Who doesn't dream of greatness - swinging like Babe Ruth or punching like Muhammad Ali? But those guys are sports stars.
If you're like us, your heroes are the legendary all-star investors, the heavy hitters who knocked the cover off the ball time and again with their winning trades.
Following are the Fast Money icons - some of the greatest traders of all time.
By Lee BrodiePosted 8 June 2010
Claim To Fame: Shorted Crash of 1929
Nicknamed "Boy Plunger" Jesse Livermore is among the very few investors who profited handsomely from both the Panic of 1907 and the Great Crash of 1929 largely due to short positions that generated as much as $100 million.
His philosophy of trading is still widely citied, 'increase the size of your position if they're moving in your favor and cut losses quickly.' Livermore died in 1940 at the age of 67.
Position: Chairman, Soros Fund Management
Claim To Fame: Made $1 billion from UK Currency Crisis
Born Aug 12, 1930 in Budapest, Soros grew up in the shadows of Nazi Germany. He didn’t make a splash as a trader, however, until 1992 when he made $1 billion in a single day by betting against the British pound.
Sometimes called, "The Man Who Broke The Bank Of England" Soros currently runs a hedge fund and funds philanthropic causes.
Position: President & Founder, Tudor Investment Corporation
Claim To Fame: Predicted 1987 Black Monday
A one time broker for EF Hutton, Paul Tudor Jones is known for predicting the 1987 stock market crash and doubling his clients’ money in the process. As of 2009 he was worth an estimated $6.3 billion.
Jones also founded the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity committed to the fight against poverty in New York City.
Position: Founder, Renaissance Technologies
Claim To Fame: Founding Father of Quant Trading
A former mathematician, code-breaker and poker player, Renaissance Technologies founder Jim Simons is a pioneer of quantitative trading. He was among the very first to harness complex mathematical models to analyze and execute trades.
His hedge fund has returned more than 30 percent annually for the last 20 years. In January 2010 Simons retired from his firm and became President of Euclidean Capital.
Postion: Self Taught Investor
Claim to Fame: Developed BOX Theory of Stock Picking
A self taught investor and famous dancer (he toured with Judy Garland and Bob Hope), Darvas made a name for himself on Wall Street in the late 1950’s by implementing a series of trades that transformed $10,000 into $2 million over a period of only 18 months.
He attributed his profits to something called BOX theory, a mix of technical and fundamental analysis that’s still widely used today.
Position: President, Paulson & Co.
Claim To Fame: Shorted Housing Ahead Of The Real Estate Bubble
Considered to have executed “The Greatest Trade Ever” Paulson made financial history in 2006 as one of the very few investors who recognized the housing market was headed for a major fall.
By betting against risky mortgages and precarious financial firms he earned more than $15 billion. This year, his name surfaced in the SEC's civil fraud suit against Goldman Sachs, although his firm was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Position: Founder, SAC Capital Partners
Claim To Fame: Knack For Spotting Opportunity
Called “the most powerful trader on Wall Street,” by BusinessWeek, Cohen is also among the most reclusive. He’s famous for having an uncanny ability to make money regardless of market conditions.
According to published reports his first day on the job at Gruntal & Co., he made an $8,000 profit. As of 2009 he was worth $11.4 billion.
Position: Managing Director & CEO, Citadel Investment Group
Claim To Fame: Launched On Of The World's Largest Hedge Funds
Said to have had a penchant for investing since college, Ken Griffin began his trading career by launching two funds from his Harvard dorm room.
As the head of Citadel, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, he currently manages about $13 billion. On any given day his firm generates as much as 3% of the trading volume in New York.
Position: Co-Founder, Quantum Fund
Claim To Fame: Spotted Bull Market In Hard Assets
Co-founder of the legendary Quantum Fund with George Soros, Rogers is celebrated for his prowess in trading commodities; an ability that helped the Quantum Fund return 4200% in its first 10 years.
Author of Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market Rogers may have started his love affair with ‘real things’ as a boy, selling peanuts at baseball games.
Position: Founder, Centaurus Advisiors
Claim To Fame: Among World’s Best Energy Traders
With a net worth of $2.7 billion, the 30-something Arnold is said to be among the youngest billionaires in America. His prowess for energy trading generated $750 million for Enron in 2001.
But he’s best known for taking the other side of Amaranth Advisors' bad natural gas bet; he reportedly made as much as $2 billion personally from his winning short position.
Position: Founder, Bridgewater Associates Holdings
Claim To Fame: ‘Fundamental Principles’ Needed For Financial Success
With approximately $43 billion in assets in 2009, Ray Dalio runs Bridgewater Associates, the second largest hedge fund in the world. Students of business often study his ‘fundamental principles’ a kind of philosophy which Dalio says is the foundation for his great success.
The entire list is available to the public free of charge on Bridgewater's website. (Dalio declined to give us a photo.)