Mathematician and Investing Legend James Simons dead at 86

{{ Between 1988 and 2018, Renaissance’s flagship Medallion Fund produced gains of more than $100 billion and average annual returns of 66% before the firm’s unusually hefty investor fees. The annual gains were 39% after those fees, a performance that topped those of Buffett, Soros, Peter Lynch and other investors during that period. }}

$1,000 invested at a 66% average annual return for 30 years – $4.01 billion
$1,000 invested at a 39% average annual return for 30 years – $19.52 million

Simons’ fee - assuming he reinvested it in the fund – $3.99 billion

Of course, reinvestment was not permitted since Simons realized that if the fund got too big, others might be able to discern how he was making the fantastic returns. The assets in the fund had to be kept to a manageable size.

But Simon’s kept a sharp eye on the skim for his own account.

"‘I’m not sure we’re the best at trading,’ Jim Simons once told a colleague. ‘But we’re the best at estimating the cost of our trades.’