Ray Dalio: No Pain, No Gain
In a recent blog post, famous financier Ray Dalio summarized his formula for success: the habit of asking “why,” along with a fair and necessary measure of pain and reflection, can lead to tremendous progress. And indeed, through this policy of curiosity and character, Mr. Dalio has wrested success from the most painful of financial circumstances.
Nearly 40 years ago, Ray Dalio made some bad market bets, a mistake that caused him to lose money and clients. As a result, Ray was so broke that he had to borrow $4,000 from his father to help pay for family bills.
As traumatic as that experience was for Mr. Dalio, it also served as a wake-up call for the developing money manager. It infused him with humility, plus a willingness to seek out dissenting perspectives so he could see issues from both sides.
An open mind enabled Ray Dalio to eliminate his blind spots and, eventually, improve his skills as a fund manager: currently, Ray is the head of Bridgewater Associates, a global macro investment firm that is the world’s largest hedge fund with $160 of assets under management. Mr. Dalio started Bridgewater in 1975 out of a two-bedroom apartment in New York
It has been said that Bridgewater’s hedge fund has made more money for its investors than any other hedge fund ever – an estimated $49.7 billion. Bridgewater Associates has received numerous awards, including over twenty “Manager of the Year” awards from major financial publications, and Ray has himself received three “Lifetime Achievement” awards.
Aside from his achievements as a financial manager, Ray Dalio has made waves as an outspoken commentator and as the author of the New York Times bestseller Principles: Life and Work. Additionally, a long list of economic policymakers
We can also add the title of philanthropist to Ray Dalio’s resume. Over his lifetime, Ray has given $768.9 million to charitable causes; his Dalio Foundation has supported microfinance, inner-city education, and nature conservation.
Not too bad, we must concede, for a middle-class kid from Long Island. Now the richest person in Connecticut and perennially among the top 100 richest Americans, Ray can afford to retire but elects not to: influencing finance and public policy are his passions, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Was there pain in his life? Sure, there was plenty of it – and for this Ray Dalio is, and will be, truly and eternally grateful.