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Blodget Interviews Dalio : 'Fake News' & Life Inside Bridgewater

January 9, 2017

Henry Blodget conducted an interview with Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund. The interview, supposedly initiated by Dalio’s team. The ensuing Q&A phone lasted nearly 2-1/2 hours, and was, in Blodget’s words, a case study of the Bridgewater discussion style - which includes lively debate and open disagreement.


Highlights of the interview include:


  • Dalio believes that Bridgewater's culture has been misrepresented in the media to the point that incorrect information is perceived as fact.


  • He calls for an independent organization of journalists to regulate the media, asserting that a free press requires regulation just as much as financial markets do.


  • Bridgewater's innovative management processes are designed to improve decision-making, conflict resolution, and personal development. These processes can sound strange and uncomfortable, but Dalio believes deeply in them. He also believes they can work for any organization and society at large.


  • Dalio acknowledges that Bridgewater's culture is unusual and "kooky," but he also notes that it is unusually effective. After working within it, he says, many of Bridgewater's 1,500 employees would never work anywhere else.


  • Dalio says Bridgewater has a turnover rate of about 30% for an employee's first 2 years, but says the employees who remain - those who like the culture and can handle it - are very loyal.


  • He shared a personal email from an employee thanking him for Bridgewater's culture and process and Dalio's own "teachings," one of many such emails he says he regularly receives.


  • On Bridgewater's unusual decision-making process, Dalio said, "I'm scared of one man, one vote because it suggests that everybody has an equal ability at making decisions, and I think that's dangerous .... I'm also scared of people with power making the decision."


  • He offered details of his solution, whereby everyone has a vote at Bridgewater, but the votes of those with expertise on a topic - as determined by a proprietary "believability" rating - have greater weight.


  • Dalio invited me to take some of Bridgewater's employee-personality-and-capability tests to see what they revealed about me. I eagerly accepted this invitation and will take these tests soon.


[Click link for the transcript.]