Category Archives: Soros

Behind The Money: George Soros

George Soros is one of the most famous investors of the modern era. He made almost two billion dollars in a single trade in 1992 and boasted a 30 percent annual return in his Quantum Fund until he retired in 2000. Since then, he has used his vast personal wealth for personal and political causes in American politics, as well as philanthropy. In this post, we will describe his background, financial accomplishments, and recent activities.
Soros is Hungarian by origin. He was born in Hungary in 1930, but left the country after World War II and moved to London, where he attended the London School of Economics. He got his first job in finance in London. He later moved to New York City and began rising through the ranks of a variety of banks. In 1973 Soros founded his own company. He ran that company and oversaw day to day trading operations for about 18 years, posting returns over 30 percent in every year. He began transitioning out of day to day work in the 1980s, but remained connected to finance.
In 1992, Soros made his most famous trade. The Bank of England was attempting to prop up the price of its currency, the pound sterling, by using its foreign reserves to buy pounds on the foreign exchange market. The Bank’s goal was to fix the exchange rate between the British pound and German mark in an early precursor of the euro. However, the British economy was weaker than the German one, and so Soros and other traders bet that the pound would fall in value. In the end, Soros won and made nearly two billion dollars, and Britain had to abandon its goal for a fixed exchange rate. Soros later made a similar bet against the Thai baht. The pound trade cemented his reputation as a powerful speculator whose trades could affect the fate of nations.
Through the 1990s, Soros distanced himself from finance, and by 2000 he had retired completely. For the fifteen years since, Soros has focused on spending his wealth on politics and philanthropy. Soros favors liberal or progressive causes, and has been outspoken about political issues ever since his retirement. He founded the Open Societies Foundation to focus his philanthropic efforts.