Billionaire George Soros is the best-known, most successful hedge fund manager of all time.
At 85, Soros has retired from the day-to-day operations of what is now his family-office hedge fund to focus on his foundation and philanthropy.
He uses the same sort of mindset he learned from investing and applies it to his philanthropy and political work.
That is, he looks at the dark side of things to find solutions, he told Gregor Peter Schmitz of the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche in an interview.
Soros discusses Europe, China, and the US in the interview, painting a bleak picture of the future. When Schmitz picked up on this, Soros said he taught himself to look at the dark side.
Here’s an excerpt from The New York Review Of Books:
But it is a biased view and deliberately so. Recognising a problem is an invitation to do something about it. That is the main lesson I learned from the formative experience of my life, in 1944, when the Nazis occupied Hungary. I might not have survived if my father hadn’t secured false identification papers for his family (and many others). He taught me that it’s much better to face harsh reality than to close your eyes to it. Once you are aware of the dangers, your chances of survival are much better if you take some risks than if you meekly follow the crowd. That is why I trained myself to look at the dark side. It has served me well in the financial markets and it is guiding me now in my political philanthropy. As long as I can find a winning strategy, however tenuous, I don’t give up. In danger lies opportunity. It’s always darkest before dawn.