Its always good to draw some inspiration from the History. For traders it gives the hope to make it big one day, but these BIG trades were not fluke trades or devoid of any strategy. They were undertaken after copious amount of research and putting in place a risk management process.
Though it is not recommended to take such huge bets for the mortals like us, but what is the harm to dream, may be someday we could study their trades in detail and imbibe some of their traits in our own trading style.
So here is a list of some of the biggest trades of all time:
1. Jesse Livemore made a fortune when all were loosing their shirts on the street. He predicted the crisis of 1929 and built up his short positions and remember he did not have access to computers or sophisticated technical analysis charting softwares. And how much did he made, a whopping $100 million (approx $1.3 billion today), how is that for a trade
2. John Templeton predicted the Japanese renaissance and invested heavily in Japanese stocks, he was the first overseas investor in Japan. In fact in 1960s his Templeton Growth Fund had almost 60% of assets in Japanese stocks. His iconic fund Templeton Growth Fund gave a CAGR return of 16% for a good 38 years when he decided to step down. It is the best performing fund of all times and is a glaring example of great fund management.
3. George Soros shorted 10 billion (yes billion) pound sterling and made Bank of England go broke.This forced England to an ignominious exit from European Exchange Rate Mechanism and pocketed a princely 1 billion in the process. He has now given back all the investors their money back and Soros funds now manages only his personal stuff.
4. Paul Tudor Jones made the Black Monday the brightest day of his life by shorting the market.It was the Monday of 1987 when Dow Jones fell the most in its history.It was almost a repeat of the trade of Livemore trade, Jones tripled his money in a single day as Dow fell for 22%. The reward of taking the contra view, $100 million.
5. John Paulson’s bet to to short sub-prime securities might have earned him $15 Billion in 2007 but it mired with controversy. He is blamed to be luring the German and European banks to buy these bonds but kept on shorting himself. Goldman Sachs was heavily reprimnded by SEC, but who cares when you can earn so much money. Though as law of average catches you, he has reportedly lost $400 million in a single day as Gold prices dropped by 4.1% in middle of April 2013.