In 2014, the total gold amount held in private hands reached a record high of 1,842.5 tonnes. This was a 20% increase from 2013 and represented the most significant annual increase since the peak of the stock market bubble in 2000. These seven individuals control over half of that amount or 690 tonnes. In this article, we will discuss who they are, how they got to be wealthy, and what their goals are with their wealth.
David Tepper – Appaloosa Management
The largest holder of privately held gold is David Tepper. He is the President and founder of Appaloosa Management, based in New Jersey. In 2014 he purchased over 70% of the shares in LSC Communications, which owned 1.3 million ounces of physical silver bullion (worth over $190 million at the time). Not only is Tepper a large private gold holder, but he is also a significant investor in real estate and hedge funds to approximately $9 billion. Appaloosa Management has over $19 billion in assets under management. Tepper has been a long-term gold bull and even made a gold bet in 2013 with a co-worker, which required him to buy 4,000 ounces of gold if the price fell below $1,400 per ounce. At the time, the bet seemed irresponsible since gold was above $1,600 per ounce, but it worked out fine for Tepper as he made a profit of more than $1 million on that trade.
George Soros – Soros Fund Management
George Soros is a hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist who has made a name for himself since he broke the Bank of England with his short sale of the British pound on September 16, 1992. In 2004 Soros published The Alchemy of Finance, which is considered by many to be one of the best books written on Wall Street. It has had considerable influence on popular culture and created a legacy that has inspired others with its title and Jim Cramer’s book, Real Money. Soros is the 11th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $24 billion. He owns approximately 90,000 ounces of gold and two houses in London valued at over $40 million.
John Paulson – Paulson & Co
John Paulson is also an investor who made his fortune by betting against risky mortgages after the housing market crash of 2008. In 2005 he founded Paulson & Co, which has approximately $26 billion in assets under management. Paulson & Co made $15.6 billion for its investors in 2009 and is the largest hedge fund ever. He employs a full-time staff of 100, spread out between New York, London, and Sydney. Paulson oversees trading from all three locations and makes most of his trades himself. In 2014 he purchased approximately 25% of the shares in LSC Communications (mentioned above).
Ray Dalio – Bridgewater Associates
Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates in 1975, based in Westport, Connecticut. This firm manages $160 billion in assets and has been the most successful hedge fund ever created. It is famous for its unique culture of radical transparency and meritocracy, which allowed it to survive the 2008 crash better than any other company. Dalio has authored numerous books on finance, including his bestseller Principles: Life and Work, which Amazon ranked as one of the best 25 business books of all time—ranked as 100 most influential people in the world by Forbes and a member of the board of trustees at Yale.
Peter Thiel – Paypal co-founder, venture capitalist
Peter Thiel is also a significant investor in gold and was one of the first investors to purchase gold when it was listed on the NYSE in November 2010. Thiel is the co-founder of Paypal, the world’s largest processor of online payments. He was also the founder of Clarium Capital, a $7 billion hedge fund, and Palantir Technologies, a big data software company. Thiel has been referred to as the “Don Quixote of Silicon Valley” and is known for his libertarian beliefs, big thinking, and willingness to take high-risk chances on startups.
Eric Mindich – Eton Park Capital
Notable investors in Eric Mindich’s Eton Park Capital include Bill Ackman (hedge fund manager), Andy Kessler (portfolio manager at Marathon Asset Management), and Glenn Dubin (co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management). Eton Park manages approximately $10 billion in assets. Mindich is heavily involved in philanthropic activities, including establishing a museum for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in 1969. He is also on the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Ray Dalio – Bridgewater Associates
Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates in 1975, based in Westport, Connecticut. This firm manages $160 billion in assets and has been the most successful hedge fund ever created. It is famous for its unique culture of radical transparency and meritocracy, which allowed it to survive the 2008 crash better than any other company.v
How to Own More Gold Privately?
The following is a list of steps to own more gold privately. One of the world’s biggest gold owners noted that “one must be willing to make large bets with no guarantee of success.” This describes what they did in investing in gold during the early 2000s before they decided to make a big bet on gold during the 2008 financial crisis.
The following are six ways that you can start owning more physical gold privately:
Sell Bitcoin and Buy Gold
The people who have made the most money investing in gold have been those that have sold their bitcoins and bought physical gold. The graph below shows us the rise of bitcoin from 2013 to mid-2017. The price of bitcoin exploded from $2000 in 2013 to a high of nearly $19,000 at the end of 2017 (a gain of over 2000%). This is similar to the rise of internet stocks from 1995 to 2000, which created a bubble that finally burst.
Buy Gold as an Insurance Policy Against Financial Collapse or Economic Crisis
If you believe something catastrophic is likely to happen soon, you should consider investing in gold as a hedge against the effects of this possible event. We’re at a historically unique stage of world political history right now. We can see that we are witnessing the dollar’s destruction by those who want to replace it with a new global currency. This is why Germany and other European countries are “gold-bugging” now.
Suppose you buy gold as an insurance policy against a possible financial collapse or an economic crisis. In that case, you should consider purchasing physical gold instead of gold coins or bars.