Ray Dalio is the world’s billionaire investor, founder of Bridgewater Associates (one of the world’s largest hedge funds managing something like $160 billion… cool cool cool….), author of Principles of Life and Work (a.k.a the book on everybody’s favorites list), and Bloomberg said that he’s one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people in January 2018.
He is known for his controversial practices in running Bridgewater Associates like full transparency at all times, videotaping meetings, etc. and those are some of the features that made his company so successful. In fact, people are now buying shares of the hedge fund itself because it’s just that good.
Ray Dalio’s Early Life
So the boy was born in New York and his family, by no means, had a banking background. His mother was a housewife and his father was a jazz musician who played in Manhattan clubs.
His interest in the financial world began at 12-ish when he was working on a golf course; he heard a lot of these Wall Street guys talking about the markets, the ups, and downs, the tips and tricks. With the money that he earned from his job, he bought Northeast Airlines at $5 a share partially because this was one of the few companies with a stock that he could afford. It also happened to go through a merger deal, and little-boy Dalio tripled his money. He was hooked.
By the time that he had graduated high school and was enroute to university, he already had a portfolio of several thousand dollars. He was enrolled at Long Island University where he completed a bachelor’s degree specializing in finance because the man was gifted.
A Brief Finance Precursor to a Lifetime of More Finance
After his undergrad, he took several finance jobs doing things that we do not understand like trading commodity futures on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, working as the Director of Commodities at Dominick & Dominick LLC, trading futures and brokering things (is that how you say it?) at Shearson Hayden Stone.
The rest as you say, is history.
Forbes says he has a net-worth of about $17.4 billion - half of which is going to be donated to charitable causes as part of Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge (the pledge for wealthy people to give up >=50% of their wealth to philanthropy).
Biography & Image sourcesBiography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Dalio, https://www.valuewalk.com/ray-dalio-bridgewater/, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/07/25/mastering-the-machine
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