Five of the most successful hedge fund managers earned $1 billion or more—each—in 2006, Reuters reports, while the average earnings for the top 100 managers was $241 million. Top performers delivered returns of 30% to 40% last year.

John Arnold, who only recently launched hedge fund Centaurus, made the right call on natural gas prices, earning himself between $1.5 billion and $2 billion and his investors, returns of 317%.

James Simons of Renaissance Technologies, Edward Lampert of ESL, T. Boone Pickens and Steve Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors each earned $1 billion.

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