In an amazing profile of Ray Dalio in the New Yorker, the billionaire hedge fund manager talks about his life history.
His interest in investing started when he got a great stock tip while caddying at Links Golf Club. He continued trading for his own account when he went to Harvard Business School, and landed a job on Wall Street when he got out. Soon after he was fired. Wait until you read why.
Not long after leaving Harvard, he landed at Shearson Hayden Stone, the brokerage firm run by Sanford Weill. Dalio worked in the commodity-futures department, advising cattle ranchers, grain producers, and others on how to hedge risks. (The horns of a longhorn steer, the gift of some California ranchers, are mounted behind his desk.) On New Year’s Eve in 1974, Dalio went out drinking with his departmental boss, got into a disagreement, and slugged him. About the same time, at the annual convention of the California Food & Grain Growers’ Association, he paid an exotic dancer to drop her cloak in front of the crowd. After being fired, he persuaded some of his clients to hire him as a consultant and founded Bridgewater, operating it out of his two-bedroom apartment. He was 20-six years old.
Now Bridgewater is the biggest hedge fund in the world, with roughly $122 billion AUM.