50 Most Famous American Investors - InvestingChannel

50 Most Famous American Investors

In this article, we discuss the 50 most famous American investors. To skip our analysis of ultra-high net worth individuals’ investment portfolios and the hedge fund industry, go directly to the 10 Most Famous American Investors.

According to Forbes’ The Richest in 2023 report, there were 2,640 billionaires in the world as of March 2023, down from 2,668 in the same period last year. The total net worth of the billionaires was $12.2 trillion, compared to $12.7 trillion last year. The drop in the number of billionaires was primarily caused by the rough macroeconomic conditions, mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The real estate consultancy firm, Frank Knight, published a wealth report in March 2023. The report contains survey responses provided by over 500  private bankers, wealth advisors, intermediaries, and family offices managing over $2.5 trillion for ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI) clients. According to the survey, 26% of UNHWIs invest their money in equities, followed by 21% in commercial properties. Bonds make up 17% of the average UHNWI’s portfolio. 

The United States has the highest number of billionaires in the world. According to Forbes, nine out of ten of the richest people in the world are US citizens. However, the United States still ranks sixth among countries with the most billionaires per capita. As of April 2023, 372 billionaires in the United States made their fortune through the financial sector including hedge funds, investment banking, and private equity investments. 

In the financial sector, hedge funds are one of the most notable paths of wealth generation. Between May 2014 and December 2018, Insider Monkey’s best-performing hedge funds strategy, which identifies the consensus small-cap picks of all hedge fund managers, returned 78.4%, compared to the S&P 500’s 60.4%. 

The hedge fund industry did quite well in 2021 when the markets were suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic as it gained over $1 trillion in assets under management. However, the sector noted some of the most considerable losses in 2022. The entire hedge fund industry declined by 2.4% and lost $208.4 billion. 9% of that total was accounted for by Chase Coleman’s and Feroze Dewan’s Tiger Global.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for hedge funds. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investments returned $16 billion in 2022 while Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates returned $6.2 billion. Ken Griffin’s biggest bets have made significant returns in 2023 as well. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2022, Ken Griffin increased his firm’s holdings in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) by over 500% and then added an extra 56% in Q1 2023. In those two quarters, the company’s stock registered a gain of nearly 130%.

Despite the heavy losses faced by the hedge fund industry in 2022 and the number of billionaires declining in 2023, the financial sector still added the highest number of new individuals to the list of global billionaires, including the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of GQG Partners, Rajiv Jain.

According to our database which comprises 910 elite hedge funds, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) were the most favored stocks by hedge funds in the second quarter of 2023. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock was owned by 300 hedge funds, while Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) stocks were owned by 278 and 225 hedge funds, respectively.

Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies

Our Methodology

For this article, we used over 20 sources including US News, Motley Fool, and several Insider Monkey articles like 15 Most Famous Investment Gurus of All Time. From all these lists, we only chose the investors that made a significant amount of their fortune in the United States. We calculated the number of times each investor was listed in our sources and calculated their aggregate position according to their position in each of the sources.

The net worth of each individual has been written as it was on September 17. We did not write net worth of investors who have passed away and for those whose net worth is not publicly available.

Most Famous American Investors

50. Mark Cuban

Net Worth: $5.2 billion

Mark Cuban is an American businessman who is also an investor in the American Broadcasting Company’s reality TV series, Shark Tank. He is also the majority owner of the NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks.

49. Jesse Livermore

Net Worth: N/A

Jesse Livermore was an American stock trader and is considered one of the best day traders of all time. Between the ages of 18-20, Livermore had racked up 1000% net returns through day trading. Jesse Livermore faced massive failures near the end of his life. However, it is speculated that his downfall was due to his mental health decline after his son was shot by his second wife and a lawsuit filed against him by his Russian mistress. Despite his rough end, Livermore was still once the “Boy Wonder of Wall Street”.

48. Sir John Templeton

Net Worth: N/A

Sir John Templeton was a British-American investor born in November 1912 in Tennessee, U.S., and passed away in July 2008. Along with Warren Buffett, he was also a student of Benjamin Graham. In 1999, he was called “arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century” by Money magazine. 

He was a value investor like his mentor and preferred fundamental analysis of stocks instead of technical. Nevertheless, he owned the Templeton Growth Fund which returned nearly 14.5% annually between 1954 and 1992. He sold Templeton Funds to Franklin Group in 1999.

47. John Albert Overdeck

Net Worth: $7.3 billion

John Albert Overdeck is the co-founder and co-chairman of Two Sigma Advisors along with David Siegel. He has been named as one of the highest-earning hedge fund managers by several business magazines. John Overdeck and David Siegel started their hedge fund in 2001 which now has $60 billion in assets under management.

46. David Siegel

Net Worth: $7.3 billion

David Seigel is an American investor with diversified investments in various, including real estate, hospitality, travel, finance, and consumer discretionary sectors. He founded Two Sigma Advisors along with John Overdeck and Mark Pickard (now retired) in 2001. He and John Overdeck met at D. E. Shaw where Seigel was the CIO and Overdeck was the Managing Director. David Seigel is also the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Florida-based timeshare resort company, Westgate Resorts.

45. Henrietta “Hetty” Green

Net Worth: N/A

Hetty Green was an American businesswoman and financier born in 1834 and she passed away in 1916. She was known as the “Queen of Wall Street.” Her other titles included “Wizard of Finance” and “Richest Woman in America.” She was a contrarian investor and bought assets at a low price when they were completely out of demand and kept them till “people are crazy to get them.”

44. Sallie Krawcheck

Net Worth: N/A

Sallie Krawcheck is considered the most powerful woman on Wall Street. She previously led the Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC)’s Global Wealth and Investment Management division. She is the co-founder and CEO of women’s online investment platform, Ellevest.

43. John D. Arnold

Net Worth: $3.3 billion

John D. Arnold is an American billionaire and philanthropist. He is a former Enron executive and is known for making the company nearly $750 million in 2001. He started his hedge fund Centaurus Advisors after the collapse of Enron.

John Arnold retired from the position of hedge fund manager in 2012 and now focuses on philanthropy along with his wife, Laura Arnold.

42. David Swensen

Net Worth: N/A

David Frederick Swensen was an investor and philanthropist. He was an endowment fund manager for Yale University. Between 1999 and 2009, Yale’s endowment average annual returns were nearly 12%.

41. Michael Steinhardt

Net Worth: $1.3 billion

Michael Steinhardt is an American billionaire investor worth $1.3 billion. He has also been mentioned in Sebastian Mallaby’s book about the hedge fund industry called ‘More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite’. He is known as one of Wall Street’s greatest traders in history. Between 1967 and 1995, his firm, Steinhardt Partners averaged an annual return of 24.5%.

40. Stanley Druckenmiller

Net Worth: $6.2 billion

Stanley Druckenmiller founded Duquesne Capital in 1981 and closed it to investors in 2010. He was also a lead portfolio manager for George Soros’ Quantum Fund, which registered a $1 billion gain by shorting the British Pound in 1992. When most of the hedge funds were having one of their worst years in 2008, Stanley Druckenmiller’s firm gained $260 million.

39. Julian Robertson

Net Worth: N/A

Julian Hart Robertson Jr. was the founder of Tiger Management. He is considered one of the most successful hedge fund managers of his time. Between 1980 and 1998, his hedge fund returned 31.7% per year after fees, compared to the S&P 500’s 12.7% annual return. After declines in 1999 and 2000, he closed the fund.

He later provided mentorship and seed money to several Tiger Cubs, including Andreas Halvorsen and Chase Coleman III.

38. Chase Coleman III

Net Worth: $5.7 billion

Charles Payson “Chase” Coleman III was born in 1972. He is one of the most successful Tiger Cubs and has a net worth of $5.7 billion according to Forbes. He founded Tiger Global Management LLC with $25 million in seed money from Julian Robertson.

In the second quarter of 2023, Coleman’s firm had a 13F portfolio value of nearly $12 billion. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) were his biggest bets of the quarter.

37. Daniel Loeb

Net Worth: $3.3 billion

Daniel Seth Loeb is an American activist investor and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of New York-based hedge fund, Third Point. He is a vocal person and is known for writing angry letters to the CEOs of companies that he believes are negatively affecting shareholder returns. He is the nephew of the creator of the Barbie Doll, Ruth Handler.

In the second quarter of 2023, Third Point 13F portfolio was valued at $6.825 billion. According to Forbes, Dan Loeb is worth $3.3 billion.

36. Bill Ackman

Net Worth: $3.7 billion

William Albert Ackman is an American billionaire hedge fund manager. He is the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management. He is an activist investor, famously known for pressuring The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) to spin off Tim Hortons and succeeding in it. He also wrote a thesis on MBIA Inc. (NYSE:MBI), calling it a “poor candidate for an AAA rating,” and placed short bets against it. He faced a lot of backlash for it but eventually gained $1.1 billion off of his bet in June 2008.

One of Bill Ackman’s greatest achievements was reorganizing General Growth Properties in 2011 after it had filed for bankruptcy. He told Bloomberg that the effort “turned $60 million into $1.6 billion.” In Q2, his top three holdings were Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR), and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW).

35. John Paulson

Net Worth: $3.5 billion

John Paulson is an American billionaire. He runs Paulson & Co which used to be a hedge fund but Paulson turned it into a family office in 2020. He is best at macro-themed investments where he picks several stocks from each sector.

John Paulson is best known for his bets against mortgage-backed securities before the subprime mortgage crisis. His investments in credit default swaps made him $4 billion. He later made $5 billion through his gold bets in 2010.

34. David Shaw

Net Worth: $8.3 billion

David E. Shaw is an American investor, scientist, and philanthropist. He is the founder of D E Shaw, a hedge fund that uses quantitative methods and proprietary computational technology inefficiencies in the financial markets and takes advantage of them. Mr. Shaw still manages higher-level strategic decisions of the firm while the day-to-day operations are taken care of by D E Shaw’s Executive Committee. David E. Shaw is worth $8.3 billion.

33. Charlie Munger

Net Worth: $2.7 billion

Charlie Munger is the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and is considered Warren Buffett’s right-hand man. He started his career at the grocery store of Buffett’s grandfather, Ernest P. Buffett. Munger is a supporter of ethical businesses and once said:

 “Good businesses are ethical businesses. A business model that relies on trickery is doomed to fail.”

32. Philip Fisher

Net Worth: N/A

Philip Arthur Fisher was an American investor and author of the book, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. The book was published in 1958 and is still considered a relevant investing guide. He was one of the first advocates of growth investing along with Thomas Rowe Price Jr., who is also on our list of most famous American investors.

31. Thomas Rowe Price Jr. 

Net Worth: N/A

Thomas Rowe Price Jr. was an American investment banker who is known as the “father of growth investing” and was the founder of the investment firm, T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW). Instead of charging a commission, Price’s firm charged a fee based on assets under management. 

Thomas Rowe Price Jr. believed that investors can get better returns if they invest in companies whose earnings and dividends are expected to grow faster than the inflation and overall economy.

30. Paul Singer

Net Worth: $6.1 billion

Paul Singer is an activist investor and the President and co-CEO of Elliott Management. As of the second quarter of 2023, his hedge fund manages approximately $11.36 billion in 13F securities. Singer’s Q2 2023 top 3 stock picks include Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE:TFPM), Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC), and Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE:HWM).

29. Seth Klarman

Net Worth: $1.3 billion

Seth Klarman is an American billionaire hedge fund manager. He is the President and portfolio manager of Baupost Group. He is a renowned value investor and follows the footsteps of Ben Graham just like Warren Buffett. Klarman’s investment philosophy can be read in his $1500 book, Margin of Safety.

28. Joel Greenblatt

Net Worth: $1 billion (estimated through several sources)

Joel Greenblatt is the founder of Gotham Asset Management. He is a value investor and has also started a website, Value Investors Club, where value investors share their investment ideas. He also has quantitative investment strategy and also pursues Magic Formula Investing.

27. Edward Johnson III

Net Worth: $8.2 billion (estimated in April 2021)

Edward Johnson III and his father Edward Johnson II founded Fidelity Investments. Even though Edward Johnson III was born into a life of privilege, he started his career in his father’s firm as an entry-level analyst and helped grow his family fortune after his father. A few years before his death, he handed over the control of Fidelity Investments to his daughter, Abigail Johnson, who seems to be as determined and hardworking as her father and grandfather.

26. Harold Clark Simmons

Net Worth: N/A

Harold Clark Simmons was an American investor who developed the concept of leveraged buyout. He is known for creating billions by becoming the majority shareholder of several publicly traded companies.

25. Ronald Perelman

Net Worth: $1.7 billion

Ronald Perelman is the owner of the private diversified holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. He has a net worth of around $1.7 billion which he amassed using his strategy of investment diversification through several companies and industries.

24. Leon Cooperman

Net Worth: $2.8 billion

Leon Cooperman is a self-made billionaire who came from humble beginnings. His father was the son of a plumber. Cooperman put himself through college by working as a Xerox quality control engineer. After his MBA, he started working for The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS). Leon Cooperman was named the number one portfolio strategist in the Institutional Investor magazine for several years when he worked for Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS).

He started his hedge fund, Omega Advisors, in 1991 and retired in 2016, converting his investment firm into a home office.

23. Kenneth Fisher

Net Worth: $7.1 billion

Ken Fisher is an American billionaire, author, and hedge fund manager. He founded Fisher Asset Management in 1979, which now has $211 billion in assets under management. He is the son of renowned stock investor, Philip Fisher.

The top three picks in Ken Fisher’s investment portfolio are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). 

22. David Abrams

Net Worth: N/A

David Abrams is a value investor. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Abrams Capital. As of the second quarter of 2023, Abrams’ 13F portfolio was worth approximately $3.48 billion and Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) was his hedge fund’s most prominent holding.

21. Mario Gabelli

Net Worth: $1.7 billion

Mario Gabelli is an American stock investor and an investment advisor. He is worth $1.7 billion. Mr. Gabelli is the founder, chairman, and CEO of GAMCO Investors. He was named Morningstar’s Fund Manager of the Year in 1997 and The Institutional Investor’s Money Manager of the Year in 2010.

In the second quarter of 2023, Mario Gabelli’s 13F portfolio was worth over $9.5 billion. His top three picks included Herc Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HRI), GATX Corporation (NYSE:GATX), and Mueller Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MLI).

20. John ‘Jack’ Bogle

Net Worth: N/A

John ‘Jack’ Bogle was an American business tycoon who founded and ran Vanguard Group Inc., an institutional investor with a 13F portfolio worth a whopping $4.2 trillion. Bogle is known to be the one to popularize index funds and is known as the “father of indexing”.

19. David Tepper

Net Worth: $20.6 billion

David Tepper founded Appaloosa Management LP in 1993. He also owns the National Football League team, Carolina Panthers, and Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer. David Tepper’s investments are not limited to stocks but also bonds and other assets. Tepper is famous for investing in distressed debt. In 2022, his hedge fund gained $1.6 billion while many others were losing due to the economic conditions.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are David Tepper’s top three stock picks. His firm increased its holdings in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) by 580% in the second quarter of 2023.

18. Jim Simons

Net Worth: $30.7 billion

Jim Simons is the ‘guru’ of quantitative investing, an investment strategy that relies heavily on mathematics. Simons is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund managing $69.386 billion in 13F securities as of the second quarter of 2023. However, Mr. Simons stepped down as the Executive Chairman of the firm in 2021.

Between 1988 and 2020, Jim Simons’ Medallion Fund had an average annualized return of 66%. While the market was in shambles in 2008, Medallion gained 98.2% compared to a 38.5% decline in the S&P 500 index.

17. John Neff

Net Worth: N/A

John Neff was a mutual fund manager and an investor born in 1931. He was the head of Vanguard’s Windsor Fund. When Neff headed the Windsor Fund, it was the highest-returning mutual fund of its time. His investing style was considered contrarian and he used value investing strategies. His nickname was “The Professional’s Professional”.

16. Bill Miller

Net Worth: N/A

Bill Miller is the founder of Miller Value Partners, a hedge fund with a 13F portfolio worth $152 million as of the second quarter of 2023. He is mostly known for beating the S&P 500 index for 15 consecutive years as a mutual fund manager when he worked for Legg Mason Capital Management.

15. Bruce Kovner

Net Worth: $7.7 billion

Bruce Kovner is the founder of Caxton Associates LP. Kovner retired in 2011 but between the inception of his firm and retirement (1983-2011), Caxton Associates returned an average of 21% per year. He is worth around $7.7 billion according to Forbes.

14. Edward S. Lampert

Net Worth: $2 billion

Edward S. Lampert is the founder and CEO of ESL Investments. His value investment strategy is considered to be somewhat similar to Warren Buffett’s. He makes concentrated bets which he holds for several years.

13. Michael Burry

Net Worth: $1.2 billion (estimated through several sources)

Michael Burry is one of the few investors who saw the subprime mortgage crisis coming and shorted the housing market. His decision led him to make $100 million in personal profits and $700 million for his investors during the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-09.

As of the second quarter of 2023, Michael Burry is shorting the market again and purchased put options worth $886.560 million and $739 million against SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust and Invesco QQQ ETF, respectively. Some of his most prominent stock picks include Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE), Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), and Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNRC).

12. Paul Tudor Jones

Net Worth: $8.1 billion

Paul Tudor Jones started his journey as an investor by trading cotton futures on the NYSE and gained popularity after his hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corporation, experienced a 200% gain during the Black Monday crash of 1987 while the losses around the globe amounted to $1.7 trillion that day.

In the second quarter of 2023, Paul Tudor Jones’ investment portfolio was worth $8.382 billion and had a significant stake in Horizon Therapeutics Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:HZNP) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Additionally, his firm increased its holdings in SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) by 22182% in Q2.

11. Ken Griffin

Net Worth: $35.4 billion

Ken Griffin started trading convertible bonds when he was studying at Harvard in the late 1980s. He is the founder and CEO of Citadel Investment Group. He started his career in 1986 by trading stock options out of his dorm room at Harvard College. One of his first highly successful investments was buying put options on Home Shopping Network which is now known as HSN, Inc., a division of Qurate Retail, Inc. (NASDAQ:QRTEA). Ken Griffin made a $ 5,000 profit on it when the stock fell.

A big chunk of his 13F portfolio is covered by call and put options on several ETFs and stocks. However, Griffin owns a sizable amount of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ:TMUS), and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD).


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Disclosure. None. 50 Most Famous American Investors is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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