The Fabulous Life Of Stanley Druckenmiller — The Hedge Funder Who Says Old People Are Robbing Young People Blind

Stanley Druckenmiller

Photo: AP Images

Media-shy billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller made headlines last Friday when he spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle about a “storm” he sees coming. Druckenmiller, who accurately called the housing crisis, sees another crisis coming due to entitlement transfers.

Basically, he thinks that the seniors in this country are stealing from the young and that could result in a crisis worse than in 2008. 

Druckenmiller is one of the best performing hedge fund managers of all time with only one down year. 

Now let’s get to know him better. 

The 59-year-old hedge fund legend comes from middle class roots.

Stanley Freeman Druckenmiller was born on June 14, 1953 and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

His father Stanley Thomas Druckenmiller worked at Du Pont in labour relations.

He attended prep school in Richmond, Virginia.

Druckenmiller graduated from Collegiate School in 1971.

He didn't go to an Ivy League like a lot of fund managers do.

Druckenmiller graduated magna cum laude with his bachelor's in English and economics from Bowdoin College in Maine in 1975.

Source: New York Times

Years later, he made a huge donation to his alma mater.

Decades after graduating, he donated $36.5 million to Bowdoin to re-do the science building.

It's now named Stanley F. Druckenmiller Hall after his grandfather.

Source: TribLive.com

After college, he started his Ph.D., but then quit to work as an analyst at a bank.

Druckenmiller had started his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan.

He quit to work as an equity analyst at Pittsburgh National Bank.

Source: TribLive.com

He moved from equity analyst to research director very quickly.

He rose quickly through the ranks at Pittsburgh National Bank.

He started out as an equity analyst and was promoted to research director at age 25.

Source: 'More Money Than God' (p. 147)

When he was 28-years-old, he launched Duquesne Capital. He was able to use his economics and equity research background.

He used a macro style of investing at Duquesne.

Source: 'More Money Than God' (p. 148-49)

His impressive returns attracted the attention of mutual fund company Dreyfus.

Dreyfus had Druckenmiller managing a bunch of their funds while he continued to run his hedge fund.

One of the funds he managed was up 40 per cent in three months.

Source: More Money Than God (p. 149)

In September 1988, he married the niece of famed money manager Barton Biggs.

He married Fiona Katherine Biggs (the niece of Barton Biggs) in 1988. She was a senior securities analyst at Dreyfus.

They were married in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It was the second marriage for both of them.

They have three children.

Source: New York Times

That same fall, he joined Soros Fund Management.

He worked as the chief strategist at Soros from 1988 to 2000.

He was still able to run Duquesne.

Source: Bloomberg News

He shot to fame at Soros by shorting the British pound.

In 1992, Druckenmiller is said to have made $1 billion while at Soros by betting on a devaluation of the British pound, according to Bloomberg News.

Druckenmiller executed the trade by shorting the pound by buying up the German mark.

According to Bloomberg, his thought was that the Bank of England would be reluctant to raise rates and its economy was too weak to prop up its currency.

When the British government pulled out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the pound plummeted. Soros Fund Management is credited for the pound being forced to leave the ERM, the report said.

Druckenmiller also bought British stocks betting they would rise because of low interest rates.

Source: Bloomberg News

In 2000, he returned to running his own fund, Duquesne Capital. He never had a down in year except for in 2010.

Since its inception in 1986, Duquesne posted astonishing returns.

According to Bloomberg News, the fund averaged 30 per cent every year. The only down year was in 2010.

Source: Bloomberg News

In 2010, he announced his retirement and closed his $12 billion Duquesne Capital because he was frustrated he couldn't deliver high returns.

'For 30 years I've been responsible for managing client money and it's been a joy, but at some point I need to move on,' he told Bloomberg News, adding, '30 years is enough.'

Source: Bloomberg News

To this day, he remains a loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Fun fact: He has golfed with Tiger Woods.

Druckenmiller, who as been member of the Oakmont Country Club for three decades, played a round of golf with Tiger Woods before the U.S. Open in 2007.

Source: TribLive.com

He's a HUGE philanthropist

According to Forbes, Druckenmiller has an estimated net-worth of $2.8 billion. He has done a lot with his fortune.

In 2009, Druckenmiller and his wife committed $705 million to the Druckenmiller Foundation, which 'supports medical research, education, and efforts to fight poverty.' The Druckenmillers also donated $100 million to NYU's Langone Medical centre to start a neuroscience institute.

The Druckenmiller Foundation has also donated $25 million to the Harlem Children's Zone. He serves as the chairman of the Harlem Children's Zone's board.

In addition, they have made several other gifts.

Source: Foundation centre

He's notoriously press-shy and known to stay out of the public eye. He recently explained why.

Back in 1994, when he was working for Soros, he told some market people and then-Rep. John Kasich what he thought would happen to the bond market if we defaulted on our debt by missing a couple of payments.

He told Bloomberg TV that he found himself in the middle of this budget fight down in Washington, DC.

'I kind of made a mess of the whole experience,' he told Bloomberg TV, adding that the decided he should manage money and keep his mouth shut and stay out of the public eye.

Source: Bloomberg TV

He saw a big storm coming before the housing crisis, but didn't speak out. He regrets that.

In late 2004 and early 2005, he met with some policy makers with some charts and laid out why subprime was going to be a huge problem for the economy and financial system.

'Apparently they didn't agree with me,' he told Bloomberg TV. 'I sort of always regretted that I didn't go public like I didn in '94 with the housing thing.'

Source: Bloomberg TV

Now he sees another storm coming and he wants people to listen this time.

'I see a storm coming, maybe bigger than the storm we had in 2008, 2010. And really, the reason could happen without people looking as for a lot of similar reasons that we could get into. But the basic the basic story is, the demographic bubble I was looking at way back in '94 that started in 2011, we are right at the first ramp-up of this thing that is about to hit,' Druckenmiller told Ruhle on Bloomberg TV.

Basically, he thinks old people today are essentially stealing from the younger population via entitlement transfer payments.

Now let's meet some of the world's wealthiest fund managers...

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