Last Updated on 7 September, 2021 by Samuelsson

A native of Queens, New York, Ray Dalio is an investment legend. He is the founder, co-chairman, and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates — a company he started out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York in 1975. Under his leadership, the firm has grown into the fifth most important private company in the US according to Fortune Magazine.

For his tough but innovative management style as well as his work advising policymakers around the world, Mr. Dalio has been dubbed the “Steve Jobs of Investing” by aiCIO Magazine and Wired Magazine. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine.

However, the journey was never smooth for Ray. His trading and asset management career hit rock bottom in 1982 when a bad bet wiped him out financially and he had to borrow $4,000 from his dad to rebuild his company from scratch. Despite the bumps at the beginning, Dalio has amassed a net worth of $17 billion while building Bridgewater into the world’s largest hedge fund, which now manages roughly $150 billion in assets.

Mr. Dalio stepped down as co-CEO of Bridgewater in 2017, but he has remained co-chairman and co-chief investment officer. However, he plans to eventually pass along those titles as well, as he intends to focus the next phase of life on pursuing his passions and helping others succeed. Here’s what he has to say: “The natural thing I want is to pass along the things that have been valuable to me to help others. It’s a joy to see others succeed.”

To pass his wisdom, Dalio started writing books. He is the author of The New York Times #1 Bestseller, “Principles”, which outlines his work and life principles, the foundation of Bridgewater’s distinctive culture, and the cornerstone of his and Bridgewater’s success. There is also the workbook, Principles Your Assessment (similar to a test he gave Bridgewater employees), which helps people learn about themselves.

Together with Bridgewater Associates, Ray also recently published Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises, the first public dissemination of their research on these economic events, which enabled them to anticipate the 2008 Financial Crisis. And he is already working on his third book, which will outline his investment principles.

He says he wants a legacy beyond Bridgewater as someone who “evolved well” and “contributed to the evolution in some small part. And who helped people be all that they could be.”

As regards his approach and the lack of a daily routine, Ray says that he likes to go with the flow: he summarizes his workday as follows: “I usually wake up at about 6 a.m. I meditate. I have breakfast. Then I dive into a variety of things. I check in on the markets, and then I spend six to eight hours a day, six days a week, digging [into research].”

Ray holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from C.W. Post College and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for over 40 years and has four grown sons. Mr. Dalio is an avid philanthropist with a special interest in ocean exploration and conservation.

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