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Controversial
  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Apr 4, 2021 - 12:55pm

Not sure if this is a troll, but I'll take the bait. Chase Coleman is a glorified lax bro who has ridden coat tails his whole life. Daddy was a big time lawyer, was friends with Julian Robertson's kids which led to a position at Tiger. Not saying he's a dumbass by any means, but he's more of a guy that was in the right place at the right time. He got in early in tech, but as far as actual alpha generation he is not outstanding. More so just factor exposure and putting on beta.

Apr 12, 2021 - 7:27pm

YLSGUY

D1 capital, altimeter and Melvin are better investors

Welp so much for Gabriel after this last Q lmao

Array

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Apr 4, 2021 - 12:59pm

Dude is an absolute monster. Consistently shreds the benchmark with unreal risk adjusted returns

Apr 4, 2021 - 1:48pm

The real answer. If we are qualifying "greatest investor" as ability to consistently generate uncorrelated, stable excess returns at reasonable size, this is at good as it gets (except maybe the guys at TGS)

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

Apr 4, 2021 - 5:31pm

The book on him is really good and detailed - The Man Who Solved the Market. Maybe too detailed as it drags on a bit but definitely worth a read. His persistence was amazing.

  • 2
  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 4, 2021 - 5:52pm

kinda meaningless to ask who is the greatest investor without setting parameters for "greatness". Is greatness returns for clients as a % or $ over last 5/10 years? Greatness meaning personal net worth? Greatness as defined in risk-adjusted returns? How do you evaluate all the long tech/short retail Tiger guys who don't care about factor exposure? Only public markets? Only equities? 

But since everyone is just picking out their favorite billionaires who match their investing styles (or who these posters want to be when they "grow up") - I'd put Tepper, Singer up there.

Apr 11, 2021 - 12:09am

underappreciated answer - his proteges' fund reivals RenTech

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

  • 1
Apr 5, 2021 - 9:24am

It really depends on the asset class, there are many different lanes in investing. 

If you look at real assets/PE I would say Bruce Flatt is by far the greatest investor ever, and you cannot compare % returns because the size of the wallet is a huge determinant in liquidity and flexibility. 

Speculator: Soros

General investor: Say what you want about him but Bill Ackman can take this spot

Debt: Howard Marks 

I think Buffett is not the greatest "investor", but he arguably has the best "businessman" ever. 

  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 7, 2021 - 1:19am

+1 for the breakdown. Tho I would say Bruce Karsh for debt, since Howard Marks is only the public marketer, not the investment guy

Apr 7, 2021 - 3:16pm

Interesting, Karsh has always been in the background. I've always tried to learn more about him but he seems secretive. Are the Marks Memos solely the work of H. marks or is it a collective representation of the thought engine at Oaktree?

Apr 5, 2021 - 10:13am

in terms of returns/wealth, it's going to most definitely be an entrepreneur like Bezos or Jobs

if you're talking about people who run money professionally, it's likely edward thorp, seth klarman, jim simons, or someone else that most people don't have access to, didn't quit like druckenmiller or lynch or robertson, and have compounded 20%+ net of fees for at least 30 years

if you're talking about pure returns but not an entrepreneur, I'd be willing to bet it's a VC's GPs. the CAGR from pre-IPO to something like GOOG/FB has got to be insane, but I don't think those returns are published anywhere, and LPs' returns which may be public are most certainly less

it's not warren buffett, most of his and ben graham's CAGR came from one concentrated bet in GEICO, ditto for Phil Fisher (the abominable Ken Fisher's father), and if someone doesn't have a 20y track record at least, I don't think they deserve consideration as greatest investor ever

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 9:19pm

Isn't closing your fund when you can no longer produce outsized returns more respectable than continuing to leech off management fees and underperform like Klarman? I respect Lynch and Druckenmiller a lot for deciding to go out on top and not bleed out for years like say Paulson. I agree with everything else you said.

Apr 6, 2021 - 7:26am

last I checked Klarman was still compounding at >20%/yr even considering recent underperformance. I don't fault lynch or robertson for closing, but if you're going to have the title of greatest investor ever, I appreciate someone like klarman, thorp, or simons who's gotten great returns for longer than the 13y lynch did and however long the others did. druckenmiller probably deserves more credit than I'm giving him, he compounded 30%/yr for 30 years when he closed the fund, I don't think anyone but ed thorp has gotten close to that

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 5, 2021 - 12:55pm

Literally no one that was listed above, except Jim Simons.  Everyone else is a great salesman.  The best investor I ever came across as an LP is a guy no one on here has prob ever heard of - Henry Ellenbogen.  Ran the T. Rowe New Horizons fund for about ten years and runs his own shop now.  

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Apr 5, 2021 - 10:23pm

I'm in a crypto group chat with some of my little brother's friends (high school and college) who are mostly millionaires or close and consider less than 10x a failure lol...so I guess them?

Apr 6, 2021 - 1:03pm

I'm tempted to say David Tepper just because I admire how ballsy he is. Outside of him though I think Dan Loeb is very good at being flexible and opportunistic in terms of strategy and keeping up with the times and I think its why he's outlasted many of his value/event driven peers 

Apr 6, 2021 - 8:29pm

tmike425

I'm tempted to say David Tepper just because I admire how ballsy he is. Outside of him though I think Dan Loeb is very good at being flexible and opportunistic in terms of strategy and keeping up with the times and I think its why he's outlasted many of his value/event driven peers 

Dan Loeb's returns have been garbage post GFC. Third Point is like a lot of hedge funds in the market that have been around since the 90s. Loaded up and made great returns (which is what really influences those "since inception" returns). Then blew up like the rest of the market in the GFC, then have under-performed since. I've seen the numbers and... meh.

This is not to pick on Dan or his shop or people who work there, many of whom have made a lot of money for themselves, but to make the point that a lot of high profile funds haven't had that great of track records. I've seen the numbers and especially when factoring in the volatility based on the strategy they run, they ain't great by any means. Great marketers with loyal LPs? Yes. Especially given that plenty of LPs are starstruck and want to meet the billionaire and figure they have other line items (ie other funds) they need to worry about cutting/trimming.

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
  • 6
Apr 6, 2021 - 10:15pm

The numbers in the off shore presentation look a lot better than "meh" to me. I think relative to King Street, Perry, Eton Park, Einhorn and even Tepper and Klarman he's certainly held up decently strong post GFC. I think beyond the performance I'm just happy to see him embracing GAARP, venture, etc. in a way that people like Einhorn and a lot of the other old school value guys are too stubborn to. All that said, I'm a long term fanboy of his so I admit to my bias. 

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 7, 2021 - 11:30am

Really tough to pick one in the discretionary equities space. Probably Chris Hohn of TCI.

I hesitate to consider the tech/growth investors as the 'best' since the trade has really been being on the right side of sector exposure post-GFC more than anything. Though obviously they have produced great returns recently. 

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 7, 2021 - 11:37am

i think key test will be whether they're able to time exit from the factor correctly when market changes - will differentiate those who can actually add value thru factor timing vs lucky bozos 

Apr 9, 2021 - 6:14pm

Interesting topic, probably everyone had a similar discussion with their buddies.

I have 3 names (all 3 already mentioned above) for 3 different categories.

a) Soros - in the pure trading / speculating category, to me he is the epitome of wall street "speculator investor"

b) Simons - if looking just returns, he is the best, simple. As said, the man solved the market. But I would see RenTech not as just as fund, but some kind of laboratory that can build a supercomputer, and if they did not do investing, they could do some other mind-blown thing.  Thus is would categorize Simons as "mathematician"

c) Buffett - besides all obvious, if looked strictly monetarily he is the most successful - x times than both Simons and Soros who are about his age - of course, everyone had different path etc. But that is exactly why it can be argued that he is the best - he is in it to make money, what investing is all about. If Soros is "speculator", and Simons  "mathematician", Buffett would be "businessman". Someone who knows American business as good as anyone, and is making money by being business owner.

Apr 10, 2021 - 9:59pm

Really just seems like some abstract gatekeeping of the word "investor".  All the people you named run or ran money and came up with their own investment theses and individual ideas.  A trader/speculator/gambler or whatever you want to call them is still just a synonym to investor in my books.

Further I would say that building a fund and framework, and imparting that framework on others so that they can continue is not a mark against these investors, but another notch on their belt.  Its not like now that these guys are less actively involved the strategies have changed completely, but instead you can see that they have developed winning cultures, and platforms that can continue to invest successfully.  

Apr 13, 2021 - 3:34am

Your point is valid, but I think nuance matters here.  You are incorporating a lot of skills into best investor or best trader and a lot are about managerial and business attributes.  It's kind of naive to think the same people are the best at all.  What tends to happen is that there is some aspect of the business that they are excellent at and then are smart and good enough at others.  But you need to be truly excellent at something. Jack of all trades doesn't really work.

Apr 17, 2021 - 1:07pm

It is actually astounding to me how many people here comment Mackenzie Bezos in a more or less derogatory manner. She literally left DE Shaw with Jeff and was one of two employees from day 1 and was an intregral part of building arguably the greatest company in the world today.

Put some respect on her name because Amazon as is today likely does not exist without her contributions and shes probably a more capable investor than a large majority of users on here. Clowns on here act like she just sat on her ass for that shit when in reality shes probably a cold blooded killer at what she does.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 17, 2021 - 1:44pm

Wow never knew she was one of the first employees working for david shaw, knew she was smart but have way more respect for her now.

May 2, 2021 - 6:22pm

In my humble opinion; Bill Ackman.

He may not have the cleanest success rate out of a majority of names mentioned below but Ackman is a living legend.

He's failed and failed again and each time he's gotten back up. He got royally, I mean totally screwed in his Herbalife short and didn't let it break him.

His short in march of 2020 will go down in History. 2.6B overnight...

Bill Ackman is a legend, and although debatable I think he's the GOAT.

May 2, 2021 - 6:22pm

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  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
May 2, 2021 - 7:01pm

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 3, 2021 - 10:51pm

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