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Top 10 Most Successful Investors in Currency Trading

It’s hard to imagine how a single person can make $1 billion USD (yes, billion, with a b) in a single day, yet somehow George Soros got his hands on that colossal amount by short selling 10 billion GBP for a profit of 1.2 billion USD. What makes exchange currency trading even more fascinating is that he isn’t the only financial daredevil performing incomprehensible stunts. If you’re ready to try your hand at the currency trading exchange, then here are the stories of 10 financial wizards who routinely make impossible things possible in the currency trading market.

10 Most Successful Investors in Currency Trading

  • George Soros
  • Andy Krieger
  • Ray Dalio
  • Steven A. Cohen
  • Bill Lipschutz
  • Bruce Kovner
  • Chris Larsen
  • Joseph Lubin
  • Changpeng Zhao

What Is Currency Trading?

Online currency trading can be split into two distinct groups of investors: those involved in foreign exchange currency trading and those involved in cryptocurrency trading.

The first seven traders on this list of successful investors made their money with foreign currency trading while the last three made it in digital currency trading, also known as cryptocurrency trading.

So, for the sake of clearer exposition, we shall break currency trading strategies into two distinct groups—forex currency trading and digital currency trading. The reason for this division is not arbitrary. Each form of money making uses different currency trading platforms and calls for different currency trading strategies. By analogy, football and basketball are both ball games, but nobody would confuse one with the other. So, it’s a mistake to assume that making money in the forex market is similar to digital currency trading just because both use money as a medium of exchange.

What is Forex?

Forex is a global foreign exchange market. It’s a decentralized market which means that you can trade fx online. This currency trading platform is huge, far bigger than the stock market, doing an average trading volume of $5 trillion a day. Currency exchange trading is continuous, with the market open 24 hours a day during the workweek, starting from 22:00 GMT in Sydney, Australia, until 22:00 in New York, USA.

Due to the enormous size of forex, it’s favored by central and commercial banks, brokers and firms, and visionary individuals. The market has a simple function: manage currency exchange rates to make it easy for importers and exporters to convert one currency into another.

How Does Currency Trading Work?

You can make money trading currency through day trading currency or currency futures trading. Access to the forex trading market is simple. After you learn currency trading, you will need to access a currency trading app by opening up a trading account on the internet with an accredited FOREX broker. You can then begin online currency trading based on the exchange rate between two national currencies.

Another route to getting involved is to apply for currency trading jobs after you have learned the currency trading basics from a reputable organization.

Learning Currency Trading

Although trading currency futures is often hyped by online currency trading courses as a way to get rich fast, this claim is not necessarily accurate. While you will learn the basics of how to make money trading U.S. futures, futures currency trading, base currency, currency pairs, currency trading taxes, and so on, you’re not likely to get rich unless you’re a hedge fund with deep pockets or an individual with unusual currency trading skills.

With that caveat in mind, let’s look at how a few world-class investors made a fortune trading foreign currency.

Top 7 Most Successful Investors in Foreign Exchange Currency Trading

1. George Soros

George Soros is considered one of the most successful investors of all time and often referred to as “the man who broke the bank of England” because on September 16th, 1992, he shorted the Great British Pound.

An American investor from Hungary, he is widely known as a political activist and philanthropist.  The founder of Soros Fund Management, LLC, comes from humble beginnings, initially working as a railway porter, waiter, and merchant bank employee before gravitating toward the world of foreign exchange trading.

His trading strategy is short-term speculation, making large, highly-leveraged bets based on market behavior. First, he studies an interesting anomaly in the marketplace, observing how the market as a whole is moving, and then he lets the direction of the market dictate whether he should go long or short. He refers to his trading strategy as “reflectivity.”

2. Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, a billionaire investor, ties with George Soros when it comes to the astonishing feat of earning a billion dollars in a year. In 2014, he accrued $1.2 billion. He is the founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world.

Interestingly enough, his claim to fame is not his financial coups, which rank with the best currency traders, nor to any unusual trading strategies, but to his organizational genius. His unconventional principles on how to achieve business success are encoded in a book he wrote, called Principles for Success, which was downloaded more than 3 million times as a pdf file before it became available in print.

3.  Andy Krieger

Andy Krieger has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most aggressive traders. He graduated from Wharton, moved on to Salomon Brothers, and, in 1986, joined Banker’s Trust. There his hyper-aggressive forex trading impressed the company’s board of directors. While most of the traders were given a cap of $50 million, his trading limit was $700 million.

According to Krieger, October 19th, 1987 was “the end of the world.” On this Black Monday, the Dow Jones plummeted 22 percent.  Worldwide panic followed. Global markets, on average, fell more than 20 percent. Krieger noticed something: NZD, the Kiwi, was vulnerable. He took it down with a 400:1 leverage and made a profit of $300 million in one second.

His trading strategy is to use a lot of leverage on a marketing opportunity and then swoop down on it. He is absolutely decisive, acting without hesitation, making trades that others would balk at. With a trading limit of $700 million at his disposal, the Kiwi had little chance against his quick action.

4. Steven A. Cohen

When Steve Cohen was a boy, he quit his job as a grocery store clerk because he made much more from his poker winnings. Poker taught him the psychology of winning at high-stakes investments.

Born and raised on Long Island, he attended the Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania, trading in the FOREX market between classes. After college, he worked at Gruntal & Co, a boutique banking and broker organization, as a junior trader. Within six years, he was managing his own options arbitrage group. Then, eight years later, he launched SAC Capital Advisors. In 2016, he started Point72, which he describes as a “family office” because he and his employees used it for their own trades.

His current net worth of $13 billion may be due to his understanding of the psychology of trading. Leveraging the life-lessons of his poker playing youth, his strategy at SAC included hiring a psychiatrist to coach his traders to develop the right mindset to reduce stress and rack up wins.

His success as a trader isn’t due to a singular win, but an accumulation of outstanding long-term returns. He is commonly regarded as Warren Buffett in reverse. While Buffett is legendary for his carefully considered value-investing strategy, Cohen focuses on rapidly-evaluated short-term trades and has been known to enter as many as 300 a day. If Buffett’s fame rests on his mastery of the art of slow-motion investing, Cohen corners the market on fast-paced transactions.

5. Bill Lipschutz 

Bill Lipschutz earned the sobriquet as “the Sultan of currency” when he took Salomon Brother’s revenues up to $300 million dollars a year once he became their main trader.

His meteoric ascendancy from neophyte to financial guru was itself impressive. Long story short, he joined the Salomon Brothers investment company training program in 1982. At the time, the foreign exchange market was becoming popular among investors, so the firm created a future currency trading division in response. Only two years later, he became the company’s main trader. Salomon Brothers steadily improved on their earnings every year until he moved on in 1990.

Although his performance impressed the professional world of traders, his knack for performing miracles goes back to his college years. While earning his MBA in finance at The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, an Ivy League university in Ithaca, New York, he turned a $12k bequest from his grandmother into $250k.

The most instructive aspect of his rise to financial success was not how he turned a small amount of money into a big sum, but what he learned after he lost everything on bad investments. This reversal of fortunes taught him the secret of fiscal greatness: risk management. It was this skill more than any other that helped him excel at Salomon Brothers.

 6. Bruce Kovner

Bruce Kovner ranks as one of the most famous forex traders in the world for an unlikely reason: he is the opposite of men like Soros or Krieger, men famed for their big bets, winner-takes-all trading strategies. Instead, Kovner is usually described as “objective” and “sober.”

His story is similar to that of Lipschutz.  He turned a modest amount of money into a large sum, lost it all, and then became a paragon of risk-management thinking. In 1977, when he was 32 years of age, he borrowed $3,000 from his credit card to buy soybean futures. It earned $40,000. He then began to experience the proverbial fall from grace, but, through careful strategizing, saved the contract and ended up closing it at $23,000. His takeaway lesson, he said, was learning everything there is to know about risk management.

He later turned his attention away from commodity trading to forex. As a commodity trader for Commodities Corporation, he generated millions of dollars based on the strength of his temperate trading style. Then, as an employee of Caxton Corporation, he helped the asset management company with it foreign exchange market trades, as well as other assets. At its height, with some help from Kovner, the firm generated over $14 billion.

Top 3 Most Successful Investors in Digital Currency Trading

Cryptocurrency is not created by a government nor a central bank, nor is it money in the normal way that we understand the word–as notes and coins that you can stuff into a physical wallet or withdraw in cash from a bank account.

Instead, it’s a decentralized digital currency, and a wallet is a virtual thing. It’s based on a peer-to-peer network, with transactions confirmed by a digital currency trading platform called the blockchain, which is a public ledger. The currency is created through a process of generating algorithms through resource-intensive computers, a process which is called “mining.”

Despite its rather abstract nature, this unusual form of currency does what money is supposed to do—buy and sell, facilitating transactions through an exchange of value.  Essentially, it transfers value represented by cryptocoins through the medium of the public ledger.

Just like the foreign exchange market, this market has its superstars. The three biggest players in the world at the time of this writing are Chris Larsen, Joseph Lubin, and Changpeng Zhao

1. Chris Larsen.

Chris Larsen, who co-founded Ripple, has an estimated net worth of $8 billion. Most of his wealth is tied up in XRP, which is the name of Ripple’s cryptocurrency. Incidentally, Mark Zuckerberg is also a major holder of XRPs, but Larsen’s hold of 5.19 billion XRPs gives him a comfortable lead.

2. Joseph Lubin.

Joseph Lubin, who co-founded Ethereum comes in second, and his net worth is estimated to be between $1 billion all the way up to $5 billion.

3.  Changpeng Zhao.

Changpeng Zhao from Tokyo comes in third. He is the founder of Binance and is estimated to be worth between $1 and $2 billion. Launched as recently as July 2017, the cryptocurrency has more than 6 million users.

Conclusion: Making Money Currency Trading

These ten examples of people who make unimaginable fortunes should inspire you to understand that anything is possible in the world of high finance — if you have enough will and determination.

While it’s possible to look at highly successful traders as either lucky or gifted, or blessed with a large enough financial balance to take full advantage of market leverage, this is not a constructive way to understand what it really takes to do well with futures currency trading or trading in cryptos. Savvy traders are made, not born. After studying currency trading basics, they became increasingly proficient over time through disciplined effort.

Now that you are more familiar with basic currency trading and the two distinct currency markets, forex trading and digital currency trading, how do you start either currency trading forex or currency trading cryptos?

Like anything, start at the beginning. Acquire the knowledge and specific skills you need to become successful at trading. Learn basic trading concepts like day currency trading, currency trading futures, and how to pay currency trading tax. Once you learn about these, you can start to make money currency trading.

The basics of a currency trading education will open up new worlds for you. Now that you understand the essentials, you can either trade your own funds or join a financial firm and grow your fortune based on commissions. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Foreign Currency Investment here at Treasury Vault for even more information.