The former Bridgewater Associates lead counsel James Comey is the lead pick of President Obama to become the new director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Comey can offer a sneak peak into how Ray Dalio operates the world’s largest hedge fund.
Bridgewater Associates, which has more than $120 billion of AUM, is known for beating the Street year after year. But Ray Dalio’s hedge fund is even more popular for its 123-page manifesto called “Principles.” Written by Dalio himself, these principles are at the heart of Bridgewater.
Steven M. Davidoff, a law professor at Ohio State University, said in a New York Times article that Comey has first hand experience with these principles and beliefs. So, he may let the public know about these principles that seem to be comedic outside Bridgewater Associates, but fit perfectly and produce maximum outcomes at the hedge fund.
Bridgewater Associates’s Principles
Many people poke fun at the 210 principles that are about personal attitude, honesty and a harsh type of Darwinian capitalism. They encourage you to become a better person, improve your personal life and become a better employee at the hedge fund. The “radical honesty” concept that Bridgewater employees live by has raised controversy in the past. Many argue that people can’t even be so honest at their home, let alone at the workplace.
Bridgewater allows its employees to put forth their ideas and opinions without fear, criticize even their seniors if they are wrong, and search for the ultimate truth. All the phone conversations and meetings are recorded to ensure that there remains a record of everything and no dispute occurs. Even Ray Dalio’s meetings and conversations are recorded. Nobody is allowed to back behind the back of another employee. Bridgewater Associates has put up several video testimonials how working at the hedge fund changed their lives.
Some Criticize Ray Dalio
But many have criticized Bridgewater and Ray Dalio’s principles because they focus on an individual’s mistakes and flaws instead of a balance between positives and negatives. When Prof. Davidoff asked the hedge fund about its culture and Mr. Comey’s tenure at Bridgewater, he was referred to the same video testimonials. And Ray Dalio responded by saying that President Obama couldn’t have picked someone with stronger moral beacon and greater integrity than Jim Comey.
Ray Dalio’s principles work. Bridgewater has made billions of dollars for its clients. The lead pick for FBI worked in this mind-set from 2010 to February 2013. He was the general counsel in charge of the security, legal and compliance departments. Mr. Comey once told The New Yorker about his experience at Bridgewater, “The mind control is working. I’ve come to believe that all the probing actually reduces inefficiencies over the long run, because it prevents bad decisions from being made.”
Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation is likely to experience Bridgewater Associates’ “radical honesty.”