In Michael Kaufman’s book – Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire, there’s a great passage on Stanley Druckenmiller in which he discusses that there is less than a handful of people that can pull the trigger when its all on the line. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Druckenmiller pointed out many traits that gave Soros a competitive advantage: the ability to compartmentalize, intelligence, coolness under pressure, insight, a critical and analytical mind. But repeatedly he kept returning to Soros’s brilliance in “pulling the trigger.”
This, Druckenmiller said, provided the critical difference. Soros himself uses the term, saying it was what primarily distinguished him from Rogers while they worked together. “Pulling the trigger,” said Druckenmiller, “is not about analysis; it’s not about predicting trends—it’s really about a sort of courage. It’s hard to describe. You know, the ugly way to describe it would be ‘balls.’ To be willing at the right moment in time to put it all on the line. That is not something, in my opinion, that [can] he learned. It is totally intuitive, and it is an art, not in any way a science.”
Druckenmiller, who with Soros’s backing pulled the trigger in the fund’s most famous speculation—a bet against the British pound that in 1991 earned more than a billion dollars—claims this capacity to maximize stakes and payoffs is very hard to find. “There are thousands of people who are good at analysis and hundreds who are good at predicting trends, but when you get down to using that information, pulling the trigger, putting it on the line to make what you are supposed to make, you are down to less than a handful.”
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