Magazine annually ranks top-earning hedge fund managers. Earnings from a hedge fund are simply 100% of the capital gains on the manager's own equity stake in the fund plus 20% to 50% (depending on policy) of the gains on the other investors' capital.
The 2004 top earner was Edward Lampert of ESL Investments Inc. who earned $1.02 billion during the year (PR Newswire link).
The 2005 top earner was James Harris Simons with an earning of $1.5 billion according to Alpha magazine. However, Traders Monthly reported that Simons only earned about $1 billion and that the top earner was instead T. Boone Pickens with an estimated earning of over $1.5 billion during the year.
The full top 10 list of hedge fund earners according to Traders Monthly includes: