Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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3.3
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Bridgewater Associates Founder, CEO and President Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
101 Ratings

Pros
  • excellent free food and fantastic pay (in 13 reviews)

  • You're surrounded by really smart people (in 11 reviews)

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

  • however this led to no one taking responsibility for anything because it was "everyone's responsibility to make sure everyone else is doing their job (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

163 Employee Reviews

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  1. Manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people. Company cares about the employees.

    Cons

    Long hours. Alot of unnecessary work.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Senior Software Developer

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

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredibly smart people, very high standards, very direct feedback. Looks great on your resume. You do grow as a person by having your ego adjusted realize you are not all that great in things you thought you were great. Refreshing ability to tell publicly your boss that he is terrible at certain things and be tanked for constructive feedback.,

    Cons

    Bureaucracy and paranoid security is stifling productivity. Pros = Cons (sometimes): if you don't have a good argument, throw a "principle" ("you are not operating at the right level..." etc.). Westport CT location and server work from home.

    Advice to Management

    Having Wesport CT location and not having any ability to work from home will drive the talent away. You need to make some tough choices. Open New York office.


  3. Know what you're getting into.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Their track record proves whatever the cons are, these guys are good at what they do. Good pay, free food and snacks all day.

    Cons

    It may not technically be a cult, but the cult of personality surrounding Ray is pervasive in everything. Daily "devotions" to studying the principles are tracked and penalized if you don't keep up. This culture works for some people, and they are forthright in how it is, so if you have any doubts whatsoever, be cautious about joining.

    Advice to Management

    It would help if managers were more communicative to new employees; for example, I never met or spoke to my manager's manager until the day I learned their was a problem and I was fired the next day. If certain 'dissent' or other ways of thinking are unacceptable, proactively engaging employees is a better way to go.


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  5. Manager, Service Desk

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Desk Manager in Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Service Desk Manager in Westport, CT

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The benefits are great, some people are intelligent and caring. Free redbull

    Cons

    The culture and principles are great, in theory. However, there aren't great checks and balances and the company has become too large. You have a lot of young kids that have only worked at BW, so they have no idea what good looks like. Especially within IT, you have a bunch of people that think they are smart, trying to interpret and manage by the principles. IT is a funny place to work, as it is completely mismanaged. "Managers" attempt to mess with your mind by using quotes from the principles instead of actually taking the time to get to know their people and build them up. Most people there do not know how to manage, but because they did well on a principles test or because they can 5 step a simple problem, they suddenly become senior managers. I have faith that the core departments don't operate in a poor way, after all...they have exposure to Ray and competent people. Working at Bridgewater is a great experience. You learn that even throwing money at problems doesn't fix things. BW spends millions bringing in pwC consultants, and those consultants make things worse and attempt to quote the principles when making management decisions. At the very least, it's worth a good laugh If you're not very bright, and you can be a yes man, and you don't have ideas of your own...you can stay there forever. IT management will keep you there forever, because you're a mindless sheep.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to manage and compensate your people fairly. If someone asks for a raise, DO NOT RESPOND WITH "By and large you get what you deserve over time...however, today is not your time". You come across as a jerk that's not connected to reality.


  6. Helpful (2)

    uncompromising values, real people, social experiment

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    meaningful work, meaningful relationships, personal development

    Cons

    constant criticism and unnecessary pain for employees results in demotivation, loss of confidence and inability to get things done.

    Advice to Management

    balance the feedback to employees putting equal emphasis on the positive traits. Reward people for achieving results and getting things done.


  7. Very challenging, great people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Truly a life experience, you will grow as a person.

    Cons

    Interview process is exhaustive, and it's not for everyone.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Discussion

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

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Super smart people; engaged dialogue; never a dull day; nobody going through the motions; really, really good people to work with. few "problem" children in the ranks...they don't last and its refreshing.

    Cons

    lots and lots and lots of meetings, many without purpose; often never discuss the matter at hand, but the person who raised the matter at hand; operating "principles" make sense, but managers tend to hide behind them when they are failing to deal with problems and technology is not cutting edge. lunch stinks.

    Advice to Management

    Cut down the meetings, do some actual work; own your mistakes rather than hiding behind the principles


  9. Helpful (7)

    Great People, Crazy Place

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    amazing coworkers, terrific benefits, stimulating work (depending on your role and department), a lot of investment in training new employees--to a certain extent, the culture. it's very cool to be able to question the way things are done, and if you're good at getting along in the culture there is a ton of opportunity

    Cons

    things get a little crazy there--the emphasis on radical honesty and getting to the true root of problems starts out cool, but can end up occupying an insane amount of your time.

    Advice to Management

    i don't really have any--i think being a manager at BW is actually incredibly difficult, and most of the really do the best they can (although that of course does not guarantee good outcomes).


  10. Helpful (14)

    There are ups and downs...and its well worth the ride

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

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    When I decided to apply to Bridgewater, many different emotions went through my head…excitement, nervousness, skepticism, and pride specifically were at the forefront of my mind. I don’t think any of these feelings are rare for someone applying to Bridgewater and I think many of them are actually expected and totally predictable. I was excited about the potential of my future if I was selected to join Bridgewater; I was nervous about the daunting interview process I heard about; I was skeptical about the authenticity of culture (is what Principles describes really how Bridgewater is run day-to-day?); and I was initially proud that I was even selected for a first round interview. After making it through the interview process and now working at Bridgewater for 6 years, I can say that those feelings were all appropriate and Bridgewater has delivered on each. I’m now in my 3rd role and can pledge that career growth and new opportunities are readily available to anyone who wants (and can take on) added responsibilities at Bridgewater. Role mobility is valued at Bridgewater through a free market for talent. The growth and learning trajectory I’ve experienced here in 6 years is unlike any other company I’ve worked at or schools that I’ve attend. Bridgewater challenges you in a different way that is not for the faint of heart…you’re pushed every day to think differently, step outside of your comfort zone, and not settle for flat performance. No Bridgewater employee can succeed by going through the ropes, simply doing what they’re told, and calling it a day when their checklist is complete. You succeed at Bridgewater by challenging what you don’t understand, pushing current practices further, and thinking independently.

    Cons

    During my time at Bridgewater I've experienced the highs of the highs and the lows of the lows. The lows are something you hear about and prepare for, but the learning experience at Bridgewater can definitely be painful. It’s what you do with that pain that really separates those who enjoy Bridgewater and those who hate Bridgewater. Both types of potential reactions to that pain are common (just look at Glassdoor postings) because Bridgewater can really be a polarizing place. Bridgewater will never change its values and will never try to make someone fit in whose values are naturally in conflict with Bridgewater’s. It’s not a place for everyone…in fact it’s probably a place for a very small few. Going through the pain of the lows (recognizing weaknesses, understanding who you really are, reflecting on failures, etc) can be the most valuable experience one can have in their professional life…the question is who appreciates those types of experiences, who can get above it, and who ultimately wants that type of growth.

    Advice to Management

    I’ve experiences the greatness that is Bridgewater, and I’ve also experienced the difficulty that is Bridgewater. After 6 years, I can honestly say that the longstanding greatness and outcomes of working at Bridgewater far outweigh the spikes of difficult times and I can’t imagine a better place to hone my craft, learn about myself, and develop the relationships that I have at Bridgewater.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Worst of The Worst

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Free sushi on certain days.

    Cons

    Orwell 1984 is alive. A totalitarian, communist-like system.

    Advice to Management

    Does not matter they will not listen.



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