Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to him directly. If you do, you’re a slimy weasel.”
So runs principle 11 of Ray Dalio’s guidelines to life: part self-help guide, part radical philosophy, part club-house rules. And the blueprint to the running of the world’s most successful money-making machine, Bridgewater Associates.
Mr Dalio, a grey-haired, calm but youthful 62-year-old, is, according to an analysis released this week by LCH Investments, the most successful hedge fund manager in history . He has made his clients a staggering $35.8bn since founding Bridgewater in 1975 – almost all of it for pension funds – and $13.8bn last year alone.
Yet even for a hedge fund manager – a breed in finance not known for loquacity – Mr Dalio, hunkered down in Bridgewater’s backwood “campuses” in Westport, Connecticut, has, until very recently, remained inscrutable. Indeed, it was only two years ago, with the leaking of the principles by which Bridgewater is run – there are some 295 – that the firm’s founder was forced into the limelight.
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