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How George Soros became one of the richest people in the world

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George Soros is one of the most successful investors in the world: Also known as “the man who broke the Bank of England”, the self-made billionaire made huge sums of money in a very short time with his own hedge fund. The investment legend has already donated over two thirds of his assets to various foundations.

How George Soros became one of the richest people in the world

At the beginning of 2024, George Soros is listed by Forbes with a fortune of 6.7 billion US dollars and is ranked 394th on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world – even though he has already donated more than two-thirds of his total wealth to his own and other charities. How did the now over 90-year-old become so successful?

While studying, George Soros worked as a waiter and porter

George Soros was born in Budapest in 1930. Because of his Jewish faith, he and his family had to flee the Nazis as a child. Soros survived the Holocaust and lived in Paris after 1945, from where he moved to London a short time later to study philosophy. According to Soros on his website, his desire to help other people was instilled in him from birth: his father helped many other persecuted families to escape during the war. Soros’ family was not very wealthy after the war; he worked as a waiter and as a porter on the railway while he was studying. His plan was actually to become a professor, but because his grades were not good enough for that, Soros took a job at an investment firm after graduating. After moving to the USA, he changed jobs several times: first he got a job at a commercial bank through a friend, then he worked for FM Mayer for three years and another four years as an analyst for European securities at Wertheim & Co.

The founding of Soros Fund Management

Finally, in 1963, the big career leap came. Soros became vice chairman of Arnold & S. Bleichroeder. In this job, he built up a hedge fund in 1969 with investor money of around four million US dollars, in which he intuitively invested 250,000 US dollars himself. Just four years later, the value of the fund had risen to twelve million US dollars. Soros took this as an opportunity to quit his job that same year (1973) and set up his own hedge fund: Soros Fund Management. With twelve million US dollars in start-up capital, Soros and Jim Rogers jointly founded The Quantum Group of Funds – the investment and subsequent trading activities were successful. By 1998, The Quantum Group of Funds had 22 million US dollars, making it the largest hedge fund in the world with annual growth of a full 30 percent. During this time, Soros also became known as the “man who broke the Bank of England” after he and other major investors classified the pound as significantly overvalued in their analyses and bought D-Marks and francs with money borrowed from the Bank of England in order to have to use significantly fewer D-Marks and francs to pay off debts after the pound’s value fell. The result: The Bank of England had to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

Soros Fund Management becomes a family business

In 2011, the then 81-year-old finally decided he had made enough money. He paid out his investors with around one billion US dollars and turned Soros Fund Management into a family business that, according to the information platform The Richest, reportedly manages over 28 billion US dollars. This monetary value is made up of Soros’ personal assets and the funds of six aid organizations: Open Society Fund, Soros Economic Development, Open Society Institute, Soros Fund Charitable Foundation, Foundation for an Open Society and Fund for Policy Reform. The Richest further reports that Soros has now donated more than 64 percent of his total assets to organizations all over the world that support democracy and human rights. He is said to have donated 32 billion US dollars to the Open Society Foundation and apparently a whopping 125 million US dollars to the Democratic Party’s election campaign in the 2022 US midterm elections alone.

Soros holds many honorary titles and is the founder of the Central European University in Budapest

Soros has five children from three marriages and holds many honorary titles, including Honorary Fellow of the British Academy (2017, HonFBA). The philanthropist is the founder and largest donor of the Central European University in Budapest and is politically clearly on the democratic side – in the media, Soros had already repeatedly expressed strong criticism of Putin and skepticism towards the Chinese government before the war in Ukraine.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.