Do you know who the best traders of all time are?
Do you know what makes someone a great trader?
Consistency and Experience!
After experiencing a consistent string of success and failures one gains skills necessary to achieve the “Great Trader” status.
A great trader should be well versed with and adapted to skills such as decision making, should have patience, vision for the future, sharp instincts and also should have a deep understanding of the market.
One needs to understand the system of any field inside out, in order to pull the strings seamlessly.
Moreover, we can’t ignore the fact that a part of profit is credited to the trader’s luck, but the goal is to have more control over the outcome through sheer understanding and knowledge of trading and the market.
There are a plethora of highly skilled traders across the globe. But if you want to study trading, you will have to first study those handful top traders in the game who made it big.
Well then, who are these top traders?
We have a list!
List Trader, brings you a list of the 20 best traders of ALL TIME! Let’s discuss how they started and what they did to reach the top.
Top 20 traders of ALL TIME!
This list contains traders who are all well versed in their skills and have years of experience. Let’s have a look.
Ranking first on most of the “Top Traders” lists on the internet, Jesse Livermore earns the spotlight.
Livermore was famous for taking risks. He made big bets and lost and earned huge sums of money. He was one of the best traders in the market. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, a book based on him, is one of the most read books in the industry. A lot of traders practice his methodologies that still work in today’s markets.
He made a fortune for himself in the 1929 market crash, earning up to $100 million that is equivalent to billions today.
In those days accurate financial statements and information was rarely published, getting stock quotes was a difficult task. Livermore used technical analysis methodology as the basis for all his trades
He used to trade without the help of price charts or any algorithm but instead had the prices written down in a ledger. He also developed the fundamentals of pivot points which means observing a stock at key (pivotal) levels to see how it behaved. Then, he would place successful points in an arrangement called ‘pyramiding’, by taking smaller positions in a stock. This increased his risk but compounded his winnings.
Livermore liked to follow stock trends and avoided ranging markets. Also, a lot of traders used to follow Livermore’s methodologies.
Unfortunately, he lost most of his money in 1934, and later he took his own life in 1940.
George Soros is a successful Hungarian forex trader born in 1930. Soros Fund Management, owned by George Soros is a massively successful firm in the history of the hedge fund industry.
Soros is also a philanthropist, political activist and an author.
In 1992, the British government devalued the pound. Soros predicted this and was prepared. He then leveraged his hedge fund and sold billions of pounds. Later, after the devaluation he bought them back at a lower price.
This day was known as Black Wednesday.
What gave Soros a clear picture of asset bubbles and value discrepancies was his theory of cause and effect. This famous trade made him some of the quickest billion dollars anyone has ever made.
In 1992, Soros earned the title of “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England”. His short sale of $10 billion worth of pounds yielded him $1 billion profit in just 24 hours.
His views, practices and methodologies are widely shared in the financial world today.
James Rogers was born in 1942. He is the chairman of Rogers Holdings.
Rogers and Soros co-founded this Quantum Fund in the early 1970s. This gained them 4,200%. He is well-known for this growth in the portfolio, which he managed to achieve in as little as 10 years.
In the 1990s, Rogers was famous for his correct calls on commodities.
His books on his adventurous world travels were also famous.
He has been bearish in the US market since the early 80s. He has been predicting that real estate as well as consumer debt bubbles are going to burst.
Richard J. Dennis is known as the “Prince of the Pit”. He has been a successful commodities trader. Made a $200 million fortune in just 10 years? Only a handful of traders could pull this off. He did this with just $1,600 that he borrowed when he was 23 years old.
Not only was he a successful commodities trader but also launched the famous “Turtle Traders Group”. Dennis started trading at the Mid America Commodity exchange using mini contracts.
In 1973, with the help of his trading activities, he became an outstanding millionaire.
However, he also faced massive losses in 1987, during the Black Monday stock market crash and the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
Dennis is also known to experiment a lot. Him and William Eckhardt recruited traders and trained them how to trade futures. Eventually, these “Turtle Traders” made a $175 million profit in 4 years.
Paul Tudor Jones founded Tudor Investment Corporation, a leading hedge fund. Tudor Jones was known for making around $100 million from shorting stocks in the 1987 market crash.
People following the market take Paul Tudor Jones name and “Black Monday” (the stock market crash of 1987) in the same breath. He shorted various stocks during the market crash and made a $100 million profit.
John Paulson was born in 1995. He studied business at the New York University, Stern school of business.
He rose to the peak of the finance world after he made billions of dollars in 2007. He used credit default swaps to short sell the US subprime mortgage lending market.
He bid against mortgage-backed securities. He did this by investing in credit default swaps. With this trade he made roughly around $3.7 billion dollars. This trade gave him a ‘financial legend’ status.
Steven Cohen started a leading hedge fund known as SAC Capital Advisors that has been focusing on trading equities.
The SAC was called out by the Securities & Exchange Commission for failing to prevent insider trading. This happened in 2013. The SAC later agreed to compensate with a $1.2 billion dollar fine.
W.D. Gann was a trader who used ahead-of-time techniques. He was known to use market forecasting methods based on Geometry, Ancient Mathematics techniques and even Astrology.
The Gann angles, Gann fans, and the Square of 9 were a few of his mysterious tools that he used for forecasting. Along with being a trader, William Delbert Gann was also a writer. He wrote a number of books and courses.
Nick Leeson is a derivatives trader. He was behind the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995.
He was heading up the bank’s operations in Singapore before the scandal and made massive profits through his trades. However, he had a few bad trades and eventually started to lose huge amounts of money.
He then hid these losses from the bank. He tried to get the capital back by placing more speculative bets. This included a short straddle on the Nikkei. Unfortunately, a drop in the index was seen overnight. This was influenced by the Kobe earthquake. Barings Bank lost more than $1 billion dollars despite all attempts to regain the losses.
Leeson tried to flee but was arrested in Germany and faced four years in prison in Singapore. He later became the CEO of an Irish football club, Galway United.
David Tepper is the founder of a successful hedge fund known as Appaloosa Management.
David Tepper was an expert distressed debt investor. He also has made several appearances on CNBC. His statements are closely watched by traders.
Tepper bought bank stocks low and then sold them high. This made him billions of dollars of profits.
He has donated $55 million to his alma mater, Carnegie Melon. This caused the university to change its business school’s name to “David A. Tepper School of Business”.
All these eminent figures have consistently faced success as well as failures in their lives. As a result, they have sharpened their instincts with time. They know what works and what doesn’t.
If you too want to become a successful trader or a businessman, follow the footsteps of the ones who have succeeded as well as failed. Never stop learning at every opportunity. Never stop taking calculated risks. There are a plethora of overnight hacks to make profits, but only hard work and consistency will make you a great trader.