You might be familiar with a commonly referenced (and quite anecdotal) statistic that says 75-90% of Forex traders lose money. This figure is often cited in various articles and ‘how to’ guides, with the express goal of installing a little caution in the reader who is, presumably, a new Forex trader and potentially a little excitable or over-impulsive.
The motive behind the reference is simple: be careful out there because many people lose their shirts trading Forex, and we agree with the statistic and commend its use as a cautionary tool. The fact is that many people do lose money Trading Forex, and you must exercise extreme caution while learning the ropes. So, take heed of the warning, and tread very carefully to begin with.
However, the statistic in question doesn’t tell the whole story and belies one simple truth: if more people exercised caution, adopted a low-risk strategy, and remained mindful of common trading mistakes, that figure could be heavily reduced.
Way too many people rush into Forex ill-prepared and abandon risk prevention techniques at the first sign of gains. A large portion of new traders adopt no strategy at all, and some even begin trading without ever setting foot near a demo account. Given these considerations, it is hardly surprising that such a huge percentage of traders see negative returns.
In other words, while we would encourage you to be mindful of statistics such as that, we would also ask you to consider that many of those in the ‘losing camp’ failed to adopt basic principles such as the three P’s: patience, prudence, and preparation.
Let’s Celebrate the Winners
At the other end of this statistic, you will find the 10-25% of traders who are profiting from the Forex market. In stark contrast to the ill-prepared majority, this percentage of traders represents a broad range of success, from modest to dynamic.
Most of them are making humble but regular profits each month – probably not enough to quit their nine-to-five but within touching distance. Some of them have indeed quit their day jobs and now trade Forex full-time, making adequate profits regularly while enjoying the freedom of being self-employed.
Then there is the very small minority who are – as the popular but somewhat cliched term goes – killing it.
So, while we applaud the commonly lauded warnings and caveats about trading Forex (and constantly dispense them ourselves, here at InvestinGoal), we believe it is only fair that the traders at the other end of the spectrum receive a little attention, and so, today, that is what we are going to do.
Six of the Best
Through this article, we are going to turn the spotlight on six Forex traders who have amassed absolute fortunes on the Forex market to such a degree that they have achieved something akin to folklore status. There is no ‘Hall of Fame’ for Forex traders – that would, of course, be quite ridiculous – but if there was, you can guarantee these folks would be on it.
The traders in this group demonstrate that it is possible to make staggering wealth trading Forex. Unlikely? Yes, very much so. These people are in the small minority, after all, and those who make billions trading Forex are very few and far between. But still possible, nevertheless.
In the spirit of drawing inspiration while highlighting the potential for substantial profits, let’s take a look at the fascinating narratives of these near-legendary traders, lightly explore their successful strategies, and possibly spark some inspiration in your own trading journeys.
1. George Soros: The Man Who Broke the Bank of England
Our grand tour of Forex legends starts with none other than George Soros, a name that rings a pretty loud bell in the corridors of Forex trading history. Known for his uncanny knack for unearthing economic trends and leveraging them for large-scale trades, Soros etched his name in gold in 1992 in a rather controversial manner.
That year, he managed to short-sell the British pound to such an effect that he pocketed more than $1 billion, landing himself the title “the man who broke the Bank of England.”
Soros once declared, “I am only rich because I know when I’m wrong.” This echoes a valuable trait in successful Forex trading: the humility to admit when you are wrong. For any high-flying Forex trader, recognizing mistakes and swiftly rectifying them is crucial, helping to minimize losses in the long run.
This type of ‘fail forward’ attitude towards anything in life (but especially trading) is a healthy trait to adopt overall. Successful people often embrace mistakes, seeing them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
It is an attitude that has worked very well for Soros, in any event – this principle has helped him to amass a net worth of around $7 billion.
2. Stanley Druckenmiller: The Mentor’s Protégé
As something of an illustrious Forex trader, Stanley Druckenmiller started his trading legacy under George Soros’s tutelage at Soros’s Quantum Fund. Having ridden on the coattails of Soros’s legendary success during Black Wednesday, Druckenmiller established his own footprint with impressive profits at his brainchild, Duquesne Capital.
He has amassed an incredible fortune to date – somewhere in the region of $5 billion, currently – easily warranting his place among the top Forex traders on the globe.
Druckenmiller has adopted a capital-preservation-based trading strategy, going full throttle when his trades work well and then quickly taking his foot off the gas (and cutting losses) when they don’t. You might say he understands the value of seizing opportunities when they are right (with an uncanny ability to pounce at the best moment) while also containing damage successfully when those opportunities do not work out so well.
“The mistake I’d say that 98 percent of individuals make is they feel like they’ve got to be playing with a bunch of stuff,” Druckenmiller once said during his Lost Tree Club speech. “If you really feel it, put all your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket very carefully.”
While we certainly do not encourage such a risky strategy – that would go against all of our principles here at Investingoal – when it comes from an investor who has made ten figures and counting, it must be acknowledged to some degree.
3. Bill Lipschutz: Rising from the Ashes
Bill Lipschutz’s journey into trading began at university in the 1970s, where he took $12,000 inherited from his grandmother and flipped it into $250,000 trading Forex. But just as it seemed that the stars were aligning for Lipschutz, he lost it all in one catastrophic decision that instantly wiped him out.
However, he refused to call it quits. Soldiering on with a never-say-die attitude, he eventually joined Salomon Brothers’ Foreign Exchange Department, where, by 1985, he was making an astonishing $300 million per year. Lipschutz later founded Heathersage Capital Management, specializing in G10 currency trading.
Like many successful Forex traders, Lipschutz believes that market perceptions can sway price action as much as the core fundamentals. He is a firm believer in making the most out of the times you are right, once famously saying, “You have to figure out how to make money from being right only 20 to 30 percent of the time.”
4. Andrew Krieger: The High Stakes Maverick
Andrew Krieger is another towering figure in the vast cannons of Forex trading history. Krieger graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business and, after a stint at Salomon Brothers, joined the Bankers Trust in 1986. His aggressive trading style endeared him to his bosses, who gave him a mammoth trading limit of $700 million, a far cry from the usual $50 million.
In the fallout of the Black Monday crash in 1987, Krieger saw an opportunity where others saw doom and despair. He perceived the New Zealand dollar as overvalued and initiated a gigantic short position against the currency. His position was so large, in fact, that it reportedly exceeded the entire money supply of New Zealand. This bold move netted his employers a huge $300 million.
5. Paul Tudor Jones: The Fortune Seer
Paul Tudor Jones is easily one of the best Forex traders in the world, with a colossal net worth north of around $8 billion. His trading journey began with cotton futures at the New York Cotton Exchange, where he was actually fired for sleeping on the job, believe it or not. But that minor setback didn’t deter him.
In 1980, Jones founded Tudor Investment Corporation, dealing with a variety of assets, including currencies, commodities, and equities. One of his most notable feats was successfully predicting and shorting the Black Monday crash in 1987, which netted him $100 million.
A truly inspiring figure, Jones’s story teaches us that setbacks are merely stepping stones to success – and if you feel like a little nap, go ahead and take one.
6. Michael Marcus: The Master of Patience and Discipline
One of the most extraordinary Forex traders around today, Michael Marcus is renowned for transforming a modest $30,000 into an astronomical $80 million within a short span of just under two decades. His extraordinary journey to Forex stardom started as one of the founding members of the Commodities Corporation Company.
Blessed with the mentorship of the revered trader Ed Seykota, Marcus continued the mentorship tradition by guiding another eminent trader, Bruce Kovner. Marcus’s unparalleled trading philosophy centers around patience and meticulous money management – keeping a vigilant eye on everything at all times.
He once remarked, “Always bet less than 5 percent of your money on any one idea. That way, you can be wrong more than twenty times; it will take you a long time to lose your money”. Again, that is not a strategy we endorse here at InvestinGoal, but when it is dispensed by a successful trader such as Marcus, it is hard to dismiss entirely.
During Ronald Reagan’s administration, Marcus tactfully and aggressively leveraged the strong dollar to take significant positions in the market. He has previously revealed that he often held positions nearing a staggering $300 million in Deutsch marks, among others.
Marcus’s extraordinary trading acumen and wisdom are a lesson to the significance of patience and strict money management on the path to becoming a successful Forex trader.
While the metaphorical Hall of Fame is firmly occupied by those six people mentioned above, there are countless others worth mentioning. Take for instance, Bruce Kovner. Initially, a student of the school of Michael Marcus, Kovner’s journey from a humble (albeit very happy) taxi driver to a billionaire Forex trader is a story usually reserved only for inspirational movies.
Of all the people on this list, he may be our favorite. What’s not to adore about a taxi driver becoming a billionaire, after all?
Another shining light of success would be none other than Ed Seykota. Renowned for his systematic and diligent approach to trading, Seykota has, over time, evolved into a concrete-staunch advocate of automated trading systems.
Linda Bradford Raschke also deserves a mention, especially as a standout in what is a predominantly male-dominated trading arena. Raschke has broken barriers and glass ceilings with her robust methodologies and razor-sharp gut instinct for the markets.
The truth is that there are countless people all over the world who serve as inspiration, proving that with dedication, patience, and the right strategy, Forex trading can indeed pave the way to huge profits.
Extreme wealth acquired from trading Forex definitely does not have to be a pipe dream for anyone reading this: and while the chances of doing so are, of course, on the extremely slim side, it really can happen.
This article is designed to provide you with insight – albeit a very brief one – into the world of some serious players in the Forex markets. The idea here isn’t to mirror their strategies or try to mimic any tactical aspects of their approach. If that were the intention, we would have gone into far greater detail.
That is not the point of this article. This is simply an entertaining and quite brief synopsis of some very well-established and extremely wealthy players. While you may draw inspiration from their journeys, it would be our suggestion that you carve out your own Forex path, aiming to succeed in your own way.
All the tools are out there to make Forex work for you. There are countless strategies and principles to follow and embrace, and a ton of online resources are available to new traders. Exercise caution, be diligent and studious, and it is indeed quite possible to do very well out of the Forex markets.
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