These George Soros quotes will change the way you view the vilified philanthropist.
If you paid any attention to politics over the past four years, then you have likely heard the name George Soros.
Who exactly is he, though, behind the conspiracy theories that surround his name?
What does George Soros invest in?
Is his philanthropic work with his Open Society Foundations some plot to take over the world?
What does the Open Society Foundations actually do?
These are all excellent questions, and these George Soros quotes will shed some light on what this billionaire believes when it comes to investing, financial markets, and society.
To start with the first question, George Soros is an American billionaire, whose net worth is around $8.3 billion.
He was born in Hungary but studied at the London School of Economics where he earned a bachelor’s degree.
Soros continued on and obtained a master’s degree, and then eventually a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the University of London.
He moved to New York in 1956.
His hedge fund, the Quantum Fund, is the most successful fund in history.
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George Soros quotes about investing
1. “The hardest thing to judge is what level of risk is safe.” ― George Soros
2. “If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.” ― George Soros
3. “When you sell options, you get paid for assuming risk. That can be a profitable business, but it does not mix well with the risks inherent in a leveraged portfolio.” ― George Soros
4. “When interest rates are low, we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.” ― George Soros
5. “The trouble with institutional investors is that their performance is usually measured relative to their peer group and not by an absolute yardstick. This makes them trend followers by definition.” ― George Soros
6. “If I had to sum up my practical skills, I would use one word: survival. And operating a hedge fund utilized my training in survival to the fullest.” ― George Soros
7. “Making an investment decision is like formulating a scientific hypothesis and submitting it to a practical test. The main difference is that the hypothesis that underlies an investment decision is intended to make money and not to establish a universally valid generalization.” ― George Soros
8. “I called gold the ultimate bubble, which means it may go higher. But it’s certainly not safe, and it’s not going to last forever.” ― George Soros
9. “I would be lying, however, if I claimed that I could always formulate worthwhile hypotheses on the basis of my theoretical framework. Sometimes there were no reflexive processes to be found; sometimes I failed to find them; and what was the most painful of all, sometimes I got them wrong. One way or another, I often invested without a worthwhile hypothesis, and my activities were not very different from a random walk.” ― George Soros
George Soros quotes about financial markets
10. “Taking this view, it is possible to see financial markets as a laboratory for testing hypotheses, albeit not strictly scientific ones. The truth is, successful investing is a kind of alchemy.” ― George Soros
11. “Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.” ― George Soros
12. “Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux, and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.” ― George Soros
13. “The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios… The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.” ― George Soros
14. “I think there’s a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they’re not sufficient because markets don’t look after social needs.”― George Soros
15. “The reality is that financial markets are self-destabilizing; occasionally they tend toward disequilibrium, not equilibrium.” ― George Soros
16. “Throughout the 19th century, when there was a laissez-faire mentality and insufficient regulation, you had one crisis after another. Each crisis brought about some reform. That is how central banking developed.” ― George Soros
17. “When money is free, the rational lender will keep on lending until there is no one else to lend to.” ― George Soros
18. “A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital.” ― George Soros
19. “I contend that financial markets never reflect the underlying reality accurately; they always distort it in some way or another and the distortions find expression in market prices. Those distortions can, occasionally, find ways to affect the fundamentals that market prices are supposed to reflect.” ― George Soros
George Soros quotes that speak to society and poverty
20. “When it comes to social consequences, they’ve got all different people acting in different ways, very difficult to even have a proper criterion of success. So, it’s a difficult task.” ― George Soros
21. “I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties, and an open society.” ― George Soros
22. “Law has become a business. Health care has become a business. Unfortunately, politics has also become a business. That really undermines society.” ― George Soros
23. “An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others.” ― George Soros
24. “When I had made more money than I needed for myself and my family, I set up a foundation to promote the values and principles of a free and open society.” ― George Soros
25. “Most of the poverty and misery in the world is due to bad government, lack of democracy, weak states, internal strife, and so on.” ― George Soros
26. “The people currently in charge have forgotten the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong and that there has to be free discussion. That it’s possible to be opposed to the policies without being unpatriotic.” ― George Soros
27. “We must recognize that as the dominant power in the world, we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity.” ― George Soros
28. “If the terrorists have the sympathy of people, it’s much harder to find them. So we need people on our side, and that leads us to be responsible leaders of the world, show some concern with the problems.” ― George Soros
George Soros quotes that reflect his personal views
29. “Increasingly, the Chinese will own a lot more of the world because they will be converting their dollar reserves and U.S. government bonds into real assets.” ― George Soros
30. “We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire.” ― George Soros
31. “Bush’s war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties.” ― George Soros
32. “Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws.” ― George Soros
33. “Proposition 19 already is a winner, no matter what happens on election day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.” ― George Soros
34. “I would prefer not to be involved in party politics.” ― George Soros
35. “I see tremendous imbalance in the world. A very uneven playing field, which has gotten tilted very badly. I consider it unstable. At the same time, I don’t exactly see what is going to reverse it.” ― George Soros
36. “Now that I have called you on your false accusation, you are using additional smear tactics.” ― George Soros
37. “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well.” ― George Soros
38. “Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually.” ― George Soros
39. “Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade – and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity.” ― George Soros
40. “The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.” ― George Soros
Inspirational and thought-provoking George Soros quotes
41. “Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.” ― George Soros
42. “The worse a situation becomes, the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.”― George Soros
43. “Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman.” ― George Soros
44. “A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.” ― George Soros
45. “I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.” ― George Soros
46. “Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret.” ― George Soros
47. “My foundations support people in the country who care about an open society. It’s their work that I’m supporting. So it’s not me doing it. But I can empower them. I can support them, and I can help them.” ― George Soros
48. “A full and fair discussion is essential to democracy.” ― George Soros
49. “It is much easier to put existing resources to better use than to develop resources where they do not exist.” ― George Soros
50. “I’m only rich because I know when I’m wrong.” ― George Soros
More George Soros quotes and sayings
51. “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” – George Soros
52. “American supremacy is the greatest threat to the world today.” – George Soros
53. “The sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.” – George Soros
54. “In politics, manipulating reality can take precedence over finding reality.” – George Soros
55. “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.” – George Soros
56. “It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” – George Soros
57. “I’m not better than the next trader, just quicker at admitting my mistakes and moving on to the next opportunity.” – George Soros
58. “The world order needs a major overhaul.” – George Soros
59. “There is no point in being confident and having a small position.” – George Soros
60. “Increase your bets when you are confident and scale down your positions when you don’t have conviction.” – George Soros
What did you learn from these George Soros quotes?
He has had a tremendous impact on financial markets around the world, but it is his philanthropic work that should get more attention than it does.
In August 2009, Soros donated $35 million to the state of New York to benefit underprivileged children.
The money was given to parents who had benefit cards at the rate of $200 per child and there was no limit on the number of kids who could qualify.
He donated millions to democratic PACs, which is why he is a target for the extreme right-wing.
Soros does support ‘progressive’ policies like giving scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid back in 1979.
Today, he argues that the war on drugs caused more problems than the drugs themselves.
George Soros believes that “in philanthropy, one should do the right thing, whether or not it succeeds.”
This, and the other George Soros quotes, do not sound like the words of a monster.
They are the words of a Jewish boy who survived occupied Hungary during WWII.
We could all probably learn something from him.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these George Soros quotes and sayings?
Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?
Let us know in the comment section below.