The Top 10 Best Forex Traders
#1. George Soros: The Man Who Broke The Bank Of England
When it comes to rich and famous forex traders, we can’t have a complete list without the iconic forex genius George Soros.
Born in 1930, Soros has been active on the trading scene for almost half a century. It’s not only his career and trading moves that make Soros intriguing but his personal life.
George’s birth name is actually Schwartz Gyorgy. He was born in Hungary and later moved to the UK. There Soros completed his financial education in the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also graduated in Philosophy, which has placed Soros not only among the best traders but among the most memorable philanthropists globally.
Though Soros doesn’t invest only in currency pairs, the truth is that forex trading is his passion. He started building his hedge fund in 1969, known as the Quantum Fund today.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about Soros - also known as the man who broke the Bank of England - is the fact that he caused the UK government to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1992. To be more precise, Soros started building short positions in pounds, betting against the pound, and ended up with $1 billion in profits.
We should explain that back then, the pound was close to the Deutsche Mark, but Soros considered its minimum rate too high, so he went against it.
This move shaped the entire market and other traders also started copying Soros. The UK couldn’t increase the pound (a process often done via buying pounds or increasing interest rates), so the pound dropped 15% against the Deutsche Mark and 25% against the US dollar - and as a result, the Quantum Fund earned billions.
During his career, Soros showed an appreciation of the risk-reward principle in trading, claiming that “he was only rich because he was able to see when he was wrong.”
With his great discipline, Soros is among the best forex traders on Earth: as of September 2020, his net worth is $10 billion.
In fact, Soros is on the Forbes list of the richest people on Earth. Note that a few years ago, Forbes reported that his net worth stood at $25 billion, but Soros transferred huge amounts to his charity foundation Open Society Foundations. After all, humanity proves to be more important than money!
#2. Bill Lipschutz: The Sultan Of Currencies
Perhaps you’re not surprised to see Bill Lipschutz - one of the highest-earning short-term traders globally - on our list. Bill Lipschutz, born in 1956 in New York, is one of the most successful forex traders.
Having always excelled at Maths, in 1982, Bill earned an MBA in finance from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management.
Interestingly, at a young age, Lipschutz managed to generate more than $250,000 in profits in a short time by investing the $12,000 he inherited from his grandmother in stocks.
Though after that, he made some mistakes and lost his capital, Lipschutz continued trading and switched to forex.
In 1982, Salomon Brother bank hired Lipschutz as a full-time trader and he started generating around $300 million per year for the bank, which placed him among the top five traders in the world.
His success didn’t stop with that, though. In 1991, Lipschutz founded Rowayton Capital Management, with a focus on currency-related assets management; in 1995, he founded Hathersage Capital Management, with a focus on G10 currencies.
And guess what? His firm won the Best Macro Hedge Fund award at the 2018 Hedgeweek USA Awards event.
The most impressive aspect of Bill’s career is his approach to trading. He often says that forex is a psychological market and that market perceptions can influence price action.
He stresses the importance of risk management and also claims that the key to being a successful forex trader doesn’t depend on being right all the time: traders must learn how to make money when they are right only 20-30% of the time.
It’s no surprise that with his approach to trading, Lipschutz - often referred to as the Sultan of Currencies - is also one of the richest traders. In fact, he has a harem of fortune; his estimated net worth is $8.3 billion.
#3. Joe Lewis: The Boxer Of Forex
Joe Lewis or Joseph C. Lewis is another famous investor whose love for forex trading has placed him among the top traders worldwide.
Funnily, Lewis is referred to as the Boxer because his name often evokes associations with the boxing legend Joe Louis.
Lewis, now living in the Bahamas, was born in 1937 in London. Surprisingly, he left school at a young age to help his father run a catering business, which expanded quickly.
Lewis is also famous for his collaboration with Soros in building a short position against the pound and forcing the UK to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Now, Joe Lewis operates from the Bahamas and though he is quite reserved about his private life, many claim that Lewis has trading screens in every room. As he said, “One of the rewards of your success is the quiet enjoyment of it. Being on the front page of newspapers doesn’t allow that.”
We should mention that besides forex, Lewis is involved in different investment ventures across different industries, such as sports, media, resort properties, and energy. In 2020, Forbes estimates Lewis’ worth at $4.6 billion.
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#4. Steve Cohen: High-Risk, High-Reward Trading & Controversy
Steven Cohen is one of the most famous and controversial American investors and hedge fund managers.
Cohen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. After his studies in Economics, he started working as an options trader for Gruntal & Co., which helped him generate profits for the firm and himself.
In 1992, he founded his own hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors.
By employing high-risk, high-reward trading strategies, Cohen managed to create an empire in the investment management sector. Experts say that stock positions were held for days or hours, so the firm traded around 20 million shares per day.
Believe it or not, according to data, in the early 2000s, SAC Capital Advisors’ trading activity accounted for about 2% of all stock market trading.
That said, not everything that glitters is gold. In 2010, the firm underwent numerous investigations and was forced to pay around $2 billion. In 2016, Cohen’s firm was officially closed and Cohen was prevented from managing investments until 2018.
Despite all the legal problems and controversies surrounding his career, Cohen (who is also the founder of Point72 Asset Management) managed to raise a fortune with his aggressive and high-risk trading.
As of July 2020, Cohen has an estimated net worth of $14.6 billion.
#5. Stanley Druckenmiller: Trading Success For More Than 30 Years
Stanley Druckenmiller is another successful hedge fund manager and philanthropist.
Druckenmiller was born in 1953; he received a degree in English and Economics and was about to receive a PhD degree from the University of Michigan. However, he decided to start working as an oil analyst at Pittsburg National Bank instead.
After a few years working at the bank, Druckenmiller started his own investment firm called Duquesne Capital Management.
One of the most interesting aspects of his career is the fact that Druckenmiller was a coworker of Soros at the Quantum Fund. Druckenmiller was hired by Soros in 1988 and helped him break the Bank of England after having bet against the pound, which led to the withdrawal of the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
During the dot-com crisis in 2000, Druckenmiller decided to leave Soros and focus on his firm Duquesne Capital. However, his firm couldn’t deliver high returns to clients, so Druckenmiller returned funds to clients and started managing his own wealth.
As he said, “For 30 years I’ve been responsible for managing client money and it’s been a joy, but at some point I need to move on. Thirty years is enough.”
Druckenmiller’s secret to long-term success is to get the right timing and preserve capital, instead of maximising opportunities in which you are right. Druckenmiller often reminds investors that “there are a lot of shoes on the shelf; wear only the ones that fit.”
In 2020, Forbes estimated his fortune at $4.7 billion.
#6. Paul Tudor Jones: One Of The Wealthiest Forex Traders Ever
Paul Tudor Jones also deserves a special spot on our list of the most successful forex traders. Often considered one of the wealthiest day traders ever, with a net worth of $6 billion as of September 2020, Paul Tudor Jones is simply an icon.
We should note that Jones was born in 1954 and earned a degree in Economics in 1976. Interestingly, Jones turned down an opportunity to study at Harvard and started working as a commodities trader in the New York Cotton Exchange (NYSE) instead.
Later, Paul Tudor Jones founded his own firm Tudor Investment Corporation and managed to generate profits in times when markets were spiralling downwards. Note that he is also interested in non-forex assets and likes to bet on fluctuations in interest rates.
Remember that the secret to success for forex tycoon Jones is the use of mental stops, as well as time stops (if prices touch set levels, Jones always exists no matter what).
Being one of the wealthiest people on Earth is not enough for Jones, though. Paul Tudor Jones is also a philanthropist whose charity founded the Robin Hood Foundation focuses on poverty reduction worldwide.
#7. Ed Seykota: The Pioneer Of The Computerised Trading System
Though Ed Seykota is not a billionaire, he deserves a spot on our Top 10 list. Seykota is the person who pioneered the computerised Trading System - one of the first electronic systems that modern traders use today.
In fact, Dutch trader Seykota is one of the best-automated traders; as stated by Jack Schwager, the author of Market Wizards, Ed’s “achievements must certainly rank him as one of the best traders of our time”.
Interestingly, Seykota was inspired after having read a letter by trader Richard Donchian that a mechanical trend following system could change the market.
Seykota started developing his ideas while working for a firm trading in the futures market, which back then used punch cards to test ideas. As a result, Seykota implemented his ideas on a punch-card computer; later, his computer programs were implemented widely, changing the whole industry.
We should mention that Ed Seykota also mentored Michael Marcus, one of the most popular members of the Commodities Corporation Company and the largest currency trader in German marks at that time.
Seykota is now in the history books forever and his net worth of $1-5 million in 2019 is expected to rise soon.
#8. Andrew Krieger: The Genius Who Broke The Kiwi
Andrew Krieger is another iconic name in the forex trading sector. Krieger graduated from Wharton School of Business and after his graduation, he was hired by the Bankers Trust.
With his aggressive style, Andy Krieger impressed his managers so they increased his trading limit from the regular $50 million to $700 million.
Interestingly, in 1987 when most stock markets continued spiralling downwards in the aftermath of the October 1987 crash, Krieger realised that the New Zealand dollar was overvalued. So he decided to bet against it, which exceeded the actual circulating total supply of the New Zealand dollar.
Because of his huge short position, NZD fell against the US dollar and Krieger made millions for his firm.
Despite his success, Krieger received a small amount after the deal, so he left Bankers Trust, which without Krieger was eventually absorbed by Deutsche Bank.
Krieger, on the other hand, went to work at Soros Fund Management.
Though Krieger’s net worth is unknown, given his talent, many believe his wealth is worth hundreds of millions.
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#9. Carl Ichan: One Of The Most Successful Investors On Wall Street
Any list of the best forex traders would be incomplete without mentioning Carl Icahn.
Carl Icahn, who is one of the richest forex gurus in the world, got his big break when his uncle gave him $400,000 so that he could dive into the New York Stock Exchange. Ichan made the best of the money his uncle loaned him and became one of the most successful forex traders on Wall Street.
Note that Carl’s company, Icahn Enterprises has invested in various giants, such as Netflix, Apple, Netflix, and Motorola.
The key to success for Carl is to go with his guts. For him, instincts are very important and he often advises other investors to never take market data at face value.
He also believes that the preservation of capital is crucial; in fact, he always ensures that he has enough funds left over, so he can continue participating in the forex market.
With a net worth of $17 billion, Ichan is definitely one of the best forex traders ever.
#10. Tracy Britt Cool: The Young Woman Who Is Most Likely To Become A Billionaire
Though the forex market is often considered a market dominated by men, Tracy Britt Cool - one of the most successful female traders ever - proves that times are finally changing.
After having worked on her parents’ farm, Tracy Britt Cool graduated from Harvard Business School. There she founded Smart Women Securities with Teresa Hsiao, one of the most successful TV writers today.
Interestingly, Tracy was mentored by the great Warren Buffet who took an interest in her work. Buffet introduced Cool to the art of trading.
And of course, Warren Buffet needs no introduction. He is one of the most successful long-term investors and a source of wisdom for both day traders and investors. With a net worth of more than $85.6 billion, Warren is among the top 5 richest people on Earth.
Being on the board of various leading companies, Tracy - voted "Most Likely to Become a Billionaire" by her peers - is also on the right track to becoming a billionaire.