George Soros’ announcement Wednesday that he is returning outside money from his hedge fund and will continue to operate as a family office is yet another reminder of how hard and clumsy it is for a billionaire hedge fund manager to retire.
Except on rare occasions, most successful hedge fund managers rarely seem to call it quits on a high note. Part of the reason is they seem to have trouble retiring in general.
In the case of Soros, if the octogenarian stuck around longer, he may have somewhat tarnished his stellar image. While he has enjoyed a 20 percent annualized return over the several decades he has run his multi-strat Quantum funds, this year he was down 6 percent through June after eking out just a 2.63 percent gain last year, according to knowledgeable sources. And at a conference several months ago, Soros seemed confused by the current market environment, reportedly stating: “I find the current [market] situation much more baffling and much less predictable than I did at the time of the height of the financial crisis.”