RAYDALIO is the founder, chair, and co–chief investment officer at BridgewaterAssociates, a global leader in institutional portfolio management and thelargest hedge fund in the world ($150+ billion). Bridgewater is known for itsculture of “radical transparency,” which includes encouraging dissent, openlyairing disagreements, and recording all meetings. His estimated net worth isnearly $17 billion.
Along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Ray has signed“The Giving Pledge,” committing half of his net wealth to charity over thecourse of his lifetime. He has created the Dalio Foundation to channel hisphilanthropic contributions. Ray has appeared on the Time 100 list of the “MostInfluential People in the World,” as well as the Bloomberg Markets list of the“50 Most Influential People.” Ray is the author of Principles: Life and Work,in which he shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined,and used over the past 40 years to create unique results in both life andbusiness.
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one tothree books that have greatly influenced your life?
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, The Lessons of History by Willand Ariel Durant, and River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins.
Whatpurchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last sixmonths (or in recent memory)?
A pocket notepad to jot down good ideas whenthey come to me.
Howhas a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a“favorite failure” of yours?
My most painful failures have been my best teachers, because the pain prompted meto change. My “favorite failure” was in 1982, when I predicted a depression onWall Street Week (a popular TV show) and to Congress just before a great bullmarket and economy.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would itsay?
“Think for yourself while being radicallyopen-minded.”
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Learningto meditate. I faithfully practice Transcendental Meditation but also dabbleand am interested in other types of meditation.
Whatis an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Enjoying reflecting on my painful mistakes. I do this by writing down my reflections. I’ve also developed an iPad app to help people reflect on the pain theyexperience that I call the Pain Button.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved yourlife?
The belief that I’m at a stage in life when making others successful without me isthe most important thing I can do.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the“real world”?
Lovelooking at what you don’t know, your mistakes, and your weaknesses, because understanding them is essential for making the most of your life.
Whatare bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“The markets that have done great are great investments.” In other words, whensomeone says, “Buy this because it’s doing well,” you should be thinking, “Be careful, because it’s become more expensive.”
Whenyou feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?