Skip to content

Most Successful Forex Traders In History, & A Few Big Misses

Forex trading, and online trading in general, continues to grow at a rapid pace, and many wish to model themselves on the most successful forex traders around. We can speak from experience, that this is not an easy task!

Even the very best forex traders in the world come up against losing trades, and unpredictable market movements that have the potential to change trends on a dime.

With that being said, we are going to share with you a list of 6 of the most successful forex traders in history, along with 4 of the biggest losing forex trades of all time; nicely rounding up a list of 10 big names in the forex trading world!

Most successful forex traders in history

Most successful forex traders list

When putting together a list of the most successful forex traders in history, there are many famous names that will not make this short list. There are many traders you can follow these days on all different types of media, with Twitter and Youtube traders seemingly growing particularly rapidly.

The reality is that those we consider amongst the most successful forex traders for this list, are those who have demonstrated staying power in what is a very difficult marketplace. If you can generate returns even remotely close to some of these powerhouses, you will be doing well, doing so over a period of years and you will be in the top 5%!

Paul Tudor Jones

Paul Tudor Jones made his name in the early days of hedge fund management, starting his own firm, Tudor Investment Corporation, in 1980. Jones is known for his aggressive trading style and his legendary 1-day trade in 1987 where he made a reported US$100 million profit when he correctly predicted that the stock market would crash.

George Soros

Soros is perhaps the most well-known forex trader in the world, and is definitely one of the most successful. Soros started his career as a European investment banker before moving to New York in 1963. In 1973, he founded his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, which is now one of the largest in the world with over US$25 billion in assets.

Soros is famous for his short position in the British pound in 1992, which earned him over US$1 billion in profits. He has also been a major contributor to many philanthropic causes over the years.

Stanley Druckenmiller

Druckenmiller started his career as an analyst at Pittsburgh National Bank in 1976. He then moved to New York to work as a portfolio manager at Commodities Corporation, where he met and worked with Soros. In 1992, Druckenmiller and Soros founded Quantum Fund, which is widely considered to be one of the most successful hedge funds in history.

Druckenmiller is known for his disciplined approach to trading and his focus on risk management. He retired from active trading in 2010 but still serves as chairman of his family office, Duquesne Capital Management.

Bill Lipschutz

Lipschutz was born in 1956 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in architecture in 1981 but decided to pursue a career in finance instead. Lipschutz began his trading career at Salomon Brothers in 1982, where he quickly established himself as one of the firm’s top foreign exchange traders.

In 1995, Lipschutz left Salomon Brothers to start his own hedge fund, Hathersage Capital Management. He is currently a managing partner at the fund and continues to trade forex actively.

Lipschutz is considered to be one of the best currency traders in the world and is often referred to as the “Sultan of Currency.”

Andy Krieger

Krieger started his career as a commodities trader at Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1980. He then moved to Bankers Trust in 1986, where he became the head of the bank’s global currency trading desk.

In 1987, Krieger made a famous trade that earned him and his employer over US$300 million when he shorted the New Zealand dollar against multiple other currencies.

He left Bankers Trust in 1995 and started his own hedge fund, Krieger Fund Management. He currently manages his own investments and is a partner at North Star Partners, an investment management firm.

Bruce Kovner

Kovner began his career as a cab driver in New York City in 1972. He then started trading commodities futures in 1977 with a small account of just $3,000. By 1983, he had grown his account to over $30 million and was running his own commodity trading firm, Caxton Associates.

Kovner is known for his disciplined approach to trading and risk management. He is also a noted philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes over the years.

Some of the most successful forex traders in history have made their fortune through aggressive trading styles, while others have taken a more cautious approach. What all of these traders have in common is their focus on risk management and their discipline when it comes to trading. Both of these factors are essential for any trader who wants to be successful in the forex market.

A few trades that go down in history for the wrong reasons

On the other end of the scale, there have been forex traders that have made some absolutely terrible trades, and will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

Some of the worst forex trades in history list can be made up of those who are certainly not the worst forex traders, but where risk management or aggressive strategies may have moved suddenly into the wrong direction. In all forms of trading this can be devastating to your account, but in the world of leveraged trading, these moves are significantly amplified.

You will notice in the short list of 4 below that there are two names that feature in both lists, supporting the point made above. Let’s take a look then at some of the biggest trades to have gone wrong:

Jesse Livermore

One of the most legendary traders in history, Jesse Livermore made and lost several fortunes throughout his career. His biggest failure came in the stock market crash of 1929, when he lost $100 million – the equivalent of over $1 billion today, highlighting that market crashes can take apart even the most well respected traders.

John Meriwether

The man behind the infamous Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund, John Meriwether made some disastrous bets in the late 1990s which led to the collapse of his fund. He lost over $4 billion for his investors, and almost brought down the entire financial system with him.

Stanley Druckenmiller

Druckenmiller is another hugely successful trader, but even he has had his share of losses. In the early 1990s, he made a series of bad trades in the Japanese Yen which cost him over $600 million.

Bruce Kovner

Last but not least, Bruce Kovner is another legendary trader who has made some big mistakes throughout his career. In the early 1980s, he lost almost $4 million in a single day after making a series of bad trades in the soybean futures market.

These are just a few examples of some of the biggest trading failures in history but most of these were strong enough to bounce back during better times.

As you can see, even the most successful traders can make some catastrophic mistakes so do not beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan. What you do is reset, ensure you exercise proper risk management, and you will be able to trade again another day when hopefully things will work as you intend.