The key to Ray Dalio’s success after his retirement from Bridgewater: look for the most intelligent even if they contradict him

ray dalio, the founder of Bridgewater back in 1975, ‘hang up your boots’. At 73 years old, and 47 at the foot of the canyon, he has stepped aside: he has relinquished control of the eldest hedge fund in the world with $151 billion in assets under management.

A self-made man, who carried enterprising blood, and whose fortune, according to Forbesit is of 22,000 million dollars. The Bill Gates of finance started his business venture not from a garage, but from a small apartment in New York.

Before, at the early age of 12, he already hinted that he had tables to manage money. He worked as caddy on the golf courses carrying the bag of clubs. And for it, he charged six dollars. Even when he went to the hairdresser, he would talk about stocks with his hairdresser. Then his father introduced him to a stockbroker and bought his first shares.


Ray Dalio made a career. Not without obstacles. and the magazine Time included him among the hundred most influential people in the world. Forbes, meanwhile, did the same among the richest. What was the key to his success?

In Spain there is a recurring phrase: you learn from mistakes. Y Ray Dalio hit the big bump back in 1981. He had to fire the eight workers who were under his leadership, leaving him broke. He got up thanks to his father lending him $4,000.

[Ray Dalio cede el control de Bridgewater tras 47 años al frente del ‘hedge fund’ más grande del mundo]

“That mistake stayed in my mind because it was so painful that it changed my way of thinking,” he confessed to me in an interview conducted before the pandemic. “It was very painful but, at the same time, it was one of the best things that happened to me because it changed my project.”

Back then, he asked himself a question: How do I know I’m right? And the answer she found was the following: “I had to find the smartest people I could, even if they didn’t agree with me, and understand their reasoning.”.

Magic formula

From then on he became more humble. A traumatic experience that also “made me know how to deal with myself to be better. It changed my perspective because any success I get has more to do with knowing how to deal with myselfNot because I know something I already know. This perspective came out of that very painful experience.”

From it came a formula that, since then, he applied to the letter: pain plus reflection equals progress. “If you use pain as a sign, you should get discouraged and reflect on what you would do differently in the future and establish a good principle to improve and do things better later,” she stressed at that meeting.


In this way, progress occurs. “I think that pain is our most decisive learning. And you get used to it. Psychology changes because pain is like a puzzle. The puzzle is what makes the future different”, he highlighted. And he added, “If you can’t solve that puzzle, you get a jam. And that traffic jam is a principle that makes you better in the future.”

the founder of Bridgewater He is convinced that we live in a society where there are no principles. “There are principles that come from teaching, or from religion. But people don’t think about getting their own principles. For an individual it is very important to articulate them and thus be able to identify which ones they have in common with the others and which ones are divergent”, she underlined.

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, speaking in 2021.

Brendan McDermid


Before someone who has made investing his way of life, and who has advised some of the richest people in the world, the question was obvious: What is the biggest mistake people make when investing? “Believe they are good investors and thinking that markets that performed well are good investments, rather than more expensive. That’s the most common mistake.” was his reply.

Now Ray Dalio begins what is called a new life. Of course, he will remain on the Bridgewater board and will not forget his investments.

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The key to Ray Dalio’s success after his retirement from Bridgewater: look for the most intelligent even if they contradict him