John Paulson Takes Down Huge Score in 2010

According to the Wall Street Journal, John Paulson (founder of Paulson and Co.) personally made more than $5 billion in 2010. The WSJ states that this is "likely the largest one-year haul in investing history".

Who did John Paulson beat out to take the #1 spot on the list? Himself.

John Paulson Thinking Dollars - IllustrationIn 2007, Paulson became an instant celebrity in the world of finance when he made billions of dollars betting against the subprime mortgage market. The subprime mortgage market spectacularly collapsed in 2007, and John Paulson became a billionaire nearly overnight.

Many people thought that Paulson would prove to be a "one-hit wonder", but this has not been the case.

Paulson continued to rack up substantial gains in the following years, even as the size of the assets under management at his firm swelled to absurd levels. According to the WSJ, Paulson & Co. has roughly $36 billion in total assets under management, making it one of the largest hedge funds in the world.

Paulson has left a substantial amount of his net worth in the company, which contributed to his lofty gains in 2010. According to the WSJ, $4 billion of Paulson's 2010 take was generated from the money that he has in his own funds. The rest of the money came from the company's performance fees.

In case you were interested, here are the five largest Paulson & Co. Inc. holdings as of 09/30/2010:

GLD, 31,500,000 shares, $4,029,165,000 Total Value
AU, 41,000,000 shares, $1,895,840,000 Total Value
BAC, 137,794,296 shares, $1,805,519,000 Total Value
C, 424,000,000 shares, $1,657,840,000 Total Value
HIG, 44,000,000 shares, $1,009,800,000 Total Value


To those that thought that John Paulson would be a "flash in the pan" - his wallet begs to differ.

Source: - Trader Racks Up a Second Epic Gain