By Stephen Taub
It was a golden year for the richest hedge fund managers, who became even richer in 2010. Virtually everyone who qualified for AR’s tenth annual ranking of the highest earning hedge fund managers is a billionaire, led by John Paulson of Paulson & Co. and Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, who made a combined $8 billion last year.
Paulson, whose hedge fund firm is the third largest in the United States, made a record $4.9 billion to claim the top spot, giving him $12.9 billion in earnings over the past four years alone. Dalio, whose firm is the world’s largest, earned $3.1 billion in 2010 despite generating returns that exceeded those of Paulson. But Paulson has more of his personal capital in his funds than does Dalio.
Paulson’s and Dalio’s huge gains aside, 2010 was only the third-most...