George Soros: Biography and Investment Life

George Soros is one of the most controversial investors in contemporary history. For some, he is a successful philanthropist, for others, the mastermind behind several of the problems plaguing Europe and the world.

george soros net worth

The truth is that, he's one of the greatest investors in history with extraordinary returns and the trainer of several successful managers who have worked with him in his active years.

  • Birth name: György Schwartz.
  • Birth: August 12, 1930.
  • Place: Budapest, Hungary.
  • Known for: Being one of the most famous investors in the world.
  • Political party: Democratic Party.
  • Notable works: The Alchemy of Finance (1988), The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered (1998), The Financial Storm: Why Markets Can Only Survive with Rules (2012).
  • Wives: Annaliese Witschak (1960-1983), Susan Weber (1983-2005), Tamiko Bolton (married since 2013).
  • Children: He has 5 children. He has 3 with Annaliese Witschak: Robert Daniel, Andrea and Jonathan Tivadar; and 2 with Susan Weber: Alexander and Gregory James.

Biography of George Soros

George Soros

George Soros (György Schwartz) was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 12, 1930 to a Jewish family. His upbringing was disrupted by the Nazi's arrival in Hungary and he thankfully survived the Nazi's occupation. This, thanks to a false identity used by his family, which would help dozens of Hungarian Jews escape Nazi persecution.

The Soros family changed their name from the German-Jewish “Schwartz” to “Soros” in 1936 to protect themselves in an increasingly anti-Semitic environment in Hungary.

In 1947, his family left Budapest due to the occupation of the Soviet Union. First, they went to Paris and then later settle in London. His first job would be a nightclub doorman and at railway stations.

Meanwhile, he would begin his studies at one of the leading business schools in the world, the London School of Economics, where he was a student of the philosopher Karl Popper.

At the prestigious institution, Soros obtained a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy in 1951 and then graduated with a Master's degree in Philosophy in 1954.

In 1956 he migrated to the United States where he would begin his financial career and 14 years later he launched the Soros Fund Management that has catapulted him to stardom.

Soros's career as an Investor

In 1954, Soros began working at the Singer & Friedlander bank in London, eventually entering the arbitrage department. Later, he applied to work at the brokerage house of a friend's father in New York.

Soros achieved his goal and moved to New York to work at F. M. Mayer, specializing in European stocks. Three years later, he moved to Wertheim & Co. His idea was to save enough to return to England.

Soros developed the theory of reflexivity during this period. This theory postulates that the feedback loops are generated in financial markets, influencing the price on the fundamentals, which in turn will influence the price again. The theory was influenced by his philosophy studies.

Simply, If the price goes up, it will attract more investors, which will make the prices rise even more, even if there is no fundamental reason for the quotes to increase. Thus, scenarios like the previous one are what generate financial bubbles.

In Soros's professional career, he moved to Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder in 1963 where he became the vice president. In 1969, from that company, he created the hedge fund Double Eagle, of four million dollars, which included $250,000 of his own capital. By 1973, the fund had rose to 12 million USD.

In 1970, Soros founded the Soros Fund Management and in 1973 he resigned from the administration of Double Eagle and created the Soros Fund, later renamed as Quantum Fund.

In 2013, the Quantum Fund made profits of 5.5 billion dollars. Since its creation, the fund had generated 40 billion dollars in profits.

It was reported as at the time of writing this article that the assets under management of Soros Fund Management total about 6.49 billion dollars.

Is George Soros one of the best investors in history?

Analyzing the image below we deduce see that Soros and his fund are at the top of the great investors in history and most importantly, he is one of those who has maintained outperformance over the S & P 500 for the longest time.

who is george soros

How does George Soros invest?

Soros would joined legendary investor, Jim Rogers, and they collaborate several hedge funds, such as the Quantum Fund. In 1977, Stanley Druckenmiller would join this group of aces, a young unknown to the general public, but who today is recognized as one of the great investors in history. Druckenmiller played be a key piece in one of the most famous episodes of Soros's investment career.

Much of the wisdom and operation in the early years of hedge fund management is collected in Soros's book, The Alchemy of finance.

In 1985, he have his first big year with more than 100% profitability. His bet on the fall of the dollar and rotating the bond portfolio to stocks was a great boost to his theory of reflexivity that has given him such good results over the years.

In 1992, the operation that took him to the top arrived with his bearish bet on the British pound and the defeat of the Bank of England.

Soros and Druckenmiller positioned themselves bullish on the German mark and bearish on the British pound. Their bet basically lay in the fact that the Bank of England would not be able to maintain the pound within the pre-established levels and the fall of the British currency would lead to an appreciation of the German mark.

On September 16, the Bank of England surrendered and suspend its membership in the European Monetary System (EMS), and Soros pocket more than 1.1 billion pounds.

But everything isn't bed of roses for George Soros, although with less media noise, Soros would be greatly affected by the 1998 Russian crisis that took down another of the most mythical hedge funds: Long Term Capital Fund, managed by several Nobel laureates in Economics.

George Soros was blamed by the IMF for triggering this crisis by publishing an article in the Financial Times stating that the Asian crisis was far from over and that the ruble should depreciate at least 25%.

In 2011 and in the face of regulatory change, Soros' hedge fund group would return the money to its participants and become a family office that manages family wealth. Druckenmiller would leave the firm to focus on his own investment company, Duquesne Capital, and Jim Rogers after his success, would retire and dedicate himself to traveling the world by motorcycle.

George Soros is now retired and the helm of his empire is mainly passing to his son Alexander, according to the latest information.

What is Soros' current portfolio?

Soros' investments in listed companies are available in the files of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and you can easily find it on any of the platforms that offer information about hedge funds.

Note that on these platforms you will only find investments in listed companies, but the Hedge fund may have exposure in currencies, derivatives and other assets that do not appear in these reports.

These are Soros' main investments, at the time of editing this article, according to whalewisdom:

StockPortfolio Weight
Alphabet Inc2.6%
Abcam PLC2%
Novo Nordisk AS2%
Liberty Broadband Corp1.8%
AerCap Holdings NV1.7%
CRH PLC1.6% INc.1.4%

These are the main investments of Soros, but the Hedge fund may have exposure to other assets that do not appear in these reports.

Note: The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice.

Always do your own research before making any investment decisions.

Investing in the stock market involves risk and you should only invest money that you can afford to lose.

Happy investing!

Attempted Murder

In October 2018, a homemade bomb was placed in the mailbox of Soros's house in New York. The package was discovered and reported to the authorities.

Days after the attack, similar bombs were mailed to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other figures of the Democratic Party and liberals.

The FBI initiated an investigation, after which César Sayoc was arrested in Aventura, Florida, on October 26, 2018. Sayoc was sentenced in August 2019 to 20 years in prison for sending 16 bombs to 13 victims. Fortunately, none of the devices exploded.

George Soros's Books and Philanthropy

One of the most controversial aspects of this investor is the work of his Open Society Foundation. There are hundreds of videos, conspiracy articles, among others, that accuse Soros of all the evils that happen to the world.

What you should know is that the Open Society Foundation has invested billions of dollars of Soros's wealth in social projects and that a large part of his legacy will go towards its maintenance.

Soros mainly arouses criticism from the most conservative circles, as he has supported progressive causes, addressing issues of inequality, climate change, and human rights, and such controversial topics as the legalization of marijuana.

Moreover, he invested in the campaign to prevent the re-election of George W. Bush.

Soros is also a very prolific writer. Thus, he has written 15 books and hundreds of essays and opinion articles in the main financial newspapers worldwide. Despite his advanced age, he has the power to shake the financial markets with just an opinion column.

His work is so varied that the main compilations of his essays exceed 800 pages.

The most well-known books by Soros are the following:

  • The Alchemy of Finance (1987)
  • The Financial Storm (2012)
  • Crisis of Capitalism (1999)

Also, in the book The Market Wizard you can find a lot of information about Druckenmiller's time at the Quantum Fund.

In 2019, a movie about his life called Soros, directed by Jesee Dylan, was released. It is available on Prime Video.

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FAQs about George Soros

What was George Soros trading strategy?

His strategy is mostly based on taking a massive one-way bets on the movement of currency rates, commodity prices, stocks bonds, derivatives, and other assets. This strategy can be called a Macroeconomic analysis.

What is George Soros philosophy?

Soros developed the the theory of reflexibility to extend his ideas and lesson he learnt from Karl Popper, his tutor at the London School of Economics. His Reflexibility theory provides an argument that market valies are driven by the fallible ideas of it participant.

Is George Soros a good investor?

George Soros is one of the most successful and impactful investor in the financial world. His Soros Fund Management valued at about $7 billion and he personally worth a about $6.7 billion according to Forbes reecord.

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