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George Soros – the greatest trader in history

In 1930, the future greatest trader of all time was born in Hungary. Born with the surname Schwartz, George Soros’ father opted to change the family surname due to the prevailing anti-Semitic climate on opensocietyfoundations.org at that time. This concealment would later prove wise, as Soros’ other relatives were deported to Nazi death camps, never to be heard from again.

Losing his aunts and uncles had a profound effect on the young George Soros, who developed a keen interest in political philosophy and how it can shape the societies in which we live. To this end, he applied to the London School of Economics in 1947. He was accepted and began studying under the world-renowned philosophy professor Karl Popper. Popper was a pragmatic scholar whose seminal work, “The Open Society and Its Enemies”, influenced Soros profoundly. Later, Soros would name his main philanthropic vehicle, The Open Societies Foundations, after the iconic, eponymous book.

Upon graduating with a master’s degree in philosophy, George Soros joined the labor pool and went to work in a string of jobs that he later reflected on as having been a numbing bore. This soul-crushing, menial labor, which included stints as a traveling salesman, gave Soros the kick necessary to seek out grander pursuits. Uninterested in the life of the working class, Soros resolved to go to Wall St. and join one of the great investment banks on Forbes.

On a recommendation from a college friend, he was hired at his first financial job, at the firm Singer and Friedlander. Over the next 15 year, Soros worked at a series of trading houses on nytimes.com, from large to small, eventually rising to the level of vice president. His colleagues from that epoch describe him as being lackadaisical about his duties as a trader and stock analyst but much more dedicated to the development of his own philosophic theories, particularly those regarding the functioning of markets.

In 1973, at the age of 43, he was finally able to break away from the drudgery of the trading office and helm his own ship. Starting George Soros’ first hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, he quickly attracted capital from some of the biggest names in global finance, such as the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Even so, Soros’ primary motivation seemed to rest less on the accumulation of personal wealth and more in the ability to test his theories of the inner workings of financial markets.

Over the next 43 years, Soros Fund Management morphed into the now world-famous Quantum fund. Soros racked up an astonishing 25% annualized returns over more than 43 years, a feat perhaps singular in the history of financial markets. Today, Soros Fund Management is widely regarded as the most successful hedge fund in history. In one of his most famous exploits, Soros made over $1 billion on a single trade when he bought $10 billion in put options, at the time his entire capital, and forced the Bank of England to withdraw from its interest rate obligations and devalue the Pound Sterling.

Through adroit trades and sophisticated analysis, George Soros has rightfully earned the admiration of the financial world and taken his place in history.

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Charles Koch’s Influence in the Growth of Koch Industries

Charles Koch is an influential American businessman that was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He heads on of the largest privately owned companies in the United States, the Koch Industries. The Koch Industries was established in 1940 by his father, Fred Koch. Charles and David Koch inherited the business from their father. Charles is the one that has had an immense influence in running the company that has managed to get it to where it is today. Charles Koch has three brothers. He is the one that stood out from the rest from a very young age as he as brilliant and hardworking. Just like his father, he went to study general engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He specialized by studying master’s degrees in chemical and mechanical engineering.

After finishing his studies, he got a job at Arthur D. Little Inc. where he stayed for some time before joining his father’s company, which at the time was named Rock Island Oil and Refining Company. After he had become the president of the company, he decided to honor his father by renaming the business after his name, therefore, became Koch Industries. Besides the Koch Industries, that he co-owns with his younger brother, he also has an interest in politics. Together with his brother, they have sponsored several political activities and candidates financially. Charles is a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various groups mainly involved in policy formulation, research, and educational projects.

Koch leads a quiet private life despite the amount of wealth he has amassed over the years and being the CEO of one of the largest companies in the United States. ABC News visited him at his office at the Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. They had a rare opportunity to get to know more about his personal life and story. Besides, he also talked about some of the values that have helped him become successful in running the business and participating in political activities.

One of the things that stand out in his office is the letter his father wrote to him. The letter is framed, and Charles Koch took some time to reflect on some of the things that his father outlined in the letter on how they should run the family fortune. He admits that some things on the letter have helped him in running the business.

This article recapped http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/charles-koch-shares-letter-guides-life/story?id=38763293

Additional Links:

http://www.marketplace.org/2015/10/21/business/corner-office/full-interview-charles-koch

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/25/new-koch