10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘George Soros’

In the world of finance, few names strike as resounding a chord as that of George Soros. A name synonymous with wealth, philanthropy, political activism, and investing acumen, Soros has established an indomitable legacy. However, there’s more to this charismatic billionaire than meets the eye. Let’s explore 10 things you didn’t know about George Soros.

1. Self-Made Wealth

Many people know George Soros as a wealthy man, but not everyone realizes that he is, in fact, a self-made billionaire. Soros was born into a middle-class family in Budapest, Hungary. He survived the Nazi invasion during the Second World War and later emigrated to England in 1947.

There, he worked as a waiter and a railway porter to support his studies at the London School of Economics. Soros eventually moved to the United States, where he started his hedge fund and amassed his fortune. His journey from obscurity to legendary investor status is a testament to his extraordinary grit and determination.

2. Soros Fund Management

George Soros is not just a billionaire; he is also the founder of Soros Fund Management, one of the most successful hedge funds in history. Launched in 1969, it offered an annual rate of return of approximately 30% for over four decades — an incredible feat in the investment world.

Soros didn’t just hop onto the popularity of hedge funds; instead, he dominated the space with his unique brand of “reflexivity” investing. This led to his legendary bet against the British pound, often referred to as “breaking the Bank of England,” and yielded him a $1 billion profit in a single day.

3. Philanthropy

One of Soros’s lesser-known pursuits is his commitment to philanthropy. He has reportedly donated over $32 billion of his personal fortune to fund the Open Society Foundations, a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 100 countries. His philanthropic focus centers around promoting democratic governance, human rights, and freedom of expression.

Soros’s magnanimity extends to education as well. In 1991, he founded the Central European University in Budapest, fostering critical thinking, open debate, and inquiry into critical societal problems.

4. Political Influence

It’s no secret that George Soros is a significant political influencer. Primarily, he has been a strong supporter of the Democratic Party in the United States, contributing large sums to various campaigns and causes. He played a significant role in the transition from communism to capitalism in Eastern Europe, shaping its political landscape.

Soros’s influence is not only vast but has also been met with criticism. Some critics accuse him of using his wealth to manipulate politics or create economic instability. However, he maintains that his political activities are driven by his commitment to democracy and human rights.

5. Philosopher At Heart

Despite his acclaim as a business tycoon, Soros sees himself as a philosopher. He based his investment principles on Karl Popper’s theory of reflexivity, believing that markets can influence the events they anticipate. This philosophical approach distinguishes him from many other investors and contributes to his success.

Soros is also a prolific writer, with many of his books offering insights into his philosophical perspective on economics and politics. He argues for a more inclusive, just, and equitable society, showing that he goes beyond mere business into the realm of social thought.

6. Currency Speculation

Soros is notably known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England,” a title he earned after betting against the pound sterling in 1992. This daring move was based on the premise that the British currency was overvalued against the Deutsche Mark.

Rightfully predicting that the Bank of England couldn’t maintain high interest rates, he borrowed heavily to convert these funds into German Marks. After the devaluation of the pound, he repaid the loans, pocketing $1 billion in profit.

7. Soros And Quantum Physics

Intriguingly, Soros named his hedge fund the “Quantum Fund” as a nod to quantum physics. He was fascinated by the theory’s inherent uncertainty principle, which suggests various potential realities can exist simultaneously until observed.

This perspective married well with his philosophy of reflexivity, considering the market’s inherent unpredictability. This shows us another facet of Soros’s personality as someone deeply intrigued by the interjections of physics, philosophy, and finance.

8. Survivor of Nazi Occupation

During the Second World War, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, a horrific period when over half a million Jews were murdered. Throughout this period, Soros and his family helped others by securing false papers to conceal their identities.

His survival amid such adversity is emblematic of Soros’s resilience. The darkness of his past drove him to understand and change the world, influencing his philanthropy and political activism.

9. Father of the Arab Spring

According to Wikileaks, Soros’s Open Society Foundations played a significant role in fostering the Arab Spring. The initiative by OSF aimed to facilitate the transition of Middle Eastern nations toward democracy, justice, and social equality.

While this involvement has invited criticism, it showcases Soros’s commitment to spreading freedoms globally. His role in democratizing societies often goes unnoticed, overshadowed by his financial achievements.

10. Short of the Century

Remember the 2008 global financial crisis? Soros saw it coming. In 2007, he expressed his concerns about the “superbubble” building up in the housing market. His early identification of the crisis below the surface and his positioning for this downturn resulted in a $4 billion gain for his funds.

This foresight again proves his remarkable affinity for spotting financial opportunities. It also serves as a testimony to his investment genius, reminding us why he continues to be revered worldwide.

To know more about George Soros, consider visiting:

Official George Soros Website
Open Society Foundations
Soros Fund Management