There are easily 15 reasons why Paul Tudor Jones, aka “PTJ,” is an awesome hedge fund manager, but here’s the best one we’ve ever heard:
He owns islands that spell out his initials (and nickname), PTJ.
rumour has it that the islands are man-made, but we found them using google earth and it looks to us like they actually might have been formed by nature, which might be cooler, like he was predestined to own them.
Check it out. The first image is PTJ’s Tudor Farms (“A”), the 3,000 acre wildlife preserve he owns on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
The second is Tudor Farms zoomed in a little more. You can see the Tudor Farms estate (the house), a triangle of islands to the left of the house, and a cluster of small islands in the bottom right of the picture.
Then in the third, a closer shot of that same cluster, you can see the PTJ islands to the right. They’re vertical. The “P” is at the bottom of the picture in the middle, the “T” is above it, and the “J” is to the right above the “J.”
There’s also a bigger “T”-shaped island above them (or to the left, depending on how you’re looking at them). Maybe it’s for Tudor, maybe not.
The rest of his life is pretty enviable too. The star of the infamous movie, “Trader,” has a gorgeous family, an amiable relationship with his co-workers, and he has remained a giant in his field for over 20 years.
Sadly, icons like PTJ are a dying breed so, enjoy an inside look at the awesome life of PTJ.
(By the way, we have no idea what that triangle is. We googled “Tudor Farms triangle,” and a bunch of other word combinations and we got nothing.)
For almost 20 years, returning +1.6% in 1993 was his worst year. Then in 2008 he was down 4%, but that's net of the incentive fee, which is 4%. So they were actually flat. (And rumour is his personal book was +20% that year.)
FYI, the 'Losers Average Losers' sign refers to one of his personal mottos, Never Average Losers.
PTJ says his 4 kids and his wife are his crowning achievement:
'I have a great wife and four great kids now and that would be my crowning achievement.'
We blurred them because we didn't want to be too invasive He chose them over making between $80 and $100 million on the crash of 1987:
'At the time, I was young enough to enjoy that. I was in my early 30's and that was exciting, but the older you get you realise that at the end of the day the amount of money you have has absolutely zero bearing on how you feel about yourself and the quality of your life. It becomes a very shallow measure of a person's worth.'
PTJ starred in a movie named simply, 'Trader,' pre-1987. It's fantastic.
Apparently he tried to keep it off the internet for a while, but now there are a few copies around.
It also frequently pops up on Ebay and a number of fans buy it for memorabilia purposes.
He's known for being a very nice guy to work for. Here's one example of how nice:
During the huge storm that ravaged Greenwich, a tree fell on a car that was owned by one of his employees (a Mercedes C300) while it was parked in the office parking lot.
PTJ's Tudor Investment offered to pay for the damage.
Sometimes (if not always) he writes a nice note in it.
A true test of a hedge fund god is how many new hedge funds have sprung from his fund.
Here are some people who have spun funds out of Tudor:
James Pallotta: Raptor Funds (since unwound)
Mark Pickard and David Siegel: Two Sigma Investments
Dwight Anderson: Ospraie
He started trading on his own after 4 years of non-trading experience, was profitable but got bored, decided Harvard Business School couldn't teach him anything, hired people to work for him so he would no longer be bored.
In an interview back in 2000, PTJ explained how he got his start:
1976 I started working on the floor as a clerk and then I became a broker for E.F. Hutton.
In 1980 I went strictly on my own as what they called a local and did that for about two and a half years and had two and a half wonderfully profitable years, but I really got bored.
I applied to Harvard Business School, got accepted and was about to go. I literally was packed up to go and then I thought, 'this is crazy', because for what I'm doing here, they're not going to teach me anything.
So I didn't go, I stayed, but I was really bored because there wasn't the personal interaction that was something that I craved and having colleagues and being in a clean atmosphere and that was when I started my fund.
The Robin Hood Foundation is easily one of the highest profile charities ever.
PTJ started the foundation shortly after making his career trade (off the stock market crash in 1987) in order to raise money to provide shelter and food to the homeless and needy.
Now it targets poverty in New York specifically. Gwyneth Paltrow, Steve Cohen, and Jes Staley are just 3 of the famous names on its board.
He also formed a $125 million commodities pool with retired LBO ace Ray Chambers, called the One to One Charitable Fund, that devotes most of its profits to helping disadvantaged children.
Source: Street Stories
Another one of Jones' eccentricities is his love of duck decoys. He's been collecting them since the late 1970s. He says:
'My favourites are the shorebird decoys from the early 1900s. There is a simplistic elegance about them
that really appeals to me, and my interest is probably amplified because they really are an exotic type of decoy for someone with Mid-South roots, who grew up long after hunting with them had stopped.'
'Most of my focus has been on collecting actual working decoys. There is something magical about holding in your hand a decoy that you know has been part of someone's wonderful day in the outdoors.'
'When I hold a decoy in my hand, I want it to be a transforming experience. I try to transport myself back to the last time that a decoy was used in a rig, on a marsh, or in a bay or river, and feel and experience the same wonder, awe, and excitement the last folks that hunted over that decoy experienced. Nothing else really matters after that.'
Source: Flying High
Jones' father ran a financial and legal trade newspaper.
While he was in college, Paul used to write articles for the paper under the byline, 'Eagle Jones.'
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