Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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3.0
142 Reviews
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Bridgewater Associates Founder, CEO and President Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
90 Ratings

Pros
  • Free food, gym (not sure tihs is any pro (in 13 reviews)

  • Intelligent and smart people who will question and ensure that you question your logic (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Impossible to achieve a sustainable work life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • There can be camaraderie there, but trust no one (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Strong culture, not for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Honest transparent feedback
    ability to move up/ lots of growth
    constantly challenging performs

    Cons

    bad location
    terrible tele-commute policy
    benefits and compensation are not standardized, so when you try to negotiate you are in the dark about what's consistent across the firm

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. Direct, open, honest, bad management, poor implementation of principles, used to be better place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Lots of bright, smart people
    - Lots of perks (free lunch, snacks, drinks, company events, etc.)
    - Transparency into senior management thinking, company strategic direction, etc.
    - Direct, open, honest feedback to almost everyone can be useful in learning about yourself & others

    Cons

    - Very inefficient. Everything is a process that demands wide-spread approvals
    - Long hours (in some departments, upwards of 14-16 hour days)
    - Very restrictive non-compete with a very lengthy process to get anything approved
    - Implementation of Principles is sporadic / inconsistent, and can be "gamed"
    - Heavy-handed approach to principles & management
    - Attempts to distill an individual into a set of rankable/ratable attributes that is used for hire/fire decisions
    - Despite what others may say, pay is only average for NYC region -- probably slightly higher if you're only comparing w/in CT
    - Management that is constantly "failing"
    - Revolving door of hires

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Ray needs to go, step back & let others who know how to, run the company
    - Refocus on core strengths & cut the fat in other areas
    - Step back and reconsider implementation of principles & management and overall ROI

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. Good Not Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Investment Associate in Bridgeport, CT
    Former Employee - Investment Associate in Bridgeport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Fairly competitive atmosphere, good work life balance.

    Cons

    Very stressful and lot of office politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Connect more.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful

    A chance to work with very smart people in a fanatical high stress environment that will become your life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    -Competitive pay not unlike other top companies willing to pay doe for talent
    -Pretty stringent hiring system. It takes a special person to make it through the interview process, and to be there for more than a year. You will end up working with very smart people.
    -Perks. Free food, free shuttle from NYC, free tickets to music/sport events in CT, a lot of company events
    -Can be great exposure to global macro concepts depending on your department
    -Most of the principles at face value are amazing - honesty, integrity, no politics.

    Cons

    -Far from NYC despite the free shuttle.
    -Principles are dogmatic and utopian despite the catch 22 that claims otherwise.
    -Various departments/offerings are not even comparable to second or third tier companies.
    -All those smart people from the pros section are your competitors in a system that has a mandate to periodically fire people. You will be playing an obnoxious game of survivor with highly competitive and competent co-workers.
    -No politics doctrine is nonsense. Expect cut-throat politics. If you manage to get on the bad side of your manager, you will get fired whether you are good or not. Trust no-one.
    -You will be required to spend 10-20 hours a week doing principles related training and still be expected to deliver 50 hours of work.
    -Absolute focus on negative reinforcement has created an extreme risk-averse, sometimes depressed environment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Tough journey that may or may not help you improve...but it hurts....a lot.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Really smart people. Just ask them, they'll tell you. The mission is very clear

    Cons

    This mission is to figure-out markets and make money. If you're not in research, you are support. Period.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Simplify the Principles

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. Lies, Lies and More Lies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Free Food
    High Pay
    That is it this company is hell to work for, don't believe a word they tell you

    Cons

    No respect for anyone
    Located in middle of nowhere
    Dogmatic "Culture"
    Insecure people looking to use everyone for own gain

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With all the talk about :"Culture" you spend more time looking to bring someone down and spend so much useless time on processes and miss the point which is ton build something meaningful for your clients, your employees and your selves.

    My advice is to clean house and start from scratch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful

    OK for a short stint, declining

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    For a short stint this is a good place, maybe right out of college. You get to learn a billionaire's way of managing and thinking. The Principles are wise guidance. You will get pushed and learn valuable lessons about yourself to take away and use later. Transparency into all meetings, including those of CEOs and top management. Pay is good. Food and benefits outstanding.

    Cons

    The upper management has lost itself. Ray needs to go for the sake of his own company. His standards are untenable; no one is good enough because no one else is Ray. He nitpicks and blasts the upper management he is "mentoring", who then carry down the idea that we are all failing to middle management. That attitude then permeates through the whole company. Words and phrases like "three-pronged attack on badness" , "triage", and "hitting rock bottom" are part of the lexicon. Principled management gets twisted around.
    The company is largely out of touch with the outside world, in some cases even shunning it. Networking opportunities outside the company are limited to nonexistent during the course of business and weak alumni network.
    Diversity is joke. 90%+ of the front office positions (Research, Account Management, Trading) male. Somewhere close to 80% white.
    Technology in shambles. Company is pushing tech resources to develop applications and programs to promote the Principles and manage once Ray leaves, while leaving gaping holes in the stack that interacts with the financial markets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ray needs to step down

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    A very weird place to work..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Westport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is decent
    Free breakfast, free lunch, bose soundproof headphones for everyone.
    Great reputation in the industry, nice name on your resume.

    Cons

    Constantly under surveillance, every meeting is recorded, no privacy.
    Definitely has a cultish feel. Coworkers are robotic, unable to show express their true feelings and will have no problem throwing you under the bus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually practice the principals, don't just pretend to.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. They're as smart and as crazy as they're rumored to be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Associate in Westport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very, very smart coworkers. The best at what they do.
    Open, honest feedback helps you improve.

    Cons

    Corporate bureaucracy taken to Orwellian extremes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire managers who understand the principles instead of parroting (or ignoring them).

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  11. 4 people found this helpful

    Highly interesting but not very productive.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Creative and interesting culture. Opens employees to blunt honesty and straightforward criticism. Definitely is highly focused on self-improvement.

    Cons

    Can be very unproductive at times, with meetings over tiny details blowing up to take hours. Oftentimes the critical culture can be inefficient and lead to a lot of unnecessary focus on unimportant facets of a project.

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