“I’ve always harbored an exaggerated view of my self-importance. To put it bluntly, I view myself as a God.”
That’s a quote from George Soros’ book, “Alchemy of Finance.”
George Soros was 14 during the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944. Soros father secured false identities for the family, identifying themselves as Christians.
Soros was tasked with being a courier who helped the Nazis identify Jews and confiscate their property. Another traumatic experience for Soros was that Russian liberators raped his mother.
This experience had a profound impact on him and influenced his future outlook and actions.
After the war, Hungary fell under Communist rule. In 1947, Soros left Hungary for England. He worked as a waiter and a railway porter to support his studies at the London School of Economics.
He eventually met his mentor Karl Popper, who greatly influenced his philosophy and worldview more than anybody in his life.
After completing his education at the London School of Economics, Soros started his career working at various financial institutions. He gained experience as a trader and analyst in firms such as Singer & Friedlander and F.M. Mayer and was often called the best money manager in the world.
Quantum Fund: Soros’s most notable investment fund was the Quantum Fund, which he established in 1973. The fund achieved remarkable success, generating extremely high returns for its investors. Soros’s approach involved making large-scale bets on global macroeconomic trends and currencies and generated a 30% annual return.
- Theory of Fallibility: The concept of fallibility stems from the philosophical understanding that it’s impossible to achieve perfect knowledge. In other words, humans are inherently flawed in their understanding and judgment. This theory is mainly used to explain the limitations of human comprehension and decision-making in complex systems like economics. This fallibility is often magnified by cognitive biases, incomplete information, and the emotions of individuals.
- Theory of Reflexivity: Reflexivity is the idea that people’s perceptions and beliefs influence their decision-making, which in turn impacts the state of the world, changing the fundamentals that they are trying to understand. This then further alters their perceptions and beliefs, creating a continuous, reflexive feedback loop.
Soros made over $50 billion during his career in finance. Most of his large gains came from trading currencies. After Soros got to the point where he had enough money to no longer need to work, he became very active in philanthropy.
Today, Soros is a major donor to politicians, journalists, and universities. There is not a day that goes by where the impact of George Soros is not felt by the world.