The 6 Highest Paid People on Wall Street

The stock market is a volatile place that requires patience, risk tolerance, and thorough research. And those who make it to the top of Wall Street are also likely to be among the richest people in the world. Today's top investors share a strategy for financial success: They all took calculated, high stakes risks in hedge funds. Here are six of Wall Street's top earners and the hedge funds they manage.

Key Takeaways

  • Certain billionaires made their fortunes in the stock market.
  • The list includes John Paulson, Warren Buffett, James Simons, Ray Dalio, Carl Icahn, and Dan Loeb.
  • Buffett is by far the richest person of these six famous investors, with a net worth of $116 billion.

1. John Paulson

Unlike most people, John Paulson benefited from the mortgage crisis. Back in 2006, he was already predicting the housing market crash and created two hedge funds dedicated to betting against subprime mortgages. His hedge fund, Paulson & Co.—founded in 1994—had assets under management that topped $36 billion at its peak. In 2020, he announced plans to convert Paulson & Co. into a family office and return money to outside investors and has a net worth of $4 billion.

2. Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, nicknamed the "Oracle of Omaha" is considered one of the greatest investors of all time. He is one of the top 10 richest people in the world with a net worth of $116.5 billion. Buffett is the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), which owns over 60 companies, including Geico and Dairy Queen.

3. James Simons

This mathematician turned hedge fund manager has a net worth of over $24 billion, founding his hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC in the early 80s after teaching at Harvard, cracking codes for the U.S. Defense Department, and earning a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. His key to success has been trading algorithms and computers. Simons retired in 2010, but he continues to support autism research and has a nonprofit called Math for America.

4. Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is the founder and chief investment officer (CIO) of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund—which manages $154 billion. Many credit his untraditional management approach, which calls for complete honesty, accountability, and transparency from himself and all of his employees, as his secret to success. Dalio made his first investment at age 12 and started Bridgewater in 1975. Dalio has a net worth of $20 billion.

5. Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn has a net worth of almost $17 billion. Icahn runs the publicly-traded investment vehicle Icahn Enterprises. He advised the Trump Administration on regulatory overhaul during the first few months of Donald Trump taking office. His trademark is buying out fledging companies and turning them around.

6. Daniel Loeb

Daniel Loeb is known for writing no-holds-barred letters to the CEOs of companies that he is invested in when he feels they aren't bringing him big enough returns. Loeb graduated from Columbia University in 1983. His hedge fund, Third Point Management, manages roughly $19 billion. Loeb has a net worth of $4 billion.

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  1. Forbes. "#281 John Paulson."

  2. Forbes. "#8 Warren Buffett."

  3. Forbes. "#28 Jim Simons."

  4. Forbes. "#36 Ray Dalio."

  5. Forbes. "#43 Carl Icahn."

  6. Forbes. "#281 Daniel Loeb."

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