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Eighty-year-old George Soros is a Hungarian-American hedge fund manager who became known as "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England" after he made $1 billion in 1992. Soros graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952. After graduation, he started his career in the London merchant bank of Singer & Friedlander. In 1956, he moved to New York City and his career took off. He earned large profits from investments and currency speculation. According to Forbes, he is ranked 35th on the list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $14.2 billion.

Soros returned an average of 30.5% per year between 1969 and 2000. In 2007, Soros came back from retirement after the quant liquidity crunch and managed to generate a 32% return for the year. Soros even managed to return 8% in 2008, the worst year for most hedge funds. Soros also returned 29% in 2009, earning $3.3 billion in fees and investment gains.

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria dated February 20, 2011, he expressed his views on US Economy as follows:

President Obama has lost control of the agenda. The agenda is now in the hands of the Republican Party, and they are going to pursue a very strong effort to cut services by refusing to have any tax increases, by forcing the extension of the Obama tax cuts also for the top one or two percent. You have built in a budget deficit, therefore, you've got to cut services, and they'll oppose any kind of additional new -- new taxes.

I think this agenda will be successful, but it will be pursued, I think, to -- to an extent where it's more directed at cutting services and achieving the ideological purposes of the Republicans, rather than to get the economy going. So I -- I think this will have a negative effect on the economy.

According to 13F filings, Soros Fund Management had 856 securities worth $7.7 billion in its 13F portfolio as of December 31, 2010. During the last quarter of 2010, Soros placed new bets on Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE:PBR) by buying $132 million worth of call options. He also purchased 2.1 million shares of Best Buy Inc (NYSE:BBY) and 2.4 million shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:CCE) during the fourth quarter of 2010.

George Soros also increased some of his holdings significantly. He bet big on Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) by increasing his holdings to $186 million at the end of December. David Tepper is also very bullish about the airlines. Soros more than doubled his Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) position to $147 million. He increased his Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) bet by 23%, joining Jim Simons, Dan Loeb, Andreas Halvorsen, Joseph DiMenna, Chase Coleman, Stephen Mandel, Barry Rosenstein, Craig Effron, and David Einhorn. We noticed that Soros has been holding 21 of his picks for at least three years. Here are Soros’ largest long term holdings:

Returns of Soros’ Largest Long Term Holdings

Stock

Value in Millions (USD)
As of Dec 31,2010

Return
Since Apr 1,2010

WAL-MART STORES INC (NYSE:WMT)

50.6

1.1%

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC (NYSE:VZ)

37.3

20.4%

YAHOO INC (NASDAQ:YHOO)

36.7

-40.1%

HEWLETT PACKARD CO (NYSE:HPQ)

34.6

-10.7%

AT&T INC (NYSE:T)

32.9

-6.2%

MAP PHARMACEUTICALS INC (NASDAQ:MAPP)

30.6

0.1%

MERCURY COMPUTER SYS (NASDAQ:MRCY)

24.7

244.2%

LOWES COS INC (NYSE:LOW)

21.5

15.9%

CITI TRENDS INC (NASDAQ:CTRN)

19.0

16.5%

Average Return

287.8

26.8%

SPY

0.0

3.3%

Soros’ largest investment over the last three years is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has returned 1.1% since April 2008, underperforming the SPY by 3.2 percentage points. Warren Buffett also had nearly $2.1 billion in WMT. MRCY had the best performance among his long-term holdings over the last three years. Soros had $24.7 million in MRCY shares at the end of December. MRCY has gained almost 244% in the last three years, beating the SPY by a large margin. Soros’ largest long term holdings have gained 26.8% since April 2008. Considering SPY’s 3.3% return, Soros’ long term picks are extremely successful. This underlines Soros’ talent in picking long term winners.

Source: George Soros's (Extremely Successful) Long-Term Holdings