#15. Ken Griffin

The King of Hedge Funds

Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin is a name synonymous with success in the world of hedge funds.

As the founder and CEO of Citadel, one of the world’s leading investment firms, Griffin has cemented his position as one of the most successful investors of his generation. But how did he get there, and what are the principles that have driven his success? In this article, we’ll explore Griffin’s career and strategies, his most famous deals, and some little-known trivia about the man himself.


Early Career

Ken Griffin was born in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1968, and showed an early aptitude for investing. While still in high school, he started investing in stocks, and by the time he graduated, he had already made a profit of $265,000. He went on to attend Harvard University, where he continued to hone his investing skills. In 1987, while still a sophomore, Griffin started his first hedge fund, using money from family and friends. By the time he graduated in 1989, the fund had grown to $1 million.


Griffin’s Strategies

Griffin’s success can be attributed to several key strategies and principles. One of his main strategies is to focus on long-term investments. Rather than trying to make a quick profit by trading stocks, Griffin invests in companies that he believes will perform well over the long term. He also has a keen eye for undervalued companies, which he believes have the potential for significant growth. Another of Griffin’s strategies is to maintain a diversified portfolio, which helps to minimize risk.

Griffin is also known for his rigorous research process. He and his team of analysts spend countless hours analyzing companies and their financials before making any investment decisions. He is a strong believer in using data and analysis to make informed decisions, rather than relying on intuition or emotion. As he once said, “At the end of the day, I think investing is a numbers game. The better the numbers, the better the outcome.”


Most Famous Deals

Griffin’s most famous deal is arguably his investment in the troubled mortgage-backed securities market in 2008. At the time, the market was in freefall, with many investors fleeing the market. But Griffin saw an opportunity. He invested heavily in the market, buying up assets that he believed were undervalued. His bet paid off handsomely, with Citadel making billions of dollars in profits as the market rebounded.

Another notable deal was Griffin’s investment in the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2014. At the time, many investors were sceptical about Alibaba’s prospects, but Griffin saw the potential for significant growth. He invested heavily in the company, and his bet paid off when Alibaba went public later that year. Griffin’s investment in Alibaba has since become one of Citadel’s most profitable trades.


Famous Quotes

Griffin is known for his insightful and pithy quotes about investing. Here are some of his most famous:

  • “In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”
  • “The only way to generate superior returns is to be different from the consensus.”
  • “The biggest risk in investing is not price volatility, but whether you will suffer permanent loss of capital.”
  • “I think the biggest challenge we all face in life is knowing ourselves, and investing is no different.”
  • “The markets are a great teacher, but they can also be a ruthless one.”


Little-Known Trivia

While Griffin is a well-known figure in the world of finance, there are some little-known facts about him that may surprise you. For example:

  • Griffin is a big art collector, and his collection includes works by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jasper Johns.
  • He is a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, medical research, and the arts.
  • Griffin is a fan of Formula One racing and is known to attend races around the world.
  • He is also a major donor to political campaigns and has contributed millions of dollars to candidates and causes he supports.
  • In 2019, Griffin made headlines when he purchased the most expensive home ever sold in the United States, a penthouse in Manhattan’s Central Park South neighbourhood for a reported $238 million.



Ken Griffin’s success as an investor is the result of a combination of factors, including his focus on long-term investments, his rigorous research process, and his ability to identify undervalued assets. His most famous deals, including his bet on the mortgage-backed securities market and his investment in Alibaba, have made him one of the most successful investors of his generation. But beyond his success in finance, Griffin is also known for his philanthropy, his love of art and Formula One racing, and his record-breaking real estate purchases. For professionals looking to learn from the best, Ken Griffin is certainly an investor worth studying.

Patrick Woodcraft - Wholesale Investment Specialist Profile

About the Author: Patrick Woodcraft

As a wholesale investment specialist, I help Certified Financial Planners and Qualified Financial Advisors with the information and education they need about investment funds that are poised to perform best for their clients through the volatile economic seasons ahead. Book a free 15 minute discovery call with me to see what value I can bring to your business and establish if we’re a good fit to work together.



Talk soon,

Thanks for reaching out. I’m looking forward to connecting with you to understand your needs and discover how I can serve you best. 


*Patrick Woodcraft does not provide financial advice or investment advice. Nothing on this website may be construed as financial advice or investment advice. Past investment performance is no guarantee of future results. 


© Patrick Woodcraft 2023