TODAY   |  April 15, 2013

Top hedge fund manager made $2.2 billion last year

In its just-released annual “Rich List” of the top-earning hedge fund managers, Institutional Investor revealed that each of the big four earned over $1 billion last year, with number one David Tepper raking in $2.2 billion. NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

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>>> the so-called rich list is out this morning, an annual report of hedge fund managers who made the most money and once again the numbers are staggering. nbc's senior investigative correspondent lisa myers is here with more.

>> good morning. we're talking about the mega rich, the biggest, most sophisticated players on wall street . each of the top four managers earned more than $1 billion last year, but by their standards, that's only a pretty good year. today, even for the small investor, wall street is at record levels. the man at the top of the institutional investors rich list david tepper pulled in $2.2 billion by going all in last year.

>> first off before you start a couple of things. we weren't up 24, we were up 30%.

>> reporter: that's almost twice as much as the stock market rose overall.

>> tepper was convinced there was great opportunity in u.s. equities, he made a big bet and made a lot of money.

>> he's long been known as a billionaire with middle class sensibilities. not long ago he bought in $44 million home in the hamptons, tore it down and spent untold millions building a new one. number two, raymond dalio, $1.7 billion. number three, steve cohen , $1.4 billion.

>> since he started sac he's returned 30% on average after fees.

>> cohen's investors returned half that last year when a criminal investigation swirled around the man many consider the smartest trader on wall street . cohen denies wrongdoing and has never been charged with anything. the legal problems don't appear to have impacted his wallet. he paid $150 million for this picasso last year and another $60 million for this oceanfront home. the fourth man to pull in more than $1 billion, james simons $1.9 billion. he's been on this list a dozen years bringing home more than $18 billion. since it's tax day we should note these billions are taxed at a lower rate that be most americans pay on their salaries. none of the managers would comment for us but a spokesman points out all give a ton of money to charity.

>> lisa myers , thank you very