Bridgewater

While the websites of most hedge funds greet the public with a client-only login screen, Bridgewater Associates’ site posts the “Principles” of founder Ray Dalio. The 210-bullet book reads more like a cult manifesto than the operating manual for the world’s biggest hedge fund shop, whose clients include endowments, pension funds, and central banks. Bridgewater displays schematics on “motivation,” “pain,” and other self-improvement buzzwords. Principle No. 195: “Even if you acknowledge you are a ‘dumb s—’ and are following the principles and are designing around your weaknesses, understand that you still might be missing things.” Dalio’s disciples seem to miss less. The firm manages $110 billion in assets; its 10-year-average annual return, after deducting fees, is 17 percent.

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