In this article, we’ll discuss the iconic traders whose names are synonymous with success, wealth, and prosperity. With discipline and hard work, they’ve managed to multiply their investments and earn the reputation of the greatest masterminds in their industry. Let’s cover the main milestones on their way to the top and find out what it takes to become a consummate trader with a global name.
John D. Arnold
Born in the United States in 1979, John Douglas Arnold is now head of Centaurus Energy Advisors, a Houston-based company involved in trading energy products. Arnold started out working for Enron, an American energy company. In 2001, he earned Enron $750 million in energy futures trading. As a reward for his efforts, he got an $8 million bonus. After Enron had collapsed the following year, Arnold launched his project, the Centaurus Advisors hedge fund.
As of today, Arnold is worth more than $3 billion. While receiving a lot of interest from the media, the youngest billionaire trader keeps his personal life under covers. Along with his business conquests, he is actively engaged in philanthropy. Arnolds is hands down, an inspiring example for traders worldwide. He is living proof that nothing is impossible.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Martin Schwartz is one of the greatest intraday traders of all time. Before trading, he received an MBA from Columbia University and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Schwartz started as a finance analyst. With his first $100,000, he purchased a seat on the American Stock Exchange.
He started to earn good money trading futures and stock options. Within just a year, he made a whopping $600,000. Gradually, his daily earnings reached $70,000. What’s the secret of Schwarz’s success? He admits that he has never focused on one particular trading instrument. Instead, he aimed to diversify his trading portfolio. To all aspiring traders out there, he recommends going with the market instead of fighting it. It was Martin Schwarz who showed the benefits of intraday trading, making it popular among traders worldwide.
Born in 1946 in the United States, Joseph DiNapoli mastered the ins and outs of trading all by himself. In 1981, he started to trade S&P 500, a new index in the market back then. By analyzing moving averages, he introduced his trading method based on the Fibonacci levels. Among other things, DiNapoli is a sought-after business speaker and lecturer. Furthermore, he is the author of bestselling books on trading, such as “Trading with DiNapoli Levels”, “The Practical Application of Fibonacci Analysis to Investment Markets”, and more. Nowadays, DiNapoli is a brand name and top authority on trading techniques. He is the owner of Coast Investment Software, a company that specializes in designing advanced trading software.
A prominent American trader and investor, Peter Lynch was born in 1944. As a young man, he worked in a golf club, where he often heard rich gentlemen talking about stock exchanges. This is how he became infected with the idea of trading. Lynch paid for his college education from his first earnings as a trader.
In 1977, Lynch was appointed head of a then-unknown investment fund. Within ten years under Lynch’s management, the fund had grown to $14 billion in assets. Today, Peter Lynch is a successful investor and author of three books, including “One Up on Wall Street” and “Learn to Earn.” Plus, he owns a restaurant chain.
Michael Markus started his career as a commodities analyst and earned a brilliant reputation for his accurate forecasts that never failed to come true. With time, Marcus realized that he had a knack for trading. This is how his trading journey began.
Marcus spent his lifelong savings on plywood futures. His first investment earned him $700. In 1972, his stake increased from $700 to $12,000. The following year, with his highly effective trading strategy, he turned $24,000 to $64,000.
The success of the aspiring trader didn’t go unnoticed. Marcus was offered the position of chief trader with a major corporation. Using his vast skills and unfailing intuition, Marcus grew the company’s assets by 2,500 times. A truly stunning result! This and other accomplishments make Michael Marcus one of the iconic traders of our time.
George Soros is a prominent investor of American-Hungarian decent. He was born in 1930 in Budapest. After World War II, Soros and his family immigrated to Great Britain. In 1956, Soros started his career as a financier on Wall Street. In 1969, he founded the Double Eagle Fund. In 1970, Soros Fund Management was established.
George Soros is considered the main factor behind the famous Black Wednesday when the British pound collapsed. On September 16, 1992, Soros’ fund sold about $10 billion in GBP/DEM, which caused the devaluation of the British pound. According to some estimations, Soros earned $1 to 1.5 billion. As a result of Black Wednesday, the UK Treasury suffered huge losses. Due to that incident, George Soros is sometimes called “the man who broke the Bank of England.”
George Soros is also known for his philanthropy work, as well as progressive economic and political views. The business magnate acts as a consultant to major companies and governments. He authored a plethora of bestselling books, including “The Alchemy of Finance” and “George Soros on Globalization.”
John Paulson is a famous American hedge fund manager and investor. Born and raised in New York, he graduated from Harvard University. After working as a financial consultant, he founded his own investment company, Paulson & Co. Paulson became famous in 2007, when he predicted the mortgage crisis and invested in credit default securities. In that legendary trade, he earned more than $4 billion.
Today, Paulson & Co. is worth a whopping $24 billion. Paulson makes regular donations to charity organizations, universities, and hospitals.
Steven A. Cohen
Steven A. Cohen was born in 1956. During his university years, he developed an interest in stock markets and even opened a brokerage account with $1,000 of his tuition money. After graduation, he got a job at Gruntal & Co. On his very first day, he earned the company $8,000. Eventually, that number grew to $100,000 per day.
In 1992, Cohen invested $25 million of his savings into establishing his hedge fund, S.A.C. Capital Advisors. Today, Cohen’s company manages billions of dollars in assets. Cohen’s estimated fortune is $10 billion. Named “the hedge fund king”, Cohen is the 30th richest person in the US.
Larry Williams is a famous stock and commodity trader. Born in Oregon, USA in 1944, Williams graduated from the Oregon University. He even spent some time working at an oil plant. Attracted to the finance industry, he started his trading career in 1966. Originally, Williams stuck with technical analysis and experimented with technical indicators. With time, his approach to trading changed. On the advice of a fellow trader, Williams made his first steps in futures and options trading. This is how Williams earned his first million dollars. Winning the 1987 World Cup Championship was another major achievement in William’s career. Within a year, he grew the starting capital of $10,000 by 11,000%. The victory sent his career into the stratosphere and made him one of the best traders worldwide.
Along with trading, Williams teaches finance courses at universities and business schools. He has had a prolific career as an author. His books, such as “Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading” and “Day Trade Futures Online”, provide valuable guidelines for both novices and pros.
Edward Lampert is an American businessman and investor. He was born in 1962 in New York. Lampert’s interest in trading stems from his grandmother, who owned a handful of stocks. In his early days, Lampert worked as a bank clerk by day and analyzed stock markets by night. As he was growing his capital, he earned his reputation among fellow traders.
When it comes to his trading methods and techniques, Lampert is not a fan of financial derivatives, credit leverage, scalping strategies, and small lots. Lampert prefers long-term trading, with his portfolio including 3 to 15 stocks.
In 1988, Lampert established ESL Investments. Lampert is also CEO and top shareholder of Sears Holdings. His assets are estimated at $2 billion.
The road to success is not an easy one. To become a recognized trader, you need to possess a whole bunch of qualities, such as discipline, patience, ability to take risks, persistence, etc. Ups and downs are an indispensable part of any trader’s career. You can’t avoid mistakes, and the best approach you can take is to learn from them. It’s also important to create a strategy that works for you and stick with it even in case of adversity. We hope that the stories of famous traders and investors will push you towards new heights and give you the courage to strive for more.