Bridgewater Associates

  www.bwater.com
  www.bwater.com
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Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated September 20, 2014
Updated September 20, 2014
112 Reviews
3.0
112 Reviews
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Bridgewater Associates Founder, CEO and President Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
73 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • perks such as free food, free gym, fun parties and events (in 12 reviews)

  • They pay above market and hire lots of very smart people (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • It's hard to have great work/life balance in that work will creep into every aspect of your life (in 8 reviews)

  • There can be camaraderie there, but trust no one (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Home to direct, mission-driven, conceptual and visionary people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    A home for direct, mission-driven, conceptual and visionary people who crave self-development while tackling big problems. Transparent, open-minded, thoughtful, entrepreneurial, and principled. Your only limitations are the boundaries of your capability and your willingness to push yourself to be more effective. Work/life balance seems to be generally superior here against other asset managers'.

    Cons

    Not for everyone. Don't come here if you don't value truth over sensitivity, if you just seek a way of earning money rather than a cultural way of being, if you don't care deeply about developing yourself and the people around you, if you have a hard time with continuous change, or if the title, seniority and tenure matter to you. Emotional exhaustion comes with the territory of confronting your weaknesses, like exercising makes you sore but stronger.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Great transparency

    • 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

    Great transparency and idealogies. Good work environment.

    Cons

    Too much stress and time wasted on issue log discussion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review issue log

    Recommends
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    just terrible place to work

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good food, clever coworkers. Word word word just to fill in the necessary amount.

    Cons

    To all the people considering working here, start with one thing: this is a leveraged bond fund. Not much there right now. They get all their returns from leveraged bonds and tips. They are terrible with stock and borderline with currency.

    Also, did you notice that all the positive responses sound the same. That might be because one or two people are writing them. Even if its 15, do you want to sound like that?

    Here is the bottom line: as an investment, portfolio, or management associated you are going to range between 120 and 150k. For that price, you will sign a stifling non-compete, learn nothing about how anyone but bridgewater invests, and deal with humiliating terrible stuff all day long. Not to mention they are managing 130 Billion on Excel. In many cases you actually have to open different versions of excel for different terribly constructed workbooks.

    DO NOT work here. It is borderline a career killer and you will not get any slice of the pie. Even the people on the signals team, who have to sign LIFETIME non-competes, do not break 300k. That will hardly cover your lawyer when you attempt to leave.

    They expect you to come and quit. You are not in it for the long haul. You will not make big money here. In fact, they pay well below the industry standard. Do not work here

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. The place is way too terribly to fix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Probably amazing back in the day, now on rapid decline..

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Smart peers, free lunches, fun events, Ray Dalio's vision/history..

    Cons

    Reality of Bridgewater is in extreme contrast to Ray's principles and aspirations. You have plenty of overinflated egos walking around with no sense of accountability, reliability, maturity, or common sense. There is virtually no diversity in thought- to be considered great is to resemble your manager.. and expect plenty of pseudo neuroscience.

    Expect arrogant leadership, no job security, no appreciation, an aggressive non-compete, and complete lack of regard for your wellbeing and happiness (forget work/life balance).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drop down and taste the soup... The firm's ridiculous turnover rate isn't reflective of how selective/great Bridgewater is, it's reflective of how unbearable/miserable it has become. Have you taken any time thinking about that? Or is it being treated with typical Bridgwater ego reaction/denial..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Glad I Left

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    As the cliche goes, the food is excellent, but that shouldn't be the reason why you want to work there. Salary was okay, but I am getting paid more in New York without the headaches. No one ever gave me a hard time if that counts for anything. They did, however, give my friend a lot of stress.

    Cons

    Lackadaisical people who are good at faking it will prevail there. Dalio and his ego and his stupid religion is turning his employees into nervous wrecks who should know better. The lack of organization that I witnessed even shocked me. Bridgewater's website is full of glitches and its content is way off. One example: The Culture Videos are old and outdated. I think four of those people who speak fondly about working at Bridgewater haven't worked there for quite a long time. You can figure this out on your own by doing a simple Google search. Oh yeah, working in Westport is almost like living in a prison. You feel like you are working at someone's rich dense Westport estate with lots of trees, which gives everything an unprofessional vibe.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I guess you are doing fine. My advice is only for people thinking about getting a job there: Buyer beware. Figure it out on your own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    One of the best places to start your Management career

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

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you want to be a great manager one day, you want to be in a place where you can learn from the best managers out there while doing work that is as close to actual management work as possible. Being a Management Associate at BW can allow you exactly that: right out of college, I started working very closely with an extremely seasoned manager who teaches and coaches me every day in all the core skills of a manager. To give an example, I get the chance to run meetings with the former CEO of a 6000+ company watching me and giving me feedback in the moment, only a few months out of school. There are very few places that give entry level folks that kind of experience and development opportunity.

    Cons

    The location in Westport, CT vis-a-vis NYC or at least Stamford is definitely a draw back. Although the free transportation offered by BW is as good as it possibly can be (reliable, comfortable, professional), it's still at least 1h each way to NYC. I have the choice to stay overnight in CT if I choose to, but that's still not the same as going home.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    good compensation, culture is all or nothing. locale is not ideal.

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Pros

    compensation was fair but on the lower side for a hedge fund
    company/management truly cared

    Cons

    culture is all or nothing. buy in or leave. if you're not into a 'cult-like' culture, then look elsewhere

    talent is hit or miss. worked with a lot of colleagues who were culture carriers but not necessarily best in class at what they did.

    location is sub-par if you're a ny-er. be prepared to commute to wesport (about an hr driving from nyc), ct or rent a pied-a-terre near wesport

  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Pay is good, headgames abound

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The pay was very good, although you have to play a lot of mental head games to survive there. If you can afford to be unemployed for a while take it for the money while you can.

    Cons

    Doublespeak is necessary to survive. They speak about truth and honesty, but the ones that know how to manipulate the principles are the ones who survive the longest. There can be camaraderie there, but trust no one.

    Regarding the famed question: Advice to Management: What is there to say? The culture won't change although the company is too big for the principles as espoused by the owner, Ray Dahlio, to work effectively. Even those who were once on his favored list have left. The thing is, regardless of what the naysayers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When Dahlio gives the company up, allow the culture to change. Young people love it. Those in the working world know it is a sham and it is only a certain amount of time before you are out on the street either by choice or decision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not for everyone, not good place for advancement

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

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

    Pros

    -perks such as free food, free gym, fun parties and events
    -brilliant and fun people

    Cons

    -hypocritical and ineffective upper management
    -nearly impossible to advance unless you give up personal life
    -principle based work takes up 5-10 hrs a week plus your real job
    -people are forced ranked against each other
    -not every department is as well managed as others
    -poor technology, manual processes
    -slow progress on both basic and complex tasks
    -exhaustingly bureaucratic
    -inconsistent application of principles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the core of what BW used to be; a place with respect for different thought processes. Practice what you preach. There is a difference between excellence and perfection. Cut the bureaucratic crap.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    great.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great people, great culture, top-notch talent. Constantly strives to achieve excellence by operating according to principles.

    Cons

    Place is not for everybody. If you're a fit, it's going to be one of the best experiences of your life. If not, it's not gonna work and you'll just be stressed out.

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