CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Masters of the Financial Markets

Reading time: 13 minute(s)

Determining the most successful investors of all time is a subjective matter, as different investors have achieved remarkable success using various strategies and investment styles. However, certain individuals have consistently demonstrated exceptional investment over decades, earning them a place among the most respected and admired figures in the financial world. Here are some of the most celebrated investors, often considered the epitome of investment excellence.

Warren Buffett 

Often referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is known for his long-term value investing approach and has consistently outperformed the market over several decades.He purchased his first stock, Cities Service Preferred, at the age of 11 and filed his first tax return at age 13. Buffett earned a Master's in Economics from Columbia Business School, studying under Benjamin Graham, a proponent of value investing. He worked briefly for his father's brokerage firm, Buffett-Falk & Co., before moving to Graham-Newman Corp. In 1956, Buffett started his investment partnership, Buffett Partnership Ltd., with initial capital of $105,000. In 1962, Buffett began buying shares of a failing textile company, Berkshire Hathaway, and eventually took control of the company. Over the years, Berkshire Hathaway evolved from a textile company into a diversified conglomerate with investments in various industries, including insurance, utilities, and consumer brands.

Buffett is a value investor, focusing on the intrinsic value of a company rather than short-term market trends. His approach involves analysing a company's fundamentals, competitive advantage, and long-term potential. Buffett is known for his emphasis on economic moats, sustainable competitive advantages that protect a company from competition. Under Buffett's leadership, Berkshire Hathaway's stock price grew significantly, and the company became one of the most valuable in the world. Some of Buffett's most successful investments include Coca-Cola, American Express, and The Washington Post Company. His investments in companies like Geico and See's Candies have also contributed significantly to Berkshire Hathaway's success.

He is an avid reader and credits much of his success to a continuous process of learning and intellectual curiosity. Warren Buffett's investment prowess, combined with his straightforward and down-to-earth personality, has made him an iconic figure in the world of finance. His success has inspired countless investors and business leaders, and his annual letters to shareholders are eagerly awaited for the insights they offer into his investment philosophy and views on the economy.

George Soros

Soros is a Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is famous for his speculative investment strategies, particularly his currency speculation, and he became known as "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England" for his role in the 1992 Black Wednesday currency crisis.

In 1947, Soros emigrated to England and eventually attended the London School of Economics (LSE), where he studied under philosopher Karl Popper. Soros started his financial career in London, working for various merchant banks. In 1956, he moved to New York City and worked on Wall Street, eventually establishing his own hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. Soros gained significant recognition for managing the Quantum Fund, which he founded in 1973 with Jim Rogers. The fund became famous for its high returns and Soros's successful currency speculation, particularly during the Black Wednesday crisis in 1992 when he famously bet against the British Pound. Soros is known for his theory of reflexivity, which suggests that investor behaviour can influence market fundamentals and vice versa. He is a macro investor, focusing on global economic trends and making large bets on currencies, commodities, and other assets. 

George Soros's impact extends beyond the financial world, with his philanthropic efforts influencing social and political landscapes. While he remains a controversial figure, there is no denying his significant contributions to both finance and societal change.

Peter Lynch

Lynch was the manager of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments between 1977 and 1990. Under his management, the fund achieved annualised returns of around 29%, making him one of the most successful mutual fund managers.

Lynch joined Fidelity Investments in 1969 as an analyst and quickly rose through the ranks due to his keen analytical skills and investment acumen. In 1977, at the age of 33, Lynch was named the head of the Magellan Fund, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. Under Lynch's management, the Magellan Fund became the best-performing mutual fund in the world. He achieved an average annual return of around 29% during his tenure, outperforming the S&P 500 and turning the fund into the largest in the world at the time.

Lynch is known for his "buy what you know" approach, emphasising that individual investors can gain an edge by investing in companies and industries they understand well.

He categorised stocks into different types, such as "slow growers," "stalwarts," and "fast growers," and tailored his investment strategy accordingly. After retiring from Fidelity in 1990, Lynch became an author and speaker. His books, including "One Up On Wall Street" and "Beating the Street," became bestsellers and are considered classics in the field of investment literature.

Lynch also served as a research consultant for Fidelity and taught graduate-level finance courses at Boston College. Peter Lynch's success at the Magellan Fund and his simple yet effective investment philosophy have left an enduring legacy in the world of investing.

Many investors continue to draw inspiration from Lynch's emphasis on thorough research, long-term investing, and the idea that individual investors can find profitable opportunities through careful observation of the world around them.

Peter Lynch's contributions to the field of investing have made him an influential figure, and his teachings continue to be relevant to both novice and experienced investors alike.

Benjamin Graham

Known as the "father of value investing," Graham was a renowned economist and investor. His book "The Intelligent Investor" has been a foundational text for many successful investors, including Warren Buffett.

Graham moved from London, to the United States with his family when he was a child. He graduated from Columbia University in 1914 and later earned a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from the same institution. Graham returned to Columbia University as a faculty member, where he became a professor of finance and taught for many years. His seminal work, co-authored with David Dodd, "Security Analysis" (1934), laid the groundwork for modern security analysis and value investing. Graham's investment philosophy centred on the concept of "value investing," which involves analysing securities to find those that are undervalued relative to their intrinsic worth. He emphasised the importance of a margin of safety, advising investors to buy stocks trading below their intrinsic value to protect against unforeseen risks.

Mr. Market: Graham introduced the metaphor of "Mr. Market" to illustrate the irrational behaviour of the stock market. He encouraged investors to take advantage of Mr. Market's mood swings rather than be influenced by them.

Graham's Number: A formula created by Graham to assess whether a stock is undervalued. It involves calculating the square root of (22.5 * earnings per share * book value per share).

Net-Net Stocks: Graham popularised the concept of investing in "net-net" stocks, where the market value of a company's stock is significantly lower than its net current assets.

Graham was also a successful investor in his own right, managing money through his Graham-Newman Corporation. His investment approach focused on the quantitative analysis of financial statements and a disciplined approach to buying and selling stocks. Graham authored the classic investment book "The Intelligent Investor" in 1949. This book, considered one of the greatest investment books of all time, provides valuable insights on long-term investing, risk management, and market psychology.

Graham's investment principles continue to influence investors and money managers today. His approach laid the foundation for the value investing philosophy that has been successfully implemented by notable investors, including Warren Buffett, who was one of Graham's students at Columbia.

Benjamin Graham's legacy extends far beyond his own investments. His timeless principles and teachings have had a profound and lasting impact on the world of investing, shaping the strategies of countless investors and contributing to the development of modern financial analysis.

Charlie Munger 

Although often overshadowed by Warren Buffett, Munger is the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and has played a key role in the company's success. His investment philosophy aligns closely with Buffett's, emphasising long-term value investing.

Charlie Munger initially worked as a lawyer before transitioning to investment management. He met Warren Buffett in 1959, and the two formed a lasting partnership. Munger became the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway in 1978. Munger played a crucial role in shaping Berkshire Hathaway's investment strategy and decision-making processes.

Munger, like Buffett, is a proponent of value investing. The duo is famous for their long-term, value-oriented approach to investing. Munger is known for his emphasis on the importance of understanding multiple disciplines and using a broad mental model, which he refers to as the "latticework of mental models."

Munger has been instrumental in Berkshire Hathaway's investments and acquisitions, contributing to the success of the conglomerate. He has been involved in various business ventures outside of Berkshire Hathaway, including chairing Wesco Financial Corporation, a company eventually acquired by Berkshire. Munger is known for his engaging and insightful speeches at the annual meetings of Berkshire Hathaway. His wit, humour, and straightforward communication style make him a sought-after speaker. He has also written and spoken extensively on various subjects, sharing his wisdom on investing, business, and life principles.

Munger is involved in various philanthropic activities. He has made significant contributions to educational institutions, including the construction of the Munger Graduate Residences at Stanford University.

Charlie Munger's partnership with Warren Buffett and his influential role at Berkshire Hathaway have solidified his status as a highly respected figure in the world of finance. His pragmatic and multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving has made him a source of inspiration for many aspiring investors and business leaders.

John Bogle

Bogle was the founder of The Vanguard Group and is credited with creating the first index fund for individual investors. His low-cost, passive investment approach has had a profound impact on the investment industry.

Bogle began his career in the investment industry at Wellington Management Company in 1951. In 1974, he founded The Vanguard Group, a mutual fund company that would later become one of the largest investment management companies in the world. Bogle introduced the first index mutual fund, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, in 1976.

Bogle's creation of the index fund marked a departure from traditional actively managed funds. Index funds aim to replicate the performance of a specific market index, providing broad market exposure. The low-cost structure of index funds, achieved by minimising the need for active management and associated fees, appealed to individual investors.

Under Bogle's leadership, Vanguard grew significantly, accumulating a vast amount of assets under management. The company's unique structure, where it is owned by its funds (and thus its investors), contributed to its ability to offer low-cost investment products.

Bogle was a vocal advocate for individual investors. He emphasised the importance of long-term, low-cost investing and criticised the high fees associated with many actively managed funds.His 1999 book, "Common Sense on Mutual Funds," is considered a classic guide for individual investors. Bogle received numerous awards and honours for his contributions to the investment industry, including being named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Powerful and Influential People" in 2004.

Often referred to as the "father of index investing," Bogle's influence on the financial industry has been profound. His ideas and innovations have shaped the way many investors approach investing. Bogle's commitment to the interests of individual investors and his advocacy for transparency and fairness have left a lasting impact on the financial community.

Bogle was involved in various philanthropic activities. He donated much of his fortune to educational and charitable causes.

John Bogle's legacy lives on not only through the investment products and principles he introduced but also through the positive impact he had on the financial well-being of countless individual investors. His emphasis on simplicity, low costs, and the importance of putting investors first continues to shape the way people think about investing.

Ray Dalio

Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge funds. He is known for his principles-based approach to investing and his book "Principles" outlines his life and work principles.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates out of his apartment. The firm initially focused on advising corporate clients on currency and interest rate risks. Bridgewater evolved into a hedge fund and became known for its systematic and research-driven approach to investing. One of Bridgewater's flagship funds, the Pure Alpha Fund, gained a reputation for delivering strong and consistent returns over the years. The fund's success contributed to Bridgewater's growth and established Dalio as a prominent figure in the hedge fund industry.

Ray Dalio is known for his principles-based approach to decision-making, both in life and in business. He outlined his principles in a widely circulated document, "Principles," which describes his life and work principles. The document emphasises the importance of radical transparency and thoughtful disagreement

Dalio is recognised for his macroeconomic analysis and his ability to anticipate economic trends. He gained attention for accurately predicting the 2008 financial crisis and has continued to share his insights on global economic and market conditions. Dalio authored a book titled "Big Debt Crises," where he analyses the patterns and causes of major debt crises throughout history. The book provides a framework for understanding and navigating financial crises.

Ray Dalio's impact on the investment world goes beyond financial success. His emphasis on principles, radical transparency, and systematic decision-making has influenced not only the operations of Bridgewater but has also sparked broader discussions on organisational culture and leadership in the business world.

John Templeton

An American investor and philanthropist, John Templeton was known for his global diversification and contrarian investment style. He believed in identifying undervalued stocks in emerging markets, often ahead of the curve.

Templeton began his career on Wall Street and, in 1937, founded his own investment firm, Templeton, Dobbrow & Vance.

In the 1950s, he shifted his focus to international investing and established the Templeton Growth Fund, one of the world's first mutual funds to invest globally. Templeton was a pioneer in the concept of global investing, actively seeking opportunities in markets around the world.

He achieved remarkable success by investing in stocks that were undervalued and often overlooked by other investors.

The Templeton Growth Fund, later renamed the Templeton World Fund, became one of the most successful mutual funds in the mid-20th century. Templeton also founded the Templeton Emerging Markets Fund, which focused on investing in developing economies. In 1992, Templeton sold his investment management company, the Templeton Funds, to Franklin Resources, Inc. (Franklin Templeton Investments). Templeton was deeply committed to philanthropy and established the John Templeton Foundation in 1987. The foundation supports research and projects at the intersection of science, religion, and spirituality.

He wrote several books, including "The Humble Approach: Scientists Discover God," where he explored the relationship between science and faith. In 1987, John Templeton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to philanthropy and his contributions to investment.

John Templeton's investment philosophy emphasises a disciplined and value-oriented approach to investing, and his success in global markets had a lasting impact on the industry. The John Templeton Foundation continues to support initiatives that explore the Big Questions of human purpose, life's meaning, and the nature of the universe.

John Templeton's legacy extends beyond the financial realm to his contributions to philanthropy and the exploration of deeper questions about life and existence. His commitment to seeking value globally and his openness to the spiritual dimensions of life have left a lasting impact on the investment community and beyond.

Cathie Wood 

Wood began her career in finance at Capital Group, where she worked for several years before moving to Jennison Associates. Later, she joined AllianceBernstein as Chief Investment Officer of Global Thematic Strategies.

In 2014, Cathie Wood founded ARK Investment Management LLC, commonly known as ARK Invest. ARK Invest is known for its focus on disruptive innovation, investing in companies that are expected to benefit from technological advancements and changing trends. Wood is known for her bullish views on innovation and technology, including areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, genomics, and electric vehicles.

She actively communicates her investment ideas and views through interviews, conferences, and ARK Invest's research publications.

ARK Invest has gained significant attention for its actively managed ETFs, including the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG), and others.

These ETFs aim to provide investors exposure to companies at the forefront of disruptive technologies.

Cathie Wood gained widespread recognition for her successful bets on companies like Tesla, which contributed significantly to the performance of ARK Invest's funds. She has become a prominent figure in the investment community, often speaking at conferences and providing insights on disruptive trends.

Wood is known for her distinctive investment views, often challenging traditional investment norms. Her investment decisions and outspoken views have made her a polarising figure in financial media. Wood faced scrutiny during periods of market volatility, especially when some of the high-flying tech stocks experienced significant price fluctuations. Her strategies and the concentration of certain stocks in ARK Invest's portfolios have been topics of discussion among investors and analysts.

Final Thoughts 

To conclude it is evident that these financial investors share common principles that have stood the test of time in the unpredictable world of investing. From Warren Buffett's emphasis on long-term value investing to Benjamin Graham's focus on fundamental analysis, and George Soros's recognition of market reflexivity, these legends have left a lasting legacy of wisdom.

Their success stories and timeless strategies highlight the importance of disciplined decision-making, risk management, and continuous learning. While each investing legend may have a unique approach, the overarching theme revolves around patience, a deep understanding of markets, and the ability to stay rational amid market fluctuations.

Written by

Eleana Ntagia

This content has been created by XTB S.A. This service is provided by XTB S.A., with its registered office in Warsaw, at Prosta 67, 00-838 Warsaw, Poland, entered in the register of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy) conducted by District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw, XII Commercial Division of the National Court Register under KRS number 0000217580, REGON number 015803782 and Tax Identification Number (NIP) 527-24-43-955, with the fully paid up share capital in the amount of PLN 5.869.181,75. XTB S.A. conducts brokerage activities on the basis of the license granted by Polish Securities and Exchange Commission on 8th November 2005 No. DDM-M-4021-57-1/2005 and is supervised by Polish Supervision Authority.

Xtb logo

Join over 1 Million investors from around the world

We use cookies

By clicking “Accept All”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

This group contains cookies that are necessary for our websites to work. They take part in functionalities like language preferences, traffic distribution or keeping user session. They cannot be disabled.

Cookie name
userBranchSymbol cc 2 March 2024
adobe_unique_id cc 1 March 2025
test_cookie cc 1 March 2024
SESSID cc 9 September 2022
__hssc cc 1 March 2024
__cf_bm cc 1 March 2024
intercom-id-iojaybix cc 26 November 2024
intercom-session-iojaybix cc 8 March 2024

We use tools that let us analyze the usage of our page. Such data lets us improve the user experience of our web service.

Cookie name
_gid cc 9 September 2022
_gat_UA-22576382-1 cc 8 September 2022
_gat_UA-121192761-1 cc 8 September 2022
_ga_CBPL72L2EC cc 1 March 2026
_ga cc 1 March 2026
AnalyticsSyncHistory cc 8 October 2022
af_id cc 31 March 2025
afUserId cc 1 March 2026
af_id cc 1 March 2026
AF_SYNC cc 8 March 2024
__hstc cc 28 August 2024

This group of cookies is used to show you ads of topics that you are interested in. It also lets us monitor our marketing activities, it helps to measure the performance of our ads.

Cookie name
MUID cc 26 March 2025
_omappvp cc 11 February 2035
_omappvs cc 1 March 2024
_uetsid cc 2 March 2024
_uetvid cc 26 March 2025
_fbp cc 30 May 2024
fr cc 7 December 2022
muc_ads cc 7 September 2024
_ttp cc 26 March 2025
_tt_enable_cookie cc 26 March 2025
_ttp cc 26 March 2025
hubspotutk cc 28 August 2024

Cookies from this group store your preferences you gave while using the site, so that they will already be here when you visit the page after some time.

Cookie name
personalization_id cc 7 September 2024
UserMatchHistory cc 8 October 2022
bcookie cc 8 September 2023
lidc cc 9 September 2022
bscookie cc 8 September 2023
li_gc cc 7 March 2023

This page uses cookies. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience. For more information see our Privacy Policy You can manage cookies by clicking "Settings". If you agree to our use of cookies, click "Accept all".

Change region and language
Country of residence