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John Arnold, Hedge Fund Manager And Former Enron Trader, Retires At 38 Years Old With $3.5 Billion

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/03/2012 6:10 pm Updated: 05/04/2012 12:57 pm

John Arnold

Most of us would feel lucky to have the means to retire at 38. Now imagine retiring at that ripe old age with $3.5 billion in the bank.

That's the true story of former star Enron trader John Arnold, who most recently worked as a hedge fund manager. He’s decided to shut down his firm Centaurus Advisors and return investor money, retiring at the ripe old age of 38, according to The New York Times. Arnold rose to prominence at now disgraced Enron for his natural gas trading prowess. After avoiding accusations of wrongdoing during the firm’s accounting scandal, Arnold went on to net triple digit returns with Centaurus Advisors, which he started in 2002. Now worth an estimated $3.5 billion, he’s one of the wealthiest hedge fund managers in the U.S., according to Forbes (h/t The Daily Mail).

Arnold wrote to investors that he was bowing out to “pursue other interests,” according to The Daily Mail. Past hedge fund managers who’ve shuttered their businesses, however, have done so for a variety of reasons, including the requirement that they register their firm with the SEC, the NYT reports.

Billionaire George Soros cited new regulations when he announced last July that he would no longer be managing anybody else's money but his own. Activist investor Carl Icahn took a similar action, while less famous hedge fund managers Chris Shumway, Stanley Druckenmiller and Pierre Andurand have all decided the new regulations aren’t worth keeping outside investors around.

Quitting work over some new rules, however, isn't a luxury most American have. In March, the confidence Americans have in their ability to retire hit a two-decade low. Even some members of the 1 percent are afraid they'll be working till their dying day.

Arnold will join a number of former Enron colleagues who are no longer working, albeit for very different reasons. Former CEO Jeffrey Skilling will continue to serve a 24-year federal prison sentence after losing an appeal last month on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Andrew Fastow, Rex Shelby and Richard Causey, all other Enron executives, have all spent time at a Houston halfway house, finishing out sentences of various lengths related to the scandal.

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