Some people are just annoyingly talented, or lucky enough to be thought annoyingly talented. Peter Thiel was co-founder of Paypal, the online payments company sold to eBay for $1.5bn in the middle of the downturn. He was the first investor in Facebook, the phenomenonally successful social network for university students. Were that not enough, he's one of the most successful hedge fund investors in the current market. Though third-party estimates are more modest, Thiel tells Bloomberg he's returned 230% over four-year life of his fund. A consoling Valleywag side-note: Thiel didn't do nearly as well from the Paypal sale as he should.