In 1975, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Today, Bridgewater is the world’s largest hedge fund, managing some $160 billion for more than 350 institutional clients such as pension funds and university endowments. That growth has been driven by performance: Over the past four decades, the firm has made more money for its investors than any other hedge fund in history—nearly $50 billion through last year, according to Bloomberg. Dalio himself has become one of the 100 richest people in the world.
Bridgewater has also developed a reputation in recent years as one of the planet’s most idiosyncratic business organizations, with a unique culture driven by Dalio’s personal beliefs—and built on the tenets of radical truth and radical transparency. Dalio has collected and codified hundreds of “principles” that guide his approach to life, work, and investing.