Net worth: $3.6 billion. The founder of the Tudor Investment Corporation, Paul Tudor Jones made his first fortune trading cotton on Wall Street before launching the corporation. He anticipated the 1987 market crash enabling him to triple his capital.
Net worth: $4.1 billion. Kenneth Griffin is the founder of Citadel and began investing as a Harvard undergrad. By the time he graduated, he had $1 million before being introduced to hedge fund manager Frank C. Meyer who seeded the future billionaire when he launched Citadel in 1990.
8. Bruce Kovner
Net worth: $4.3 billion. Kovner founded Caxton Associates in 1983, generating more than $12 billion in net gains for investors. Before this, Kovner dropped out of Harvard, drove taxis, wrote and studied at Julliard where he is now Chairman.
7. David Tepper
Net worth: $7 billion. Tepper’s firm, Appaloosa Management, generated around 30% net on average annualised returns since 1993. Most hedge funds underperformed in 2012, but Tepper did not posting around 30% net returns.
Net worth: $9.3 billion. Despite accusations of insider trading, ex-wife problems and having to sell the penthouse, Steven A. Cohen is still making huge money in financial markets. SAC Capital Advisors posted gross returns in 25% range in 2012.
5. John Paulson
Net worth: $11.2 billion. Paulson pulled off “the greatest trade ever” 6 years ago, betting against subprime mortgage securities. Despite Paulson Advantage ending down more than 14%, the fund returned nearly 20% net of fees last year.
4. James Simons
Net worth: $11.7 billion. Simons began his career as a theoretical mathematician and was a codebreaker during the Vietnam for the U.S. D.O.D. The founder of Renaissance Technologies retired in 2010 but still profits from the firms funds.
3. Ray Dalio
Net worth: $12.5 billion. “King” of the hedge fund industry, Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates from his Manhattan apartment in 1975. With big plans for growth including a new $750 million headquarters for more than 2,000 employees, no. 3 on our list shows no signs of slowing down.
2. George Soros
Net worth: $19.2 billion. Chairman of Soros Fund Management which manages not only the money belonging to his foundations but his personal fortune, Soros still remains involved in the $24 billion firm.
1. Carl Icahn
Net worth: $20 billion. Top of the list is Carl Icahn who has been trading markets for decades, peaking in recent months reaching $20 billion. Thanks to bets on Hain Celestial Group and CVR Energy, Icahn returned 28% to himself and his employees last year. Possibly the best employer in the world?!