million in revenue from this transaction, much to the concern of the New Zealand government who tried to persuade his bosses to make him stop. He left Bankers Trust soon after to work for George Soros and then Northbridge Capital Management. He is another great philanthropist who has donated over $350,000 to support the Indonesian tsunami victims.
As well as making your investments increase, markets will always experience crashes, and what the top 5 Forex traders of all time have in common is a will and a determination to turn even the worst situations into cold, hard cash. Where others panic, they calmly analyse, and when others give up hope, they jump on emerging opportunities. They also take risk management very seriously and when their precautions as well as their risk taking pay off, they share their income with those in need. While they have made mistakes in their time, these men prove that all situations and experiences ultimately lead to great successes, which makes them an inspiration to those of us inside the world of forex trading.