Ray Dalio

Investing with Principles

Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is one of the most successful investors in the world, and his principles have helped him achieve tremendous success. He is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, and his net worth is estimated to be over $20 billion. 

In this article, we will explore the strategies and principles that have led to Dalio’s success, his most famous deals, and some little-known trivia about the man.


Investment Strategies and Principles

Dalio’s investment philosophy is based on his principles of radical transparency, radical honesty, and radical openness. He believes that the key to success in investing is to have a clear understanding of the market and to make decisions based on data rather than emotions. Dalio is known for his belief in diversification, and he recommends investing in a range of assets, including stocks, bonds, commodities and other asset classes. 

Dalio’s approach to investing is also based on his belief in the power of cycles. He believes that all markets go through cycles, and that by understanding these cycles, investors can make more informed investment decisions.

Dalio is a strong advocate of risk management. He believes that investors should always have a margin of safety in their investments to protect themselves from unexpected market movements. He recommends diversifying across different asset classes, geographies, and sectors to reduce risk. In addition, he believes that investors should have a clear plan for how they will react to different market scenarios, and that they should stick to this plan regardless of market conditions.

He has created a set of decision making rules that he calls the “Principles” that help him make investment decisions.


Dalio’s core investment principles include;

Diversification: Dalio believes in diversifying investments across a range of asset classes and geographies to reduce risk. He also believes in diversifying sources of income, such as through his ownership of a commercial fishing business.

Risk Management: Bridgewater Associates uses a risk parity approach to manage risk, which involves balancing risk across asset classes. This approach has helped the firm navigate market volatility and generate consistent returns.

Constant Learning: Dalio believes in constantly learning and evolving his investment strategies based on market conditions. He also believes in learning from mistakes and failures, which he says are inevitable in investing.

Radical Transparency: Bridgewater Associates is known for its culture of radical transparency, where all employees are encouraged to speak up and challenge ideas. This approach has helped the firm avoid groupthink and make better investment decisions.


Bridgewater’s Core Values:

Ray Dalio has developed a set of core values that guide the firm’s operations, including honesty, excellence, and meaningful work. These values are embedded in the firm’s culture and are used to make decisions.


The Economic Machine

One of Dalio’s most famous ideas is his concept of the “economic machine.” He believes that the economy is like a machine that can be understood and predicted using data and analysis. 

Famous Deals

He bet against the US housing market in the mid-2000s. Bridgewater Associates made billions of dollars by shorting the subprime mortgage market before the housing bubble burst. This bet was based on Dalio’s analysis of the US economy and the housing market, and his belief that the market was overvalued and due for a correction.

Another famous deal was Bridgewater’s investment in Brazilian oil company Petrobras. The company was facing financial difficulties due to a corruption scandal, but Dalio believed that the market had overreacted and that the company was undervalued. Bridgewater invested $150 million which returned over $1 billion profit when the stock price rebounded.

Another famous deal was Bridgewater’s investment in Japanese stocks in the 1980s. At the time, many investors were skeptical of Japanese stocks, but Bridgewater saw an opportunity and invested heavily in the market. The investment paid off, and Bridgewater made a significant profit.


Dalio’s Famous Quotes

Dalio is known for his insightful and inspiring quotes on investing and success. Here are a few of his most famous quotes:

“Pain plus reflection equals progress.”

“The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist.”

“The most important thing is to be able to go above yourself – to look down on yourself from a higher perspective.”

“To be successful, you have to be able to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.”

“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.”

“Truth – more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.”

“To be good at investing, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

“It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning.”



Dalio started his career as a clerk on the New York Stock Exchange.

He is dyslexic and struggled in school, but he credits his dyslexia for helping him develop his analytical and problem-solving skills.

In addition to his work in finance, Dalio is also a philanthropist. He has donated millions of dollars to charity and has created the Dalio Foundation, which focuses on education and healthcare initiatives. He has also signed the Giving Pledge, committing to give away at least half of his wealth during his lifetime.

Dalio is also a meditation practitioner and has credited his meditation practice with helping him to stay focused and productive.

Dalio is an avid supporter of the US men’s national soccer team and has even helped fund the development of soccer in the US. He has also owned and raced horses, including a horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 2013.



Ray Dalio is an icon in the world of finance and investment. His unique investment principles and deep understanding of history have helped him build a multi-billion dollar fortune and make successful bets against the housing market and for the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. His investment principles, including diversification, risk management, constant learning, radical transparency, and core values, have been widely recognized and adopted in the investment community. Moreover, his philanthropic efforts and love for meditation and soccer make him a well-rounded and interesting figure. In short, Ray Dalio is an exceptional investor and a role model for anyone interested in finance, investing, and philanthropy.

Whether you are an investor, entrepreneur, or philanthropist, there is much to learn from Ray Dalio’s life and career.


Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises, by Ray Dalio (2018). ISBN: 9781732689800.
“How Ray Dalio built one of the world’s largest hedge funds”, CNBC (2018).
“Ray Dalio: ‘I’m a professional mistake maker'”, CNN Business (2019).
“Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio on the power of radical transparency”, TED Talk (2017).
“Ray Dalio on his guiding principles for life and work”, Harvard Business Review (2018).
“Ray Dalio, Meditation, and the Pursuit of Excellence”, LinkedIn (2018).
“Ray Dalio signs Giving Pledge, commits to donate at least half his fortune”, CNBC (2019).
“Ray Dalio’s horse wins Kentucky Derby”, CNN Business (2013). 

Patrick Woodcraft - Wholesale Investment Specialist Profile

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