10 Of The Best Bets On The Stock Market That Have Earned The Bet Maker Millions, If Not Billions

10 Of The Best Bets On The Stock Market That Have Earned The Bet Maker Millions, If Not Billions

Some people have an uncanny ability to spot an opportunity and place a wager that nets them thousands, if not millions, and sometimes billions of dollars. Of course, it helps if the bet maker has prior experience in the financial sector and is aware of the warning signs.

That, however, does not guarantee that the bet will be successful. George Soros has the most famous of these stories (which we will discuss further below) from 1992, when he essentially broke the Bank of England.

Last month, hedge funder Bill Ackman won big on a bet that the coronavirus would cause the stock market to crash. With this bet, he turned $27 million into $2.6 billion. This got us thinking about other big bets that seemed controversial at the time, but paid off handsomely for the man (they’re all men here, sorry ladies!) who took the risk. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at ten of the best and biggest bets in the financial sector that have paid off handsomely for those who took the risk.


Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman is a hedge fund manager worth billions of dollars. He had a feeling that the market meltdown caused by all of the coronavirus shutdowns, furloughs, and layoffs would be extremely beneficial to him. In March 2020, he made some defensive hedge bets and turned a $27 million position into a $2.6 billion profit. He predicted that the debt bubble would burst, and that investors would flee riskier investments. He was right.


Andrew Hall

Andrew Hall, an oil trader, bought cheap long-dated oil futures in 2003 with the intention of cashing in if the price of oil reached $100 in the next five years. That paid off well for him because, just in time for his bet, oil reached $100 in 2008, and Hall cashed in on $100 million for his employer, Phibro, as well as a sizable portion of that $100 million for himself.


Neil Woodford

Neil Woodford, a British hedge fund manager, invested in tobacco stocks before the first dot-com bubble burst 20 years ago. By 2014, his bet had paid off, with British American Tobacco providing annual returns to his fund of more than 20%.


David Tepper

Back in 2009, during the previous financial crisis, hedge fund billionaire David Tepper made a very wise bet. He made significant investments in Bank of America and other struggling companies at the time. He essentially purchased a massive amount of distressed bank assets. This resulted in a $7 billion profit for his hedge fund.


Simon Cawkwell

Simon Cawkwell is a British spread-better who predicted the failure of Northern Rock Bank in 2007. He profited $1.2 million by short-selling shares of the doomed bank.

Kyle Bass

Few people benefited from the 2007-2008 housing crisis. Kyle Bass, a hedge fund investor, did. He made $4 billion by purchasing credit default accounts after the housing market in the United States collapsed during the previous recession.


Louis Bacon

Back in 1990, investor Louis Bacon invested in oil after betting that the first Iraq War would affect the price of oil. He was correct. He received an 86 percent return on his investment.


Paul Tudor Jones

Paul Tudor Jones, a hedge fund manager, was one of the few people who correctly predicted the Black Monday crash in 1987. He saw it coming and shorted his stock market holdings, resulting in a 200 percent return for his investors and a $100 million payday for himself.


Andrew Krieger

Another bet made in 1987 was by currency trader Andrew Krieger, who took a short position against the New Zealand dollar worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He made $300 million for his employer Bankers Trust when his sell positions exceeded New Zealand’s entire money supply.


George Soros

George Soros was born in Hungary and escaped the Nazi occupation during WWII. He moved to London to study at the London School of Economics while working as a waiter and train porter.

In 1969, he relocated to New York City and established his first hedge fund. That fund became known as the Quantum Fund after it was enormously successful.

During the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis, he made a huge splash when he made $1 billion in one day after anticipating the British government would devalue the pound. He was dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England.”

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