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From Rags to Riches: The 10 Best Success Stories
Fairy godmothers with magic wands and pumpkins that become gold-gilded carriages may belong in fairytales, but a good rags-to-riches story inspires hopes and dreams in even the most hardcore realists. These 10 inspirational success stories have it all: poverty and despair, hard work and risk-taking, and a multi-digit bank account to make it all better.
Let the stories inspire and encourage you to becoming your best self, taking cues from these successful individuals and becoming a positive influence on future generations. It doesn’t matter where you start from or where the journey takes you, or your age and background; what matters is that you never lose sight of the destination. It is the only way to ensure you arrive!
Industry: Sports – Football
Net worth: $100 million (£77 million)
A sure sign of success is when you don’t need a last name to identify yourself. That is exactly the case of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to all of us as simply as Pelé! Born in 1940 in Brazil, Pele grew up in poverty and developed his skills by kicking around a stuffed sock.
His talent did not go unnoticed and he was signed up with a professional football club by age 15, going on to dazzle the planet at the 1958 World Cup, scoring multiple times wearing Brazil’s national colours.
His long and successful career earned him the FIFA Player of the Century title in 1999 along with Argentina’s Diego Maradona. With 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, Pelé is a living legend in the sport, a declared national treasure in Brazil and one of his games was rumoured to be the reason for a 48-hour ceasefire in the Nigerian Civil War.
2. John Paul DeJoria
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Industry: Haircare and spirits
Net worth $2.6 billion (£2 billion)
Born in Los Angeles in 1944, John Paul Jones DeJoria was bounced around foster homes after his parents’ divorce and his mother’s inability to provide for him and his brother. Following two years in the US Navy, he moved around a series of low-income jobs and was even forced to sleep in his car for a while.
In 1980, he took out a loan for $700 (about £540) and along with hairdresser Paul Mitchell founded John Paul Mitchell Systems, and the rest is history, making him a fortune and household name in haircare. In 1989, he also cofounded the Patrón Spirits Company, one of the highest quality ultra-premium tequila brands in the world.
3. Do Won and Jin Sook Chang
Industry: Clothing – Fast fashion
Net worth: $3 billion (£2.3 billion)
No idea who these people are? Well, if you are a woman, you probably have an item from their brand in your closet, and if you are a guy, you’ve surely spent a few hours waiting outside the changing rooms of their international retail chain, Forever 21.
When Do Won Chang and his wife fled South Korea in 1981, he had to work three jobs to make ends meet, including washing dishes, pumping gas and cleaning offices. Jin Sook Chang worked as a hairdresser.
With all their amassed savings of $11,000 (£8,500), the couple opened a small clothing store in downtown Los Angeles in 1984. The venture was such a success that a new Forever 21 store opened every 6 months, resulting in the business growing to the fast fashion giant it is today, with around $4.4 billion (£3.4 billion) in sales, 790 stores in 48 countries and employing over 40,000 people.
4. Leonardo Del Vecchio
Net worth: $22.4 billion (£17.3 billion)
Born to an impoverished family in Milan, Italy in 1935, young Leonardo Del Vecchio was sent to an orphanage at the tender age of 7. At 14, he began an apprenticeship at a tool manufacturing factory, picking up skills and experience in making moulds for spectacles, and losing part of his index finger in the process.
This handicap did not deter him from continuing to learn the craft and to educate himself, though, moving to the centre of the eye-glass industry and founding a small limited partnership named Luxottica in 1961.
His keen sense of entrepreneurship and his belief in vertical integration saw him acquire companies relating to his industry and making Luxottica the eyewear conglomerate it is today, owning and producing for a number of brands and operating a number of distributing retail outlets.
5. Jan Koum
Industry: Tech – App development
Net worth: $10.4 billion (£8 billion)
When 16-year-old Jan Koum immigrated with his mother and grandmother to California in 1992, they lived on welfare, collecting food stamps and working odd jobs to make ends meet. He worked at various tech and computer security jobs that lead him to Yahoo! in 1997, where he met his soon-to-be business partner Brian Acton.
After taking time off and travelling to South America, they both applied to jobs at Facebook, and both were rejected. An iPhone purchase a few months later lead to the conception of an app that would revolutionise communication, and WhatsApp Inc was incorporated on Koum’s 33rd birthday.
Koum hired a coder from a freelancing site, and WhatsApp was born. He reached out to Acton, who brought in $250,000 (£193,000) seed funding through investors and the two became cofounders.
Fast forward to 2020 and the abandoned social services building Koun used to collect food stamps from, the two cofounders and a venture capitalist signed the agreement that would be their ultimate payday: the $19 billion (£14.6 billion) sale of WhatsApp to Facebook! Talk about poetic justice!
6. Jack Ma Yun
Industry: Online retail
Net worth: $34.9 billion (£26.9 billion)
The name might be unfamiliar, but I can almost guarantee you own items purchased through online retail giant Alibaba. After failing his university entrance exams three times before succeeding, Ma was also rejected from a number of jobs, including one for KFC. He even applied to Harvard Business School and was rejected a record 10 times.
That was no deterrent for ambitious Jack who, after a trip to the US in 1995, became intrigued with the Internet and saw the lack of Chinese presence on the web. With $20,000 (£AMOUNT) of his own money, he started his first venture, China Pages, to promote and build websites for Chinese companies.
Four years later, he founded Alibaba as a business-to-business marketplace, turning it to one of the most important technology group of companies in the world, and ‘reject’ Ma became a very rich man.
7. François Pinault
Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com
Industry: Luxury goods
Net worth: $27 billion (£20.8 billion)
Born to a family of timber traders, François Pinault grew up in France during the hardest times of Nazi occupation. In fact, the family was so poor that he was bullied in high school for it, forcing him to drop out and join the family timber mill to help make ends meet.
His started his first company in timber trading in 1963, which he later diversified into department stores and mail-order companies. The 1990s saw him expand into luxury goods, and the once sombre timber trading company became synonymous with all things luxury.
Kering, the descendant of the original timber trading company, is the owner of a range of major luxury brands, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Boucheron, as well as vineyards, a football team, Christie’s auction house and even a theatre in Paris.
With a net revenue upwards of €15 billion (£13.1 billion) per year, the company employs over 40,000 people, and the Pinault family ranks #30 on the Forbes 2020 Billionaire list.
Fun Fact: Pinault’s son and Kering CEO, François-Henri, is married to Hollywood A-lister Salma Hayek.
8. Stephen King
George Koroneos / Shutterstock.com
Net worth: $400 million (£308 million)
The author of some of the greatest horror and science fiction books did not have an easy start in life. Stephen King’s father walked out on the family when he was two, leaving his mother to raise two young boys with great financial hardship.
He knew he wanted to become a writer early on, writing short stories while still in school, winning teen writing awards and going on to study English at the University of Maine.
His first novel Carrie was rejected 30 times by publishers before being picked up by Doubleday Publishing in 1973 and catapulting King into a long and successful writing career that has given us masterpieces like The Shining and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption , on which the 1994 critically acclaimed movie The Shawshank Redemption is based.
His list of awards is so extensive that it would require a whole new article, but with over 350 million copies of his work sold worldwide, we can undoubtedly say that King is one of the most successful authors in the world.
9. Jennifer Lopez
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Net worth: $320 million (£246.4 million)
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)
The lyrics of her 2002 hit single ‘Jenny from the Block’ captivate the essence of who Jennifer Lopez is, a girl from a relatively poor family from the Bronx, who rose from backup dancer and film extra to internationally acclaimed singer and actress.
Dropping out of college after only one semester, Lopez found adversity from her parents who wanted her to gain an academic degree and work hard to become successful. She stayed true to herself and followed her dream, though, which to be honest worked out quite well for the 49-year old Latina superstar.
Along with other equally talented female artists, she has become a role model for empowering both young women and minority groups to chase their dreams and fulfil their destiny and to remember and respect their roots.
10. Empress Catherine I of Russia
Net worth: N/A
Born in 1684 to a Lithuanian peasant family and orphaned at the age of three, Marta Helena Skowrońska (later Catherine Alexeyevna) went on to become the first female Empress of Russia in true rags-to-riches style. Raised by a Latvian pastor, she was shipped to Moscow to Prince Alexander Menshikov’s household, where she met Peter the Great of Russia.
Her intelligence is thought to have saved the Tsar’s life and the Russian Empire in 1712, after which the Tsar married her and bestowed upon her the title of Tsarina. He created the award of the Order of Saint Catherine in her name and made her co-ruler. Oh, and he built her one of the most majestic palaces of all times!
And there you have it! Ten very different success stories to motivate and inspire you, where people took control of their lives and brought something positive out of their difficult pasts. All you need is a little encouragement, a little luck and a whole lot of persistence, and you can write your own success story!
Which story inspired you the most? Do you have a success story of your own to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
5 failures and 5 successes. 3 years on the way to a dream. The story of a real trader.
Hello. My name is Julia. I am from Saint-Petersburg. My trading experience is 3 years. I do the positional and intraday trading on the Moscow Exchange.
In this autobiographical article I will tell you how I became a trader. I will split my story into:
- failures – a description of mistakes. Each failure contains a saving prescription of how not to fall into my traps;
- successes – a story of achievements. What I recommend.
But first, a bit of background before we start speaking about failures and successes.
Start to use ATAS absolutely free of charge! The first two weeks of use of the platform give access to its full functionality with 7-day history limit.
Why I decided to reverse my life
Three years ago I decided to resign from a well-paid office job to start doing what was interesting for me – investment and trading.
I chose exchange trading , because:
- I had economic education;
- I was fed up with my job;
- I had free money and I was ready to take a risk;
- I wanted to run away from the office routine;
- I wanted to make millions.
How I planned to change my profession.
I calculated my monthly expenditures/income and built a plan of changing a profession. The plan envisaged that I could trade without income for some time.
From the very beginning I got qualification certificates of the Federal Financial Markets Service 1.0, 5.0 and 7.0, so that brokers would recognize me as a qualified investor.
Theoretically, qualified investors could buy any financial instruments of the Moscow and American Exchanges through Russian brokers. Practically, they are just beautiful pieces of paper hanging on the wall.
Preparation for exams and getting qualification certificates took about half a year. At the same time, I studied portfolio investment, bonds and stock at https://www.coursera.org/ and financial consulting in the Ministry of Finance of the RF.
I should admit that it was a doubtful decision. If I had a time machine, I would have missed this long stage of training and certification and started to trade on a real account much faster.
Having received all certificates I started to count the days until I make millions and set off for an ocean cruise around the world. However, the reality of first trades on the exchange turned out to be less radiant.
And now we come to my failures.
Failure No. 1. Mistakes when executing a brokerage contract.
I took my time to select a broker. I compared conditions, studied trading platforms, commissions and cash withdrawal methods. But when I arrived to execute a contract, I made a lot of mistakes.
There is a popular term – a noob. A noob is a newcomer, incompetent person and inexperienced user. Well, when I opened a broker’s account I behaved like a dumb noob and happily agreed to everything the broker offered.
- “NYSE? Sure!” I didn’t know that I would have to pay for the access to NYSE more than RUB 300 a month and that commissions are accrued in USD.
- “LSE? Sure!” I had no idea at that time what LSE was. Additional payment for the access is another RUB 300 a month.
- “FORTS? Of course!” I also didn’t know what forward contracts were . Additional monthly commission was RUB 100.
- “Currency market? Of course!” I didn’t know that the minimum lot was USD 1,000. And there was an additional commission for trading less than 50 lots.
I think you’ve already got the main idea – I was connected to everything and mandatory payments were written off immediately. After I got acquainted with details and realized that what I need is FORTS (Futures and Options on Russian Trading System) and nothing else, I found out that I made a present to my broker in the amount of RUB 1,300. And, by the way, the tariffs of my first broker, from the point of view of trading on FORTS, were not the best possible ones, which I started to realize only a year later.
How to avoid failure No. 1:
- Read contract and tariff conditions, despite the fact that there is a lot of text there and it’s boring;
- Execute a contract online – this would help you to avoid additional offers and possible psychological pressure;
- Compare conditions and tariffs of different brokers;
- Make your decision what and where you trade beforehand. Learn everything about tariffs in this market. Stay focused and select only one market to start with. One cannot embrace the boundless.
Failure No. 2. Absence of important knowledge and trading system. Experiments on a real trading account.
It’s funny – I studied the theory for half a year but had no idea about the basics of price movement. I didn’t know:
… and so on. I only had a very ordinary Quik as a trading platform.
I still remember my first trade – I bought Aeroflot stock in the middle of a falling trend. I behaved like a joke – I buy it because it falls.
I marked the week when I bought the stock with number 1. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time when I did it.
For about half a year I tried to buy and sell everything I saw and considered acceptable – commodity futures on gold, oil and platinum, futures on indices and stocks and currency futures. It resulted in the loss of 20% of my account.
Of course, there were accidental achievements, when I managed to catch up with a developing trend and make some money. For example, I opened a long position in a Lokoil stock futures on the eve of New Year during two years. Both times I made a relatively big profit: about RUB 15 thousand in 2020 and a bit less in 2020 (closed too early).
Do you think I conducted a thorough technical or fundamental analysis before buying? No. I bought these futures hoping for a New Year rally. The trading system during the first year on the exchange had the proud name – ‘maybe’.
Trading without a system is a cause of many mistakes:
- trading from sheer boredom. “I cannot just sit and watch the screen. I need to do something during a trading day”.
- trading in big lots.I wanted to make a lot of money immediately. I watched a broker’s webinar where a trader made RUB 17 thousand during a day and I badly wanted to reach that number.
- trading in several markets and instruments simultaneously. For example, I bought a Moscow Exchange index futures, RTS index futures and Sberbank stock futures. If I would have done it along a trend, perhaps, I could have reached the desired 17 thousand. But I managed to do it against the main trend, increasing my losses, because the correlation between the Moscow Exchange index and Sberbank stock achieves 80% and higher. (By the way, I traded by correlation too).
- trading by an unclear plan. On the one hand, you have a trading plan, on the other hand, it has unclear statements, which allow several variants of trading by this trading plan.
- absolute misunderstanding of what takes place in momentum. I saw in the Quik platform that prices go up and down and constantly tried to understand why this happens.
Now I think that it is not important why the price moves. It is important how it moves. Let’s assume that the price does not grow and the positive delta grows on the day’s local high. Perhaps, the market buy orders are engulfed by limit sell orders. The key word is ‘engulfed’, that is, the limit sell orders do not let market buy orders move further. Quite often this engulfing forecasts a downward reversal.
How could I see engulfing and reversal in Quik at that moment? I still don’t know. That is why I started to look for the required software with rich functionality for analysis of buyers and sellers actions. And the ATAS footprint shows it immediately.
I will give an example in the range chart (10) of a WTI oil futures. I like charts that are not connected with time, since they show the market situation from a different angle and the existing trading platforms do not have them.
I marked engulfing with a rectangle and the horizontal red line shows the level, above which the buyers failed to break through.
- Number 1 marks the bar with the biggest volume for the previous upward movement.
- Number 2 marks neighbouring bars, in which the buyers obviously tried to push the price up. After that, the delta becomes stably negative, buyers move into the shadow and sellers become more active. Big volumes and small delta show a fight between buyers and sellers. And a big number of red footprint cells shows that sellers win.
- Numbers 3 and 4 mark bars in the breakout area, where there is an obvious overweight of sellers.
This is how I see engulfing and reversal in a footprint. This footprint type is called the Bid Ask Ladder . I traded by candle charts in Quik.
Successful Forex Traders And Other Rags To Riches Stories
I will admit that I really wanted to do an article about successful Forex traders and their stories but finding them online was virtually impossible.
Even the currency traders that defined themselves as real millionaires could not back that up with any audited statement of their trading account.
A quick note on “millionaire trader” claims. One prominent trader posts pictures of fancy cars and vacation. The issue is that most of his money is made from selling courses, not trading.
Is that to say there are no success stories about trading Forex?
There are claims but in the end it depends on what you define as successful.
Do you need to make millions to be a successful FX trader or is being able to pay the bills and have money left over for the finer things in life enough for you?
I can say this though, successful Forex traders or any trader for that matter that has success, has much in common with others who are successful.
There is probably a very good reason why you have not obtained any level of trading success that you can be proud of. It could be anything from not having an edge to simply being under-capitalized.
Whatever the reason is for you, you can start by adopting the habits taken from the true stories of traders who are successful.
Successful Trading Stories Start By Doing Things Differently
We are all built the same. It’s what we do with what we have that will make your story one of success or one of failure. The successful traders you emulate are in line with what I have written for you below.
Why Do You Trade?
This is the probably the most defining factor of success. What is your motive? Is it for the thrill? Is it to be right? Is it because you love the challenge? Whatever your reason is for trading, be very clear on why you open the charts every day. Having a very in depth “why” behind your trading can keep you on track when the going gets tough (or so good you want to double your position size). Make it your mission statement.
Define Your Trading Edge
What is it that makes you have a positive expectancy trading method? Can you explain why your method of trading should produce positive returns? If you are unable to define what your edge is, then you do not have one. The people who make money (sometime a lot of money) know exactly what their edge is and why it should give them positive returns over time.
Are You Your Own Thinker?
In most interviews of proven successful traders, they will tell you that they are independent thinkers. They don’t look to Twitter, the trading forums, they don’t phone a friend….everything they do if from their own opinions and fall in line with their trading edge. They understand they don’t know the motives or techniques of other traders so to follow blindly is simply a recipe for disaster.
Be Confident In Your Trading Edge and Ability
You will never see anybody that’s at the peak of their game being tentative when they do what they do. They understand what they DON’T know but act swiftly on the things they do know. They trust themselves and their ability to make the needed decisions in accordance with their trading plan. If you lack confidence, you will lack the ability to execute either to enter a trade, stop out of a loser or take your profits when the market shows you the exit.
They Understand Losing Traders Are A Part Of Doing Business
Interesting enough, I had read an interview where the trader said he never takes a loss or a win. He simply takes the outcome of his trading edge and moves onto the next. What a great way to think! We will never know with 100% certainty whether our next trade will win or lose. All we can do is apply our edge when the time is right and let the random distribution of wins and losses play out over time. That is it.
They Don’t Trade With Scared Money
This simply means that the money they have put up for the position is money that if the lose, will not prevent them from paying the bills. They don’t NEED to win because they know that is fruitless. They don’t need to not NOT lose because that is fruitless as well. Any loss will not change their decrease their lifestyle as a win will not increase it either. Desperation will reward you with losing your account.
Hard Times Is A Time For Growth
Success is never a straight line. While there may be the outlier, most people will have a two steps forward one step back journey to success. During the times of struggle are the times the discipline to stick to your proven edge will become effort. In adversity strength is born and if you can walk through the fire as many times as you must by not getting burnt (a blown out account), you have much better odds of reaching the success you seek.
Real Millionaire Trader Stories
Now, I got to admit, this is not the classic rag-to-riches story but on the other hand, when you think about it, it is, when you compare how much each trader is now worth compared to when they were just starting out to build their wealth.
So in that sense, these are Rags-to-Riches story of how ordinary people became billionaire (millionaire) traders.
And like most people, many of you will quickly assume that:
- They may have had a lot of money in the bank to start with in the first place
- They head good start in life… maybe they were born into rich families…
- A few of them grew up in middle class families and some of them did not.
- Most of them did not start trading with a lot of money.
- They even had some funny jobs in the first place to start with
- One trader was actually a New York Taxi Cab Driver before becoming rich…as in billionaire rich
A lot of these millionaire/billionaire traders did not rise all the way to the top. It took some years of hard work and persistence. Some even considered giving up trading altogether after either wiping out their trading accounts or almost losing most of it.
These traders definitely put in the hard work.
If there’s anything the learn from these amazing traders, this would be it: you can turn a small amount of money into millions (or at the very least make a darn good living).
Even if you don’t reach the level of these traders, do your best to make your own trading success story by hitting your goals.
#1: ALL IT TOOK WAS A $12,000 INHERITANCE FROM HIS GRANDMOTHER…THAT WAS THE START TO MAKING HIM FILTHY RICH
This is one man who would be very thankful to have had lovely grandmother. But on the other side is a bit funny too…Imagine spending 5 years of your life studying at university for a degree and then leaving the degree collecting dust on the shelf and now you are doing something entirely different from what you studied for?
Wouldn’t that be crazy? Well, not really according this this story. You see, if that man above had taken the path of his degree, he wouldn’t be a billionaire today.
Who is this man? Well, Bill Lipschutz is your man!
You see, Bill Lipschutz was studying to be an architecture in Cornell University when his grandmother died leaving him a portfolio of shares of around $12,000. Bill sold all of it and used this money as his risk capital to start trading the stock market whilst he was still a student.
He started trading the stock market using this money and years later when he started working for Salomon Brothers, he started trading the Forex market.
But here’s the thing, Bill Lipschutz eventually graduated, not with one degree but two degrees.
Well, he got his architectural degree but he also ended up studying a lot of business courses and ended up getting and M.B.A. The thing was, he never practiced as an architect. It was his second degree that paved his way to secure a job with Salomon Brothers.
Bill Lipschutz said that he never remember making a decision to be a trader.
The thing was he did not want to be an architect. It was a gradual process until trading literally took over his life.
What happened to the $12,000 trading account?
Well, he increased it to $250,000 in 4-5 years. But a bad trading decision he made cost him dearly. That $250,000 account which took 4-5 years to build up was blown up in a couple of days . That huge loss was a very important learning experience for him.
There is no clear information of what Bill Lipschutz net worth is currently but I wouldn’t be surprised it would be up there in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Bill Lipschutz is also reputed to have made $6 million dollars in 6 hours trading the New Zealand Dollar in September 1985 with one of his co-workers/trader.
In other spectacular trade, he made $20 million trading the Japanese yen in 1987.
Also there was on trade in 1988 where where where was short on D-Mark by $3 billion (The official currency of Germany until it adopted the euro in 2002. D-mark is an abbreviation of Deutsche Mark).
He was caught out (on the wrong side) and with no liquidity during the New York Trading Session when the Dollar started increasing against the D-Mark and he couldn’t bail out of his large short position and when price went up by 1%, he was in deep freaking trouble.
To put this in perspective: one percent of $3billion is $30million. So Bill Lipschutz was staring at a $30million loss in just 8minutes! At one point during that trading session, that loss started to increase and he was staring at a $90 million loss. Eventually he managed to close off this trade with an $18million loss for the day during the Tokyo Session came and the dollar started sliding down.
Compared to the $90 million loss, that $18 million loss seemed like a winner.
This was a guy that was trading huge contracts that sometimes moving the currency markets just by his huge orders.
What’s the lesson here?: there are many people in this life that end up going to universities just to get educated and get a degree and then don’t even end up doing the jobs that they were educated for. And there may be many reason for that. But here’s the thing: if its not in your heart, you won’t last long. Sometimes it may take a while before someone finally figures out what he want to do in life.
Bill Lipschultz‘s net worth is unknown but here’s what Wikipedia had to say about how much he was making whilst working for Salomon’s Brothers:
He was considered to be amongst the top five of all Forex traders worldwide. By 1985, Lipschutz was making $300 million per year for Salomon Brothers.
#2: HE TURNED $2,000 INTO MILLIONS
I can’t find a picture of this guy! Honestly! So if you find a picture, please let me know.
I bet you’ve never heard of this millionaire trader. And maybe its for a good reason because this guy likes to maintain a low profile (that’s why I can find a picture). But here’s the thing: If there’s any futures trader who can take $2000 and turn it into a millions, Randy McKay would be the one.
An excerpt in The New Market Wizards by Jack Schwager, from Randy McKay:
“In 1970, I returned from a tour in Vietnam. Since I didn’t finish school before I left for Vietnam, I needed a job that would allow me to go to school at the same time. My brother, Terry, was a floor broker on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He got me a job as a runner on the floor, which allowed me to work in the morning, attend school in the afternoon, and study in the evening.
I worked as a runner for a couple of years with absolutely no intention of getting into this business. I was studying to be a clinical psychologist. Just as I was finishing college, in 1972, the CME launched a subdivision, the International Monetary Market to trade currencies. When the exchange started the IMM division, they sold seats for only $10,000 in an effort to try to get bodies into these new trading pits and gave away free seats to all existing members.
As a member, my brother had no particular need for this seat at the asked me if I’d like to use it in the interim. He gave me the use of the seat and lent me $5,000. I put $3,000 in the bank to pay my living expenses, and used the $2,000 for my trading account.”
In the first seven months of trading, he turned that $2,000 into $70,000. And each year he continued to make more money than the previous year. And he was trading in the trading floors at that time.
Then one day he decided to leave the trading floors and start trading from home. By his second year from trading from home, he made his first $1 million.
And tell you what? He continued to increase his trading account every year until 1986 when he suffered his first trading loss for the year.
If there’s anybody who would get a medal for consistency in trading, it would be Randy Mckay. Its been reported that Randy Mckay has been profitable for his own trading account 18 out of 20 years.
Not much is known about Randy Mckay’s net worth but one thing is for sure: it won’t be under $10million.
What the lesson here? Well, you can turn $2,000 trading account into $70,000 if you are consistent like cutting your losses and making more than you lose.
#3: HE COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED DURING WORLD WAR II BY THE NAZIS
If there was one trader who was born at the wrong place at the wrong time, but somehow ended up being the 29th richest person in the world with a new worth $24.2 billion as of April 2020 according to Forbes.
I don’t think there is any trader out there that can break the record of this man who made more than $1 billion dollars in profit in one single day!
That guy is called George Soros.
Here is a his brief story:
- He was born in 1930 in Budapest and survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary during World War II. Seriously, those bloody Nazis could have killed him!
- Anyway, he left the war torn Budapest and managed to make his way to England and Graduated in London School of Economics in 1952.
- In 1956, he emigrated to USA and later he took a job working as a financial analyst and trader in New York.
- In September of 1992, George Soros risked $10 billion on a single currency speculation when he shorted the British pound.
- His bet was right, and in a single day the trade generated a profit of $1 billion – ultimately, it was reported that his profit on the transaction almost reached $2 billion.
- Because of this he is often referred to as “the man who broke the Bank of England.”
What made George Soros so successful in taking large bets like that that made him billions?
Well, here’s your answer:
- George Soros was a master at translating broad-brush economic trends into highly leveraged, killer plays in bonds and currencies.
- As an investor, Soros was a short-term speculator, making huge bets on the directions of financial markets.
- He believed that financial markets can best be described as chaotic.
- The prices of securities and currencies depend on human beings, or the traders – both professional and non-professional – who buy and sell these assets. These persons often act out based on emotion, rather than logical considerations.
- He also believed that market participants influenced one another and moved in herds.
- He said that most of the time he moved with the herd, but always watched for an opportunity to get out in front and “make a killing.”
How could he tell when the time was right?
Soros has said that he would have an instinctive physical reaction about when to buy and sell, making is strategy a difficult model to emulate.
So if you think there is a trading strategy that George Soros uses and you’ve been searching for it the forget it! What’s the lesson here?:
- It does not matter what country or what conditions you faced in life as a child growing up.
- If you have a little bit of decent education and saw an opportunity to make money of that knowledge and you work hard, you’d get somewhere, just like George Soros did.
#4: THE NERDY TRADER WHO MADE MILLIONS BY USING COMPUTER TRADING PROGRAMS
Now, not much is known about how much this guy shown above net worth is but it should be in the multi millions I believe.
His name is Ed Seykota.
He is a commodities trader, who earned S.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT and Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, both in 1969. He is reported to be the first to conceive and develop the first commercial computerized trading systems.
You make rightfully call him the computer nerd who became a multi-million dollar trader.
Not much is currently know about is net worth but if rumors are true, he certainly deserves to be called a trading success story.
What’s the lesson here? Computers can do your trading. You just have to find the right system and code it and watch it churn in billions! (just kidding). But on a serious note, yes, you can make money by using computer programs which trade on your behalf but the important thing in my opinion is to use the right trading method that works in a given currency pair.
Ed is still active today in what is called The Trading Tribe. Ed is a firm believer that emotions and knowing yourself is the cornerstone of a successful trading career.
#5: HE WAS ONCE A TAXI CAB DRIVER BUT NOW HE’S WORTH $5 BILLION
If you are a taxi driver and and thought you can never become a billionaire, well, you should be motivated to know that there was once a person like who driving taxis to make a living and his net
worth is now $5 Billion according to Forbes April 2020!
And just to think that there are some people alive today that have been taxied around by this billionaire trader? Well…he wasn’t actually a billionaire back then but he was a taxi driver.
He had some turbulent childhood as well and it must be tough for him as His mother committed suicide.
He started trading with $3,000 and used that to trade the soybeans futures contract and that trade saw him made a paper profit of $40,000 and then when his profits started to drop, he bailed out with only $23,000. He panicked and sold it. He said that the was a good lesson for him in risk management.
Who is this man? It’s Bruce Kovner.
As of Feb 2020, Bruce Kovner’s Net Worth is $5 Billion. Not bad for a former taxi driver.
What’s the lesson here? Well, it does not matter what kind of job you are doing right now. Give a shot a trading. You never know where you will end up in the end. Your past career/job does not determine who you will be in the future.
#6: HE WAS A STREET SELLER…A KID WHO GREW UP SELLING NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, COCA-COLA AND BUBBLE GUM DOOR TO DOOR WHO BECAME THE WORLD’S BEST INVESTOR
From an early age, he showed great interest in making and saving money…and that later translated to making him billions and many millions of dollars to many of those investors that invested with his company. You probably won’t recognize him from his childhood photos with his two sisters above. But you know what?
His net worth now is $73.6 Billion as of Feb 2020 according for Forbes.
That kid above, who is now a insanely rich old man today is Warren Buffet!
Here’s an excerpt from Forbes:
Warren Buffett is wealthier than ever thanks to the stellar performance of his diversified holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. Its coveted Class A stock, which is the most expensive of any public U.S. company, eclipsed $200,000 per share for the first time in August 2020. Buffett moved to 3rd richest on Forbes’ 2020 list of the world’s richest, up 4th richest in 2020.
With dozens of subsidiaries, including in railroads, insurance and energy, Berkshire Hathaway posted $182 billion in 2020 revenue and $19.5 billion in net income. Still inking big deals, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought battery maker Duracell from Procter & Gamble in November 2020 for $4.7 billion.
A generous philanthropist, he bested his own giving record in July 2020, giving away Berkshire shares worth $2.8 billion, primarily to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation but also to his children’s foundations, bringing his lifetime giving to nearly $23 billion.
Buffett says his best ever investment was buying Benjamin Graham’s book “The Intelligent Investor” in 1949. He later studied under Graham before moving home to Nebraska and acquiring a struggling textiles company in 1962, Berkshire Hathaway. In early February 2020, it was the fourth most valuable public company in the U.S. with a market capitalization of $355 billion.
#7: THE TRADING FLOOR CLERK WHO LATER BECAME A BILLIONAIRE TRADER
Paul Tudor Jones
He currently has a net worth of $4.7 Billion as of Feb 2020 according to Forbes. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He finished high school and went on to University of Virginia, earning an undergraduate degree in economics in 1976 as well as his college welterweight boxing championship.
In 1976, he started working on the trading floors as a clerk. Then later he became a broker. In 1980, he went strictly on his own for two and a half profitable years, before he “really got bored”.
I mean, seriously? Did he got bored making money?
Anyway…as the story goes: out of his boredom, he wanted to try something different: he then applied to Harvard Business School, was accepted, and was packed up and ready to go when he thought to himself: “this is crazy, because for what I’m doing here, they’re not going to teach me anything like this in Harvard. This skill set is not something that they teach in business school.”
How right he was! Who is this guy? Its Paul Tudor Jones.
He was advised to go down to New Orleans to talk with commodity broker Eli Tullis, who hired and then mentored him in trading cotton futures at the New York Cotton Exchange. And this is what Jones later said:
“Eli Tullis was the toughest son of a bitch I ever knew. He taught me that trading is very competitive and you have to be able to handle getting your butt kicked. No matter how you cut it, there are enormous emotional ups and downs involved.”
That was just the beginning. Years later, he was a billionaire trader. What a story!
#8: HE CAME FROM VERY HUMBLE BEGINNINGS…THIS TRADER MADE $3.7 BILLION IN A SINGLE YEAR IN 2007.
This guy’s net worth is $11.2 Billion as of April 2020 according to Forbes. He really came from humble beginnings.
Some people make a fortune in crisis. As a matter of fact, times of crises present great opportunities for wealth creation…that is, if you are prepared for it. This guy was definitely prepared. This guy made $3.7 billion during the 2007 Mortgage Crisis.
He is John Paulson.
His prominence and fortune were made in 2007 when he earned $3.7 billion personally and was transformed “from an obscure money manager into a financial legend” by using credit default swaps to effectively bet against the U.S. subprime mortgage lending market. In 2020, Paulson earned “$4.9 billion” according to Business Insider.
How did he make his fortune in 2007?
Here’s how: he made a bet on the sub-prime mortgage crash in 2007 by betting against four out of the five biggest British Banks, many called it the greatest trade ever made. It made him a billionaire, making $3.7bn in a single year
Somebody else misfortune became his fortune.
#9: THE HIGH SCHOOL POKER PLAYER WHO BECAME A BILLIONAIRE TRADER
This trader played poker as a high school kid. In fact, he said that playing poker taught him a good lesson about taking risks. Risks can kill you or make you wealthy and for his case, it made him
Who is this guy? Its Steven Cohen.
He opened up his first brokerage account with $1,000 of his own tuition money. At 22 he got a job as a junior trader for Gruntal & Co and on his first day he made $8,000. That was pretty much the star of his rise to become one of the world’s billionaire traders.
Guess what his net worth is? Stephen Cohen’s net worth is $13 Billion as of Feb 2020 according to Forbes.
I bet there aren’t many former poker players worth as much as this guys is! Good on him!
#10: THIS TRADER HAS HIS GRANDMOTHER TO BLAME FOR HIS BILLIONS!
There are many stories of grandmothers wrong influence on children. And this guy is not exception. In fact, his grandmother is to be blamed for this guy’s net worth as of Feb 2020 is $1.96 Billion!
You see, his grandmother was a passive investor and big fan of Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week television program. She instilled in him an interest in investing. His mother would later recall that young boy would sit with his grandmother reviewing and evaluating the performance of her stock picks in the daily newspaper.
And that’s how Edward Lampert got hooked in trading as they say: “the rest is history.”
So listen, mums and dads, its better to have your kids around granmas and granpas who can instill them an interest in investing. It may not only be in the areas of investing but in other areas in the life of you children to become respectable and successful men and women when they grow up.
#11: HE STARTED TRADING IN HIS HARVARD SCHOOL DORM WHILE STILL A STUDENT
This guys net worth is $7.7 billion according to Forbes in Feb 2020. Who is he? Ken Griffin.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about this man:
In 1986, Griffin started to invest during his freshman year at Harvard University after reading a Forbes magazine article. During his second year at Harvard, he started a hedge fund focused on convertible bond arbitrage.
The fund was capitalized with $265,000 from friends and family, including money from his grandmother.He installed a satellite link to his dorm to acquire real-time market data. The investment strategy helped preserve capital during the stock market crash of 1987.
Griffin’s early success enabled him to launch a second fund, and between the two funds he was managing just over $1 million.Griffin graduated from Harvard in 1989 with a degree in economics.
Those were the beginnings to making billions years later.
12: HE WAS ONCE HOT DOG STAND SELLER IN COLLEGE AND A UNIVERSITY PHD DROPOUT BUT NOW IS IS WORTH BILLION$
This guy’s net worth as of Feb 2020 according to Forbes is $4.7 Billion. He is Stanley Druckenmiller.
This is what Wikipedia had to say about him:
He grew up in a middle-class household in the suburbs of Philadelphia. His parents divorced when he was in elementary school and he went to live with his father in Gibbstown, New Jersey and then in Richmond, Virginia (his sisters, Helen and Salley, would stay with their mother in Philadelphia).
Druckenmiller is a graduate of Collegiate School, Richmond, Virginia. In 1975, he received a BA in English and economics from Bowdoin College (where he opened a hot dog stand with Lawrence B. Lindsey, who later became economic policy adviser to President George W. Bush).
He dropped out of a three-year Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Michigan in the middle of the second semester to accept a position as an oil analyst for Pittsburgh National Bank.
In 1988, he was hired by George Soros to his Quantum Fund. He and Soros famously “broke the Bank of England” when they shorted British pound sterling in 1992, reputedly making more than $1 billion in profits. They reasoned out that the Bank of England did not have enough foreign currency reserves with which to buy enough sterling to prop up the currency and that raising interest rates would be politically unsustainable
Here’s what Forbes had to say about him:
Famed investor Stan Druckenmiller was George Soros’ main man when together they “broke the Bank of England,” earning a $1 billion profit by shorting the pound in 1992.
Born in a middle class home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Druckenmiller attended Bowdoin College and pursued a PhD at the University of Michigan.
He eventually dropped out and went to work for Pittsburgh National Bank. After becoming head of equity research, Druckenmiller left to launch the legendary Duquesne Capital Management, a hedge fund he ran until 2020, when he reconverted it into a family office. While running Duquesne, Druckenmiller had stints at Dreyfus and with George Soros
I hope these real trading success stories from those who are real millionaires (and billionaires) are enough to get you excited that you CAN DO THIS.
Just go through my list of 7 way successful traders approach trading and make sure you take it to heart
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