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20 Things You Didn't Know About Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates. He's an American billionaire who has made his fortune in the hedge funds sector of the stock industry. Dalio is a self-made tycoon who has an interesting and inspiring story. He's a role model for entrepreneurs who aren't starting out with a lot of capital behind them. He's advised some of the richest people in the world on financial matters. Here are 20 things you probably didn't know about Ray Dalio.

1. Dalio is one of the richest people in the world

Although Dalio doesn't take the number one position of the richest people in the world, he's up there in the top 100. Blomberg has ranked him as the 58th richest person in the world today. This is true as of June of 2019 and it's likely that Dalio is going to maintain his position in this exclusive list, or possibly even climb higher on it as Bridgewater Associates and his other many investments are still doing quite well.

2. He's a native of Queens

Ray was born in New York's Queens borough in the Jackson Heights neighborhood. This is the area that he grew up in as a child. His father was Marino Dallolio, who was a musician who played the saxophone and the clarinet at a variety of Manhattan jazz clubs, including the Copacabana. This mother was Ann and she was a homemaker who stayed home and tended the house and family while her husband earned the living. Dalio's parents are of Italian ancestry.

3. Ray started his investment career at the age of 12

We were impressed by the fact that Ray Dalio was brilliant in investment and finances even as a child. He was only 12 years old when he made his very first legitimate investment. He purchased $300 worth of shares in Northeast Airlines. When Northeast merged with another company, Dalio tripled his investment. This would be the start of a career that would take him to dizzying heights of wealth and success.

4. He has an ivy league education

After Ray graduated from high school he pursued his education. He knew that he had a talent for the finance industry, he enrolled in the finance program at Long Island University. Dalio graduated with his bachelor's degree in finance, but he wanted to build a solid educational foundation prior to going out into the business world to start his career. He was accepted at the prestigious Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA, graduating in 1973. Harvard only accepts a small percentage of the applicants who enroll for admission as competition is high, so this tells us that he was one of the top candidates.

5. His first job after college was at the NYSE

Dalio went to work at the New York Stock Exchange right after finishing his education. He started out on the floor trading commodity futures, then accepted a job as Director of Commodities for Dominick & Dominick LLC. The following year, he went to work for Shearson Hayden Stone as a futures trader and broker. He spent nearly a year working with this firm, then decided that he was ready to make a very big move in his professional career. Dalio was a fast learner and he worked with a variety of companies within just a few years of receiving his MBA, which helped to prepare him for an illustrious career in finance.

6. He founded Bridgewater Associates out of his apartment

In 1975, Ray was ready to strike out on his own in the investment sector of the business world. From his own apartment, he started the Bridgewater Associates company. This was an investment management firm, which is something that he knew a great deal about. He had the confidence to move forward and just do it. After all, he had started his investment career before he was even a teenager. Dalio had humble beginnings but he certainly wasn't a newbie when it came to the management of funds. The first official office that the firm opened was located in Westport, Connecticut just six years after starting it out of his home. This is an inspiration for entrepreneurs who are starting out their businesses on a shoestring.

7. Dalio is the head of Bridgewater associates

After founding Bridgewater Associates, which has become a multi-billion dollar company, Dalio stayed on to run the operations. He also serves as the co-chief investment officer of the company. Bridgewater Associates manages $160 billion in funds and the firm is the largest hedge fund in the world today. This is an example of what you can do with your talent when you apply yourself to achieving your goals.

8. Ray Dalio takes care of his employees

Dalio did something that his employees think is nothing short of amazing. In 2018, he turned Bridgewater Associates into a partnership. This is his way of making sure that the company continues long after he is gone. While crafting the details of this partnership, he gave his employees a greater stake in the firm. This was a generous move on Dalio's part, but he wants to ensure that survival of the company that he built from within the walls of a two-bedroom apartment in New York City.

9. He grew up in the middle class and was always working

Another interesting fact that we discovered about Ray Dalio is that he had a middle-class upbringing. Dalio wasn't surrounded by a rich family with a lot of financial resources. He even worked as a child, but it was one of his jobs that inspired him to try his hand at the stock market. He served as a golf caddy when he was just 12 years old and he got his tips from the golfers whom he caddied for. This is where he got the idea to make an investment in Northeast Airlines stock, and the rest is history.

10. He's a familiar face on Forbes

Ray Dalio occupies a place on several of the Forbes top lists of high achievers. He is number 26 on the Forbes "The Richest Person in Every State 2019." He's #3 on "The Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers 2019," and Dalio is #57 on their list of the Richest Billionaire's list for 2019. Forbes has done a great job of recognizing his tremendous accomplishments in the business world.

11. His estimated net worth is $18.7 billion

We learned that as of October 5, 2019, Ray Dalio has an estimated net worth of $18.7 billion. Forbes has the origination of his wealth listed as self-made. This is quite a remarkable accomplishment. When you consider the fact that Bridgewater Associates does $160 billion in hedge fund management it's not hard to realize that this is where he has made the bulk of his fortune.

12. He's a philanthropist

As of October of 2019, Ray Dalio has given over $760 million to causes that he deems worthy. Dalio established the Dalio Foundation to oversee donations to charitable organizations. The foundation supports inner-city education, microfinance, and other causes.

13. He's one of the most influential people in the world

Dalio is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in the world today. He was named by Time Magazine as "one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world today. Wired Magazine and aiCIO Magazine called him the "Steve Jobs of Investing." These are not accolades that are lightly given. Consideration of personal and professional attributes go into making the decisions about who should be included in these prestigious lists.

14. He's a best-selling author

Ray Dalio authored a book titled "Principles." The book became a number one bestseller on the New York Times list. The book discusses Dalio's work and life principles and it gives the readers a greater insight into his beliefs and the values from which he operates. The book also discusses the unique culture of Bridgewater and the things that have made it so successful. This book ws followed by another title called "Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crisis," which is a summary of the research that Dalio and his group have conducted on the critical economic events which led to the 2008 financial crisis and allowed them to anticipate its coming.

15. Ray is a family man

Dalio has been busy with his Bridgewater Associates firm and the self-made millionaire has no doubt spent a lot of time taking care of business, but he's still made time to have a family. Ray Dalio has been married for more than 40 years to his wife Barbara. The couple has four adult sons together. His wife is an ancestor of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

16. Dalio has an interest in conservation and ocean exploration

Dalio doesn't spend every waking moment taking care of business at the firm. After looking into his life we learned that he's actually a diverse guy who takes interest in a great many things. One of his special interests is in the area of conservation. He's concerned about preserving the natural resources of the planet and about conservation efforts. He is also interested in ocean exploration. He's a follower of the OceanX organization.

17. He's won two-lifetime achievement awards

We were not the least surprised to learn that Ray Dalio has been honored with two-lifetime achievement awards. The first was given to him by PlanSponsor in 2006. The second distinction was bestowed upon him by Alternative Investment news in 2009.

18. He's into TM

Ray knows that it's important to practice relaxation and find a place in his mind that is calm. We recently learned that he practices a Transcendental Meditation technique. This is something that is widely known among those who are acquainted with Dalio. This shows us that he is a well-rounded person who understands the importance of self-care no matter how many responsibilities you have, and it's something that young entrepreneurs may want to make a note of because it's no doubt one of the things he does that shores up his personal foundations and contributes to his overall success.

19. Two of Ray's sons are filmmakers

Ray's youngest son is Mark Dalio. He is a filmmaker who specializes in the filming of wildlife. Dalio's second son Paul is also a film director. Two of the four boys have made their careers in the film industry. Their third son Matthew founded the China Care Foundation which is a nonprofit organization that assists Chinese orphans. Matt also co-founded a computer operating system company called Endless Mobile, Inc.

20. His philanthropy is expansive

One thing that you can say about Ray Dalio is that he cares, he's generous and he has a giving spirit. There are so many different causes that he supports, that it would nearly take a book to discuss them fully. He and Ann joined Warrent Buffet and Bill Gates in the Giving Pledge which is their commitment to donate half of their fortunes to charitable causes throughout their lifetimes. Ray's off to a good start with the Dalio Foundation. Millions have been donated to the David Lynch Foundation for the research and promotion on Transcendental Meditation, of which Dalio is an avid fan and practitioner. He's also made donations to polio eradication projects, to the National Philharmonic Trust, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and through the Dalio Foundation, he's donated to the Fund for Teachers supporting professional learning fellowships. His passion for conservation and protectiong the oceans led him to make a 4-year commitment to onate $185 million to OceanX, striking this deal in 2018. He's also made a commitment to support the 2018 TED's Audacious Project for the finding of social entrepreneurs who are dedicated to solving issues of global importance.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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