Bond King Bill Gross Learned Risk From Playing Blackjack

October 4, 2014 -

Blackjack is a game that's known for requiring a high level of skill, but it's also known that you can achieve a skill level high enough to get an advantage in live casinos if you play your proverbial cards right. This was the case for Bill Gross, known as the "Bond King" because of the huge bond fund that he manages. He manages trillions of dollars based on the same principles of balancing risk and reward that he learned through beating blackjack games in Las Vegas.

Back in 1966, he went to Las Vegas with about $2,000 after he finished up at Duke University. He spent four months learning how to beat the blackjack games, including becoming a very proficient card counter, and left the city with about $10,000. The main thing that he learned is what people in the gambling world call bankroll management, and in his case, it was the idea that even if you have an advantage against the game or against the markets, you still can't put up too much of your money because an unlucky streak can wipe you out.

While he's personally worth between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, he manages a bond fund that's worth several trillion. His success in this is largely built from his ideas that moderation has to be found in the bets you place to help prevent bad things from happening in the long run, even if you have an advantage. Gross is known for being a down-to-Earth kind of guy, and his colleagues regularly praise him as such which is very atypical for people who have seen that level of success.

An important lesson can be learned from Bill Gross and his experience with learning to beat blackjack. A lot of people try to put down gambling as being something that is somehow beneath them, but they miss out on the fact that there are a lot of key lessons that gambling can teach you if you go about it in the right way, and that's definitely what Gross was able to do.