Jim Simons is a renowned American mathematician and hedge fund manager with a $25.5 billion net worth. Here’s a breakdown of his portfolio.
Updated Apr 11, 2023
Many companies on MoneyMade advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear.
James Simons is an American mathematician and highly prosperous hedge fund manager who boasts a net worth of $25.5 billion. The source of his enviable wealth lies in his successful hedge fund Renaissance Technologies which he founded in 1982 and is worth billions.
Today, Simons owns nearly 25% of Renaissance Technologies. Although Simons retired in 2010, he still contributes to his company and reaps the rewards of his labor to build the enormous quant hedge fund.
Also known as the Quant King, Simons holds prestigious positions as a trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Institute for Advanced Study at Rockefeller University, and the Mathematical Research Institute in Berkeley. Plus, he’s a big fish on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation Board.
Simons has been cracking codes, recognizing patterns, and solving puzzles since his days at the National Security Agency, and those skills may have helped him become one of the richest people in the world.
With his financial prowess and pattern recognition skills, Simons has reportedly been able to deliver approximately 40% average annual returns from Renaissance’s signature Medallion fund since 1988. This has enabled Simons to amass up to $12 billion in cash distributions since 2006.
He has earned at least a robust $9.5 billion from the Medallion fund over the years and has about $1.4 billion invested in the $9 billion of assets managed by the fund.
Apart from his versatile investments, Simons is also credited for his philanthropic work. He co-founded the Simons Foundation with his wife Marilyn Hawrys Simons and pledged $25 million to Stony Brook University.
He also gives $60 million to fund the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics. Jim Simons is an admirable figure who used his smarts and tech savvy to outplay the financial market and pioneer quantitative trading.
April, 25, 1938
American born in Newton, Massachusetts
Became a millionaire at
Mathematician, hedge fund manager, investor, philanthropist
Sources of wealth
84-year-old billionaire math genius James Simons amassed his first million dollars in his early forties. He has made groundbreaking contributions to finance by using one thing he’s always loved—mathematics.
At 14, he worked at a garden store, but was demoted from the stockroom to floor sweeper due to his forgetfulness. However, this was only a small setback for Simons, who later graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1958 with a degree in mathematics.
Jim Simons the “Quant King” relies entirely on quantitative analysis and algorithmic investment strategies to amass huge returns.
After completing his doctorate in 1961, he was recruited by the U.S. National Security Agency to decipher Russian messages during the Cold War. Simons also worked as a code breaker at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton and later developed an interest in using mathematical models to interpret data.
However, he returned to academia to teach mathematics and split his time between Harvard University and MIT. At this time, his interest in merging mathematics and finance increased progressively. Despite having a successful career in mathematics, Simons decided to leave academia.
In 1978, Jim Simons founded his hedge fund management firm Monemetrics. Three years later, he renamed it Renaissance Technologies and established his flagship Medallion fund in the same year.
It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for Simons initially as he faced some losses like every other startup founder. Still, he continued to work and changed his approach to trading from fundamental analysis to quantitative analysis—with the help of good ol' math.
Simons hired a team of intellectuals to accumulate market data, identify trends, and develop mathematical formulae and models that would help him profit. Most of them were the most brilliant minds he had come to know through academia. They were mathematicians, data-modeling experts, code breakers, scientists, and engineers without any financial background.
They could interpret data to accurately predict stock prices. As a result, Renaissance has flourished over the years with Simons managing $130 billion across three funds at its peak with a $5 million minimum investment per client, according to a 2021 report by BBVA.
Jim Simons and his team strictly used quantitative investment models and never overrode them. Fortunately, it had an impressive average annual return of 66% over three decades.
His investment strategies earned him several awards, including the 1976 AMS Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry, Financial Engineer of the Year in 2006, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2014. Simons's success is a big inspiration in the financial world and revolutionized the use of quantitative trading strategies.
He has also donated millions of dollars to various causes, including cancer research, mathematics education, and autism awareness. Jim Simons proves that hard work, dedication, and the power of mathematics can lead to a life of incredible fortune and philanthropy.
Jim Simons's wealth has been the stuff of legends since his Medallion Fund, the signature investment vehicle of Setauket, New York-based Renaissance Technologies, started raking in returns of around 40% annually since 1988. And while the majority of Simons'sfortune is derived from Medallion, his stake in the fund is only one piece of the puzzle.
In September 2021, Renaissance Technologies reached a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service that involved a $670 million penalty payment by Simons. But even so, his net worth still remains impressively high thanks to his stake in Renaissance.
And with the fund valued at $10 billion and a return of 30% net of fees, it's no wonder Simons is one of the richest people in the world.
Renaissance Technologies' top five stocks and overall hedge fund stock performance in the plast 10 years.
Jim Simons's rise to wealth and fame reads like a modern-day David and Goliath story. Armed only with a radical idea and the help of his old colleague James Ax, Simons launched the Medallion Fund and soon hired Elwyn Berlekamp to design a risk management and quantitative trading strategy.
To the astonishment of seasoned investors, the returns generated were staggeringly higher than the returns of other successful hedge funds. Simons and his team of mathematical wizards kept rolling in their gains, making 35% returns annually.
Through careful diversification, risk management, and quantitative analysis, Simons has built a personal fortune of billions, proving himself to be the master of using math to make money.
Genius mathematician and billionaire Jim Simons made a killing with his revolutionary Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, one of the most profitable quantitative funds of all time.
From 2001 to 2013, the lowest yield was still impressive at 21%. Even in 2008 when the S&P 500 plummeted 38%, Simons’s coveted Medallion Fund almost doubled its investors' money, netting them billions of dollars in profits.
Renaissance Technologies LLC has a portfolio value of around $73.1 billion and a turnover rate of 24%, according to GuruFocus calculations. It invests in some of the world’s largest and most successful companies.
At the top of their list are Novo Nordisk (NVO), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN), Apple Inc (AAPL), Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD), and Airbnb Inc (ABNB). The rest of their portfolio is made up of call-and-put options but without any new purchases in the current portfolio.
As early as 2013, Renaissance Technologies invested in Elon Musk's Tesla. At the time, the fund purchased 2.7 million split-adjusted shares for $19 million, which have since grown to a value of over $500 million.
RenTech’s stake peaked at 59 million shares in 2019, worth $12 billion based on Tesla’s current stock price of
. Over the years, the value of RenTech's fund's position fluctuated drastically, oscillating from below $400,000 up to $1.6 billion.
RenTech decreased its stake from 2.2 million to 1,400 shares in the third quarter of 2020, resulting in a drop from a return of $504 million to an estimated $371,000 in three months.
Recently, the firm decided to reinvest in Tesla, increasing its stake to 3.4 million shares worth about $419 million at the close of December 2022.
Renaissance Technologies has an eye for success, investing in stocks that satisfy its desire for stability and profitability. The company takes into consideration the potential of the stock, the performance of the company, and the market to determine which stocks to buy, and how much to invest.
With a portfolio of 4,074 total holdings, Renaissance Technologies LLC has a wealth of knowledge and experience that’s any investor could reference for reliable and profitable way to invest.
In 2008, Jim Simons splashed out on a luxurious 222-foot superyacht for a jaw-dropping $100 million. He decided to name his new toy Archimedes after the ancient Greek scientist and mathematician famous for aquatic experiments.
Jim Simons's 222-foot superyacht Archimedes is worth $100 million.
All that luxury doesn't come cheap, though, as the annual maintenance cost for the yacht is a hefty $10 million. Additionally, Simons got a Gulfstream G650 private aircraft valued at $70 million.
Jim Simons's Gulfstream G650 is valued at $70 million.
Jim Simons's life is an incredible story of how hard work, endurance, and mathematics can lead to boundless wealth. His investment strategies and portfolio have earned him billions of dollars which he, in turn, used to make generous donations to philanthropic causes.
Most importantly, Jim’s success shows us how quantitative analysis can be a crucial tool used to make a killing in the stock market.
Invest in Financial Innovation