Take Inspiration From These Top 10 Financial Investors

Investors don’t agree on much, but they do agree that earning money in the market requires a consistent approach based on a set of criteria. Consider your first several years as an investor. If you’re like many others, you entered the market with minimal understanding. If you don’t already have your own carefully formed set of investment principles, now is the time to start, and the greatest place to begin is by asking others who have had success in their investing careers and to kick that off what is best than taking inspiration from some of the most successful top 10 financial investors in the history.

1. David Swensen

In our list of the top 10 financial investors to take inspiration from, is David Swensen. David Swensen created a name for himself in finance by combining portfolio management with teaching. He is in charge of more than $27 billion in assets, as well as hundreds of millions in additional investments, as Yale’s endowment manager. Swensen became a contemporary legend among endowment managers after working on financial innovations for Wall Street during the 1980s. By 2016, he and his Yale proteges were in charge of more than $100 billion in endowment funds at institutions such as MIT, Stanford, and Princeton. Swensen promotes shifting away from the traditionally conservative stocks-and-bonds-based investing methods in favor of the larger horizons of real estate, private equity, and venture capital, as documented in his book “Pioneering Portfolio Management.”

2. Warren Buffett

The media considers Warren Buffett, an American investor, corporate magnate, and philanthropist, to be one of the world’s most successful investors. He is the chairman and biggest stakeholder of Berkshire Hathaway and is known as the ‘Oracle’ or ‘Sage’ of Omaha. Notably, he has vowed to donate a large percentage of his fortune to charitable organizations.

3. Michael Steinhardt

Next on our list of the top 10 financial investors to take inspiration from is Michael Steinhardt. Michael Steinhardt has been crowned “The Greatest Trader in Wall Street History” by Forbes magazine. In 1967, he founded the hedge fund Steinhardt Partners. Between 1967 and 1995, the hedge fund provided investors with a remarkable 24.7 percent annualized return after fees. Steinhardt pocketed 20% of the proceeds. A $10,000 investment in Steinhardt Partners in 1967 would have risen to $4.8 million by the time he closed his fund in 1995. That’s amazing, given that his fund lost one-third of its value during the 1994 bond market crisis.

4. George Soros

George Soros is well recognized for being the guy who “broke the Bank of England.” He bet $10 billion on a single move in September 1992, shorting the British Pound. He was right, and he profited nearly $1 billion in a single day. The overall deal is expected to be worth about $2 billion. He is also well-known for administering his Quantum Fund, which had an average yearly return of more than 30% when he was the primary manager.

Soros focuses on translating broad macroeconomic patterns into highly leveraged bonds and commodities trades. Soros is the odd man out of the Top 10 Greatest Investors since he doesn’t have a clearly defined approach, instead opting for a speculative strategy based on his intuition.

Additional Read: Top 10 Wealth Creation Books You Should Read

5. Bill Miller

Speaking of streaks, Bill Miller rose to prominence at an asset management company – Legg Mason by outperforming the market for 15 consecutive years from 1991 to 2005. In May 2017, his Opportunity Trust mutual fund gained 13.9 percent, compared to 7.8 percent for the S&P 500.
The outstanding success of Opportunity Trust may be attributed in part to Buffett-style value investing. Though overexposure and illiquid investments during the Great Recession were a low point for Miller, a 2017 recovery was mostly due to long-held shares in Apple, a long-term value investment that shot up by 32% in the first half of 2017.

6. John Templeton

Over a 60-year period, John Templeton pioneered the use of diversified mutual funds and produced consistently remarkable results. During the 1939 stock market crash, Templeton borrowed $10,000 and purchased 100 shares of every stock priced under $1 on the New York Stock Exchange. All but four of the stocks would turn a profit, and he sold them for more than $40,000 four years later. A $10,000 investment in the Templeton Growth Fund in 1954 would have grown to $2 million by 1992. 

7. Walter Schloss

Walter Schloss was a Benjamin Graham disciple and a famed value investor. He never attended college. Instead, in 1934, he began working as a runner on Wall Street. Before starting his own investment business in 1955, he worked for Benjamin Graham. His fund generated yearly returns of 21.3 percent between 1956 and 1984. In 2003, Schloss ceased handling the funds of others. The WJS Partnership averaged a 20% compound return during the course of its 48-year life.

8. Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is most known for overseeing the Fidelity Magellan Fund for more than 13 years, during which time his assets under management climbed from $20 million to more than $14 billion. More crucially, Lynch outperformed the S&P500 Index in 11 of the 13 years, with an average yearly return of 29%.

9. Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian was not a stock market expert, yet he was a renowned investor regardless. Born to immigrants, he saved his World War II earnings as a pilot, purchased a $5,000 Cessna, and temporarily flew professionally before purchasing the modest Trans International Airlines for $60,000 in 1947. He expanded it significantly and sold it for $104 million in 1968. He invested his fortune in Las Vegas and Hollywood, constructing numerous large resorts and casinos and purchasing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Kerkorian was valued at $4 billion at the time of his death in 2015.

10. Stanley Druckenmiller

Last on our list of the top 10 financial investors to take inspiration from is Stanley Druckenmiller. He is a protégé of George Soros, is one of the greatest investors of all time. His trading strategy is reminiscent of George Soros’. In the 1990s, he was the director of Soros Fund Management’s Quantum Fund. In 1981, Druckenmiller established his own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital, which has returned an average of 30% per year to investors over a 30-year span. Druckenmiller has made some incredibly risky bets in his investment career, only to backtrack when he recognized he was incorrect.