Jeff Yass, the American billionaire businessman, grew his wealth from trading his own money. He is the co-founder and managing director of Susquehanna International Group (SIG) and one of the earliest investors in TikTok. In 2024, Jeff Yass’s net worth most likely exceeds $30 billion.

SIG is one of Wall Street’s largest trading firms today, but this is not the only source of Yass’ wealth. Over the years, he has made some incredibly profitable investments that added billions to his already high net worth.

Let’s see what made Jeff Yass the richest person in Pennsylvania.

Jeff Yass Net Worth Breakdown:

Even though he makes extravagant political donations and is a grand philanthropist, Yass is actually a very private person. That being said, he doesn’t like to reveal much information about his personal investments or assets. However, we did manage to pinpoint the main sources of his estimated net worth to give you a good idea of what makes him the richest man in Philadelphia.

Asset or Income Source  Contribution to Net Worth
SIG stake & salary Unknown
Earnings per year 2013-2018 $1.3 billion
Bytedance stake $21 billion (7%)
Political (and ideological) donations $188+ million
Real estate $12.5 million
Total Net Worth $30 billion

Jeff Yass Net Worth: The Early Life and Private Life of the Billionaire Investor

Jeffrey Yass was born in 1956 in Queens, New York, as one of two children to father Gerald Yass and mother Sybil Yass. He grew up in a middle-class Jewish family and was educated at Queens’ public schools before he enrolled at Binghamton University.

As a child, Yass was passionate about economics and mathematics. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in economics and mathematics from Binghamton University, after which he enrolled to study economics at New York University but didn’t graduate.

Gerald Yass, his father, was a graduate of LIU Brooklyn and worked as an accountant and chairman of Datatab Inc. before he co-founded Philadelphia Trading, a trading company. After founding SIG, he started working at the company and remained the senior executive and advisor.

Yass is married to Janine Coslett and has four children, two daughters and two sons with her.

Jeff Yass Net Worth: How a Professional Gambler Became the Richest Man in Pennsylvania

Jeff Yass’ success started many decades ago while he was still in school. He cofounded Susquehanna International Group while still at the State University of New York at Binghamton. This venture was one of the main catalysts that propelled him to billionaire status and beyond.

Today, Yass is the richest person in Philadelphia, standing atop the ranks of Michael Rubin (Fanatic), Victoria Mars (heir to the Mars candy), Josh Harris (Sixers managing partner), John Middleton (Philadelphia Phillies owner), and Mary Alice Dorrance Malone (Campbell’s Soup shareholder).

Founding and Success of Susquehanna International Group

Susquehanna International Group was founded by six colleagues and entrepreneurs in 1987, including Jeff Yass and Arthur Dantchik. They gathered at the university to play cards and eventually agreed to invest in a joint venture that would later become one of the most successful trading firms in the world!

Jeff Yass playing poker
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While at university, Jeff Yass met a multi-millionaire named Israel Englander, who searched for hungry young traders to invest his capital. Englander offered Yass an empty seat on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for a 50/50 revenue share and investment of $30,000. This is what the partners used to create Susquehanna.

By October of the next year, SIG already had 100 employees and generated $30 million in annual revenue. This was impressive, considering that five months after the company was founded, the US stock market crashed.

Today, Susquehanna International Group employs over 2,000 people in seven offices in the United States, including its Pennsylvania headquarters, five offices in the Asia-Pacific region, and two offices in Europe. It is one of the largest traders of liquid stocks in the US.

2 people looking at trading monitors
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SIG now trades about 7% of the US’s ETF volume and over $1.5 trillion in ETFs globally every year. In terms of US-listed options, SIG handles about a quarter of total trades.

Over the years, Yass has used the trading profits of the business to invest in early-stage growth companies, which has massively accelerated the growth of his net worth. His most notable investment so far is in the social media app TikTok through its parent company, Bytedance (founded by Zhang Yiming), which is now the most valuable private company in the world. This particular investment has significantly boosted his personal net worth, too.

SIG bought a stake in ByteDance in 2012, measured at around 15%. This was long before TikTok existed. Yass reportedly has a personal stake of 7% in Bytedance, worth around $21 billion alone and climbing.

In addition to the investment in Bytedance, SIG has invested billions of dollars in tech companies like Agora Inc., Credit Karma, and Payoneer, among others.

As the founder of one of the most successful trading firms, Yass adds over one billion dollars to his net worth every year in addition to the value of his stake in SIG and other businesses. According to Inquirer, he earned an average of $1.3 billion a year between 2013 and 2018. As for his precise stake in SIG or his current salary and earnings, this is not publicly disclosed.

Yass’ Gambling Proficiency and Hiring Process

Before founding the business, Yass was a professional gambler alongside his roommate, Dantchik. His company, Susquehanna, recruits and trades its traders using poker tournaments. Yass believes that these sharpen their decision-making skills, and his process seems to work – SIG has produced many award-winning traders over the years.

people playing poker
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SIG is now a powerhouse in making markets for sports bets, too. It does this through its trading unit, Nellie Analytics, based in Dublin. The operation also stakes bets on elections.

Yass’ Income Tax Rate

Yass is PA’s richest person today, and as such, he has dealt with many controversies over the years (many of which revolve around his massive political donations). To everyone’s surprise, he has been paying a lower income tax rate than most Americans despite his tremendous wealth. According to tax records collected and published by ProPublica, he paid only 18.7% of his earnings in income taxes.

Jeff Yass in Politics

Over the years, Yass has been actively included in politics. He is a libertarian who donates often to Republican candidates and has also funded several Pennsylvania Democrats who sought to impeach Larry Krasner, the progressive Philadelphia District Attorney, though unsuccessfully.

His most notable political actions and appearances over the years include:

  • 2001: joined the executive advisory council at the Cato Institute. In 2002, he became a member of its board of directors.
  • 2015: donated $2.3 million of his net worth to a Super Political Action Committee supporting the presidential candidacy of top libertarian Rand Paul
  • 2018-2020: donated $3.8 million to the Club for Growth in 2018, followed by $20.7 million in 2020
  • 2020: donated $25.3 million to Republican candidates by 2020, making him one of the ten largest political donors in the US
  • 2021: donated an undisclosed sum with Arthur Dantchik to the Kohelet Policy Forum in Israel
  • 2021: donated $5 million to the School Freedom Fund
  • 2021: funded his own Pennsylvania political action committee titled Students First
  • 2022: Election Spending Research by OpenSecrets published that Yass spent over $56 million as a donor to outside spending groups in the 2022 election. He donated to the Club for Growth Action, School Freedom Fund, Crypto Freedom PAC, Kentucky Freedom PAC, and Protect Freedom PAC.
  • 2023: donated $6 million to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, making the largest single campaign donation in Texas’ history.
  • 2024: donated $34 million to Republican campaigns and groups in the US election cycle
Jeff Yass at the world economic forum
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These days, Yass is the top donor to the Club for Growth. Strangely enough, Club for Growth is a conservative group that rallied Republican opposition to banning TikTok. He has donated $61 million to the organization since 2010, which accounts for around 24% of its total. If the group had been successful in getting TikTok banned in the US, Yass would have certainly lost billions of dollars.

Yass and his wife, Janine Coslett, are public supporters of school choice. Cosslet wrote an opinion piece in 2017 published by The Washington Examiner in support of Betsy DeVos’s views on school choice.

Due to his fierce political involvement, Yass has frequently been a target of controversies and even a political campaign run by 1HODD Power, the advocacy arm of 1HOOD Media, which created a campaign called #AllEyesonYass.

Jeff Yass political poster
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Honorable Mentions

As a prominent businessman, Yass has appeared in numerous publications over the years. In 2001, Philadelphia magazine listed him as one of their 76 revolutionary minds.

In 2019, he was featured in Forbes’ list of billionaires for the first time.

In 2023, The Intercept named him the ‘richest man in Pennsylvania’.

Philanthropy

Using his immense wealth and success, Yass has made significant contributions not only to political causes but also to philanthropic ones.

In 2001, for instance, during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, he announced a donation of an unknown quantity to the charitable fund established by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, aimed to assist the victims.

He has supported several charity causes over the years, including:

  • Save the Children
  • People’s Emergency Center Families First building
  • Spirit of Golf Foundation
  • Franklin Family Funfest Committee by the Franklin Institute

Yass is also the founder of the Yass Prize, a $1 million award that’s referred to as ‘the Pulitzer of Education Innovation’. He and his wife created the prize for ‘sustainable, transformational, outstanding and permissionless (stop) education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

the Yass prize check
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The businessman also runs the Susquehanna Foundation, the Yass Foundation, and the Claws Foundation, all of which contribute to school privatization and libertarian causes.

Other Businesses and Investments of Jeffrey Yass

Yass’ portfolio has been exceptional, though he generally makes his investments through SIQ. Of course, his most notable investment to date is in TikTok, where he invested in its parent company Bytedance.

As for his assets, there is very little known about what the businessman owns these days. For several years, he lived with his family in Haverford, Pennsylvania, though we don’t know if this is still the case today.

In reality, Yass is a very private person, so he doesn’t exactly show off his wealth. He does, however, own a $12.5 million house in the Hamptons, according to one source.

He is also a proponent of cryptocurrencies, though we don’t know if – and how much he has invested in it from his personal net worth. What we do know is that he outranks even the FTX chief in making crypto donations.

At one point, he donated 100 Bitcoin, worth around $1.9 million at that point, to Crypto Freedom PAC, a representative for the super PAC that was confirmed to CoinDesk. This was the largest BTC-denominated political donation ever recorded by the FEC.

What Can We Learn from Jeff Yass’ Story?

Jeff Yass, a highly successful options trader and co-founder of Susquehanna International Group, one of Wall Street’s largest and most successful trading firms, has had an inspiring and educational journey.

His success in trading underscores the importance of effective risk management. He and his partners developed sophisticated strategies that helped them mitigate potential losses and maximize profits. Instead of losing massive chunks of its funds like many of its competitors during the recession, it was able to hedge so effectively that it actually made money during these downturns. This teaches us the importance of being risk-aware and making informed decisions, especially when it comes to trading and investing.

Yass and his partners used innovative trading techniques, adapting to market changes and leveraging technology to get the upper hand. The team is known for its quantitative approach to trading, using algorithms and mathematical models to capitalize on market inefficiencies. This once again confirms the importance of data and quantitative analysis in finance.

His story taught us another important lesson – to learn how to use our skills and talents to progress in the field we chose, even if they are not directly linked. Yass managed to grow his net worth to count billions of dollars by using his gambling experience to train traders working at his company, an idea that brought him a great deal of success and fortune.

At SIG, he built a talented team of traders, technologists, and analysts who work together to drive the company’s growth, highlighting the value of building a strong team.

Finally, Yass is actively involved in philanthropy and charitable giving. He has been supporting causes related to education and healthcare. This kind of commitment demonstrates the importance of using success for positive social impact.