Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (2024)

22 November 2023

In the stock market, success can be defined in many ways. For a beginner trader, not losing money can be considered as success. While for professionals, success means getting consistent returns on their investments. Some wish to make quick gains from the stock market to invest the profits in real estate or other endeavors. There are many different participants in the market, with all kinds of goals and motivations.

The greatest and the best stock traders in the world are the ones that are managing huge amounts of money and make amazing returns. Consistency in trading is the key factor that attracts money. When traders get the access to managing big money, they can make significant returns. There are several people who managed to reach a high level of consistency in their trading and became one of the greatest stock traders in the world.

These traders are Jesse Livermore, Paul Tudor Jones, Simon ca*wkwel, Warren Buffett, and Steven Cohen. They are considered to be the richest stock traders of all time.

Not everything is simple about their success. All of their gains were backed up by hundreds of losses in the past. The ability to learn from your own mistakes and working hard has made all the difference.

In this article, we will further talk about each of these famous traders and discuss briefly what their career path was like. If you plan to succeed in trading, it's critical to study what the most successful people have in common in this field.

Jesse Livermore

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (1)

Notable Trades: San Francisco earthquake, wheat in 1925, 1929 market crash.

Net Worth: Varied throughout career; ended tragically in 1940.

Strategy: Successful shorting and market timing.

Profession: Stock trader and author.

Most Notable Fact: Ended life with suicide after financial losses.

Jesse Livermore’s first significant trade was shorting stocks just before the San Francisco earthquake, which made him 250,000 dollars. Then he made three million dollars shorting wheat in 1925. He also generated a big amount of money when he shorted the entire market during the 1929 crash and a little short of $100 million. However, he ended his life with suicide when he lost everything in 1940.

Jesse Livermore is among the most successful stock traders in history. He was always interested in the financial markets and spent a lot of time trying to comprehend them. At a very early age, he found out he could forecast the changes of stocks according to previous prices. In 1892, he made a 3.12 dollar payout on his first trade in Burlington stock. At age 15 Jesse accumulated his first one thousand dollars by trading stocks and commodities in the bucket shops. Then he continued his trading in the New York stock market through legitimate stockbrokers.

Though, Livermore’s trading was not always successful. At the age of 22, he lost all of his funds because of the slow execution of his trades. In 1939, he wrote a book called “How to trade in stocks”, which was dedicated to the people who just took their first steps into the stock market.

Paul Tudor Jones

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (2)

Notable Trades: Successfully predicted the 1987 market crash

Net Worth: 7.5B USD (2022)

Strategy: Consistent, risk-managed trading method

Profession: Renowned hedge fund manager and investor

Most Notable Fact: Forbes ranked 320th richest person in 2020

Paul Tudor Jones is one of the most famous investors in history. His success made him a multi-billionaire. As of 2021 Forbes estimates that Jones was worth a whopping 5.8 billion dollars and in 2020 he was the 320th richest man in the whole world. As of 2022, Paul's estimated net worth is about 7.5 Billion Dollars.

Once he had gained enough knowledge in trading cotton futures in the New York stock market, Jones decided that he could start his own business. It is important to note that Paul Tudor Jones predicted the 1987 market crash, which became known as black Monday. Due to the successful market crash forecast, Jones avoided losing a lot of money and managed to generate a substantial payout instead.

The legendary stock trader, Paul Tudor Jones, developed his own trading strategy in his career that helped him to reach great success in trading. His main goal is to always stay consistent. He has a high quality of risk-management skills. Besides, he set very realistic expectations on his potential trades, which enabled him to have a strong and stable trading performance.

Paul Tudor Jones believed that investing in the stock market is not about getting rich fast. This is how Paul Tudor Jones managed to become successful in this industry and among millionaire stock traders who reached the highest points in the stock market. Consistency in the market gets rewarded by investors generously. Traders that can limit their risks and are consistent have a shot at gathering funds and managing other people's money. Paul has managed to do that brilliantly.

Warren Buffett

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (3)

Notable Trades: Long-term investments, built wealth steadily.

Net Worth: $74B (2021).

Strategy: Long-term investing in great companies.

Profession: Legendary investor, Berkshire Hathaway CEO.

Most Notable Fact: Managed over $7.2B in partnership assets.

Warren Buffett is one of the most influential people in the history of trading and investing. The major factors that affected the success of Warren Buffett are discipline, perseverance, and effective execution. The net worth of Warren Buffett is 74 billion dollars according to 2021 metrics. Let’s look at the highlights of his history of success.

Between 1950 and 1956 Warren built his personal capital up to 140,000 dollars from a mere 9,800 dollars. In 1950, he was managing 300,000 dollars in capital. Even though it is not a significant amount of capital, his future plans would soon change that. At the time, he had a successfully growing business. In the next five years, Buffett’s partnerships saw a 251% gain, thus cementing his place in the stock market for the years to come. By 1962 the partnership had capital in excess of 7.2 billion dollars. He also had more than 90 limited partners across the United States. Buffett then increased the minimum investment to 100,000 dollars. Ten years later, the Buffet partnerships assets were up more than 115% compared to Dow’s 122%. At that time, Warren Buffett already managed to generate over 44 billion dollars.

Warren Buffett is known for long term investing. His investment philosophy is to find great companies that have brilliant management team and to buy their stocks. According to Buffett, it's better to invest in a great company that is fairly valued than to invest in an average company that have low value stocks in the market.

Steven Cohen

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (4)

Notable Trades: High-risk, high-reward options trading.

Net Worth: $16B (Dec 2022).

Strategy: Focuses on options with a mathematical edge.

Profession: Founder of SAC Capital Advisors.

Most Notable Fact: SAC Capital Advisors reached 2% of the market by 2006

Steven Cohen is considered to be one of the best traders on Wall Street over the last thirty years. He has made over thirteen billion dollars. Cohen separates himself from most investors by buying options. Once he decides to buy options, he has a very specific technique to choose the right one. Steven Cohen picks options when they offer him a mathematical edge.
According to Forbes, as of December 2022, his net worth is 16 billion dollars.

In 1992, he founded the hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors. By 2006, the company’s trading equaled 2% of the whole stock market activity. After that, the firm had increased a great deal and by 2013, the average annual gain for SAC reached 25%.

Steven Cohen’s journey to success was not full of victories. He's experienced several losses in his career, however, the major thing that affected his success probably was his unique trading strategy. He was a high-risk and high-reward trader who believed that winning big is better than winning often.

Even though there have been numerous troubles and problems on his trading path, he is considered to be one of the richest stock traders in the world.

Keith Patrick Gill

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (5)

Notable Trades: Key role in GameStop short squeeze.

Net Worth: Gained fame turning $53,000 into nearly $50M.

Strategy: Active participation in social media-driven stock movements.

Profession: Financial analyst, formerly licensed broker.

Most Notable Fact: Played a pivotal role in the GameStop saga.

Keith Gill, better known as Roaring Kitty and “Deepf*ckingValue” is an American financial analyst and investor gaining huge fame through his active participation in the r/wallstreetbets subreddit. He played an important role in the GameStop short squeeze of January 2021, where retail investors, influenced by discussions on the subreddit, drove up the stock price of GameStop. This caused many hedge funds to lose millions, as many of them were extremely short on the stock.

Keith Gill, using the usernames “Deepf*ckingValue” on Reddit and “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube and Twitter, shared an analysis of GameStop stock and emphasized its undervaluation. His posts attracted the attention of other retail investors and contributed to a surge in retail interest in GameStop. As a result, Gill turned a 53,000 USD investment into close to 50 million dollars.

Gill is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and was a licensed securities broker until he resigned from MassMutual on January 28, 2021. He testified before the US House Financial Services Committee on February 18, 2021, addressing the intersection of short sellers, social media, and retail investors in the events around GameStop.

Gill, better known as Roaring Kitty, was one of the first initiators of controversy as he was investing in GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, Nokia, and many meme stocks. These gains came at a cost of hedge funds experiencing serious losses. Regulatory scrutiny followed, with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth investigating Gill's activities and MassMutual was fined 4 million USD for failing to supervise Gill’s trading. The SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission) released a report in 2021 where it did not indicate any market manipulation.

In the movie “Dumb Money” which came out in 2023, Gill is portrayed by Paul Dano. The movie is a biographical drama about the GameStop short squeeze.

Common traits of the best traders in the world

As you can see, there are various types of traders. Some are focused on long-term investing like Warren Buffett, while others seek to find short term investment opportunities. Some focus on consistency more, while others are focussed on large wins. What this tells us is that there are many ways to make money in the market. Despite so many differences, all the best and most famous stock traders have many things in common. They are managing large amounts of money. To make big money, you need to be able to manage millions. And it's more challenging to manage a 10 million dollar portfolio than it is to manage 10k. They all are highly disciplined and hard-working. Successful traders view the capital under their management in terms of percentage points and not in terms of sheer numbers. Which is an important skill to develop if you are planning to manage large investment capital.

Richest Stock Traders – Key Takeaways

Achieving success in this financial market is all about the hard-work, right timing, patience and the ability to view investment capital in percentage points and not to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.
Some of the people who managed to reach a high level of consistency in their trading and became one of the greatest stock traders in the world include: Jesse Livermore, Paul Tudor Jones, Warren Buffett, and Steven Cohen.
All of these traders have their unique path in trading and unique approach to investing. What this tells us is that there are many ways to make money in the markets.

FAQ on The Best Stock Traders

Who is the richest stock trader in the world?

The richest stock trader in the world is considered to be Warren Buffett. He is one of the most influential investors in the whole history of trading in the stock market. As of 2022, his net worth is 107 billion dollars. He managed to reach this huge success due to his discipline while trading. He has good risk management skills as well as experience in the stock market, which enabled him to become the richest stock trader in the world. Other important names to mention while talking about the richest investors are Jesse Livermore and Paul Tudor Jones.

Are stock traders successful?

There are a lot of stock traders that managed to reach great success. The success in this industry comes from a lot of factors including skills, knowledge of the market, discipline, and a good risk-management strategy. Hard-working people, have high emotional intelligence, and love investing, tend to be successful in the stock market.

How many successful day traders are there?

There are a lot of successful day traders in the world, it is impossible to say the exact numbers, however, the stories of different famous traders prove that day trading can truly be a very successful strategy. However, it's worth mentioning that many day traders lose their capital. Consistency in trading is probably one of the key factors that affect a great deal on reaching success in the financial market. Several people managed to reach a high level of consistency in their trades, which helped them to attract investors and manage large sums of money.

Who is the most successful trader in history?

The most successful long-term trader in history is Warren Buffett, who has managed to compound his wealth and increase it through reinvesting in the stock market. Warren's strategy is dedicated to finding great companies that have an amazing management team and purchasing their stocks. According to Buffett's philosophy, it's better to pay a fair price and invest in a great company, than it is to invest in an average company and pay a small price per share value.

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? (2024)

FAQs

Who are the greatest stock traders of all time? ›

Of course, George Soros is one of the top Forex traders. Perhaps, he is the best Forex trader in the world, and, for sure, he is the best day trader in the world. Soros was born in 1930 in Hungary. A Jew by nationality, the name given to him at birth was Gyorgy Schwartz.

Who is No 1 stock trader? ›

Top 10 Traders In India 2024:-
RankTrader Name
1Premji and Associates
2Radhakrishnan Damani
3Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
4Raamdeo Agrawal
6 more rows
Apr 30, 2024

Who is the richest stock trader in the world? ›

Profiles of the Top 5 Richest Traders in the World
  • George Soros: The Master of the Quantum Fund. ...
  • Ray Dalio: Pioneering Bridgewater Associates. ...
  • Warren Buffett: The Oracle of Omaha. ...
  • Carl Icahn: The Activist Investor. ...
  • Paul Tudor Jones: The Contrarian Trader.
Feb 11, 2024

Who is the world's most successful day trader? ›

Of course, George Soros is one of the top Forex traders. Perhaps, he is the best Forex trader in the world, and, for sure, he is the best day trader in the world. Soros was born in 1930 in Hungary. A Jew by nationality, the name given to him at birth was Gyorgy Schwartz.

How much money do day traders with $10,000 accounts make per day on average? ›

With a $10,000 account, a good day might bring in a five percent gain, which is $500. However, day traders also need to consider fixed costs such as commissions charged by brokers. These commissions can eat into profits, and day traders need to earn enough to overcome these fees [2].

Did anyone become rich by trading? ›

Many people have made millions just by day trading. Some examples are Ross Cameron, Brett N. Steenbarger, etc. But the important thing about day trading is that only a few can make money out of day trading and the rest end up losing their entire capital in day trading.

What stock broker do millionaires use? ›

A prime brokerage

Large financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, offer prime brokerages. The minimum amount a client must have to use a prime broker is $500,000, though it's not uncommon for clients to have $50 million in assets.

How much can a day trader realistically make? ›

Day Trader Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$185,000$15,416
75th Percentile$105,500$8,791
Average$96,774$8,064
25th Percentile$56,500$4,708

How many day traders actually make money? ›

Approximately 1–20% of day traders actually profit from their endeavors. Exceptionally few day traders ever generate returns that are even close to worthwhile. This means that between 80 and 99 percent of them fail.

What is the most profitable time to day trade? ›

The closest thing to a hard-and-fast rule is that the first hour and last hour of a trading day are the busiest, offering the most opportunities. But even so, many traders are profitable in the off-times as well.

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