Michael Burry, a doctor-turned-hedge fund manager also profiled in Zuckerman's book, who also profited from betting against housing despite great protestations from his investors, had a memorable line: "A money manager does not go from being a near nobody to being nearly universally applauded to being nearly universally vilified without some effect." Paulson's gone from obscurity to being perceived by many as the top hedge fund manager in the world. With that change, Paulson has received enormous wealth, but at a cost. His every trade gets discussed and debated in the media. He's likely become more isolated for security reasons, making it harder to relate to the "real world" in which his investments operate. And he likely has more "yes men" around him than ever before. If you're on Paulson's team, you've made huge money recently. Unwittingly, you'll start agreeing with him more on his new investment ideas. Anyone who doesn't agree will probably leave on his own accord or be asked to leave. Those remaining on the team are the most loyal and the least likely to disagree with the boss' views. Active debate helps form great investment ideas. But, as money managers get more successful, they face less and less debate. I disagree that John Paulson was lucky in betting against housing. From Zuckerman's account, Paulson did his homework, while everyone else stayed too long at the party. I also think that he can still conceive of and execute great trades. But there's no question that it will be more difficult now than before . Ask Lampert. Paulson's continued success is not his birthright.