Once the top hedge fund titan John Paulson is dealing with big redemptions as big as $142 Million Dollars in a single check – what he said is the biggest single check he is ever seen.
Hedgie John Paulson is one of the world’s largest hedge funds Paulson & Co explains he’s decision making proccess behind investing
Hedgie John Paulson is one of the world’s largest hedge funds Paulson & Co – cut black hair, dark eyes, and a soft voice. There’s a fuss when he arrives, befitting a man who made one of the biggest fortunes in Wall Street history, as his general counsel and PR consultant jostle for seats next to him. Paulson’s decision to buy credit-default insurance against billions of dollars of subprime mortgages before the market collapsed in 2007 earned him almost $4 billion personally and transformed him from an obscure money manager into a financial legend. Then came the kind of disastrous run that can unmake a career. In 2011 he lost billions.
“We clearly stumbled last year,” Paulson says. “We became overconfident as to the direction of the economy and took a lot of risk.”
On this June afternoon, Paulson, 56, sits in his midtown Manhattan offices, surrounded by his dozen or so Alexander Calder watercolors, which serve as a kind of millionaires’ wallpaper in primary colors. The space is not the high-tech cockpit one imagines for a financial wizard at the levers of the world’s money flow. Rather than wall-to-wall monitors and global heat maps, it’s all cream carpeting and beige walls and looks like it could belong to any boutique real estate firm or law office, albeit one with a compulsive neat freak at the helm. Relatively speaking, it’s a soothing place to confront questions about the incredible power and wealth one can amass on Wall Street, even as the rest of the economy struggles; the controversial means sometimes used to achieve it; and how it’s possible to lose so much money so quickly.
Persuading Paulson to discuss these issues is not easy. “I avoid the media,” he says, which is an understatement. While many people beyond finance have heard his name, he has never given a television interview, and he says people rarely recognize him on the street, which he appreciates. Although, he adds, “I’m not sure that actually helps me. Not participating might make the media more interested.”
John Paulson is still the second richest hedge fund manager in the world with Net Worth od $12.5 Billion
Read More: John Paulson Net Worth
After his success in 2007, the amount of money in his funds grew to more than $30 billion. Things went swimmingly until 2011 came along. His two largest funds, Paulson Advantage and Advantage Plus, lost 36 percent and 52 percent that year, and the red streak has continued into 2012, with Advantage and Advantage Plus down 6.3 percent and 9.3 percent as of the end of May.
Paulson is trying to project optimism. “I think we’re back on track,” he says, “and I’m actually quite excited about our portfolio.”
Flanked by his jumpy colleagues, Paulson drums his fingers frantically on the table as he talks, suggesting someone who feels his time would be better spent doing pretty much anything else. He sits back in his seat and stops drumming and banging for a second. “Sometimes it’s difficult to interpret the markets, so we’re not going to play a winning hand every day. Our goal is not to outperform all the time—that’s not possible. We want to outperform over time.”