Considered one of the most successful financiers in the world, George Soros had humble beginnings in Budapest, Hungary. He saw some hard times in his youth and emigrated to England when he was 17. After holding jobs in other fields, he obtained entry-level employment with Singer & Friedlander, a London merchant bank. Mr. Soros moved to New York City in 1956 and served as an arbitrage trader and then an analyst.
His investment career began in 1963 and by 1967, employer Arnhold and S. Bleichroder established the offshore investment fund First Eagle at his request and let him run it. Investment regulations proved too restrictive by 1973 and he resigned to create a private investment company. This eventually became the Quantum Fund, a privately owned hedge fund established with fellow investor Jim Rogers. In 1992, this fund broke the Bank of England, forcing the devaluation of the pound and netting Mr. Soros a $1 billion profit.
As an author, his writings mainly deal with the concept of reflexivity. This holds that individual bias enters market transactions and can change the perception of economic fundamentals. These changes are usually marked by disequilibrium, he believes, situations during which conventional economy theory regarding the market does not apply.
In the first quarter of 2011, Mr. Soros made headlines by dumping nearly $800 million in gold. These investments comprised approximately ten percent of the $8.4 billion Soros Fund Management portfolio. As gold prices continue to rise, one wonders whether Mr. Soros may find it worthwhile to buy gold coins or stock.
Soros has said that the only reason he is rich is because he knows when he is wrong. As of February 2009, he believe that the global financial system had disintegrated and there was no indication that the bottom had been reached. He does not believe a short-term resolution is available. Despite this, he is still standing strong, listed as the 35th richest person worldwide on the Forbes list of billionaires.