Forex trading is an aged profession, and there have been many individuals who participated in the market and became really successful. It is good to be aware of these success stories so you can be motivated that success in the industry is quite possible, and the opportunities are somewhat endless. However, it should be noted that you may never make as much as these individuals because they were trading for institutions and had a lot of money to play. You may however, if you’ve got $1billion to play with in the markets.
Below are short profiles of those we consider to be the most successful forex traders.
George Soros is known as one of the greatest investors in history. He rose to fame in 1992 when he reportedly profited more than £1 billion by shorting about $10 billion USD worth of the British pound, earning him the title of “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England.”
At the time, Britain was a part of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in Europe. This arrangement required the government to intervene if the pound fell beyond a certain level against the German Mark. Soros successfully predicted that a number of factors—including the then British interest rates, and the uncomfortable terms on which Britain had joined the ERM—had left the Bank of England (BoE) weak.
Currently ranked at the 30th spot on the Forbes’ list of richest people on earth, George Soros is perhaps the most popular forex trader in the world. He graduated from the London School of Economics after which he began his business career, taking up stints at a couple of merchant banks, before establishing his first hedge fund, Double Eagle.
With the profits from his first year at Double Eagle, he went on to establish his second fund, Soros Fund Management. He then renamed the first, Double Eagle, as the Quantum Fund, a fund that made over $24.9 billion in assets under management (AUM) over its lifetime. His second hedge fund, the Soros Fund Management has gone on to make profits of over $40 billion in just about 40 years.
Druckenmiller was Soros’ right hand man. He began his career as a management trainee at a bank where he quickly rose to head of equity research after only a year. He then went on to form his own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital Management, years later. Druckenmiller then successfully managed money for Soros’ Soros Fund Management for several years in his role as the lead portfolio manager for the Quantum Fund between 1989 and 2000.
Druckenmiller worked with Soros on the famous British Pound trade (aka, “The trade that broke the Bank of England”) that made over £1 billion for the fund, and signalled his rise to stardom. He has been featured in many books on trading, one of which is the 1992 “The New Market Wizards” which became a bestseller.
He retired from the hedge fund and trading world in 2010 after an illustrious career. From inception to that moment, the hedge fund had been raking in average profit of 30% return yearly, without any losing years.
Born in 1956, Bill Lipschutz was raised in New York. He attended Cornell University and bagged a first degree in Architecture in Creative Arts, and another first degree from Connell’s Johnsons School of Finance. During his college years, he inherited $12,000 worth of stock after his grandmother’s death, which he converted to cash and began investing the money on his own. He basically learned as much as he could about the financial markets from the university library, and used this information to grow the $12,000 into almost $250,000 before graduation. This success however did not last long, as one bad trade eroded his entire capital. He used this failure as a learning opportunity, that he would apply in his career as a trader cum investor.
Lipschutz began his career at the glorious Salomon Brothers while part-studying for his MBA, and was put in the currency trading division. He formed part of the team of veteran traders that made Salomon Brothers a household name in forex trading.
Salomon Brothers made a lot profit from Bill Lipschutz, as he was one of the most profitable traders at the time. He was making an average ot $300 million in profits per annum for Salomon Brothers. He first chose to retire early, but came out of this retirement and has since been with Hathersage Capital Management as Director of Portfolio Management.
Michael Marcus is amongst the best professional FX traders in history, when amount of profits earned is put into consideration. He is one of the founding members of the Commodities Corporation Company. Trained by the great trend trader, Ed Seykota, Marcus would later go on to be the mentor to another great trader, Bruce Kovner. At a point he personally made a profit of about $300 million.
A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, Kreiger joined the defunct Bankers Trust in 1986, after a brief stay at Salomon Brothers. He was notorious for being an aggressive traders, impressing the top management so much that they granted him a trading limit of $700 million, against the usual trading limit of $50 million.
In the aftermath of the October 1987 crash, where markets globally sank by at least 20%, Kreiger noticed that the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) was highly overvalued. He short the currency at a leverage of 400:1; exceeding the entire circulating liquidity of the currency. Within a few hours the currency sank 5% against the US dollar, and Kreiger bagged $300 million for Bankers Trust.
However, he only got a (relatively) measly $3 million for his efforts, for which he left and went on to work with George Soros.
Can you become one?
Of course, you can be successful too, and make a lot of money out of the markets; however, it requires lots of work and diligence. Nevertheless, you can start trading right away with right trading strategy.