Bridgewater Associates

www.bwater.com

Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated January 21, 2015
Updated January 21, 2015
132 Reviews
3.2
132 Reviews
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Bridgewater Associates Founder, CEO and President Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
84 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place if you can handle the culture

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

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

    Pros

    - The culture allows for rapid development and overcoming weaknesses if you aren't overwhelmed by it
    - They put a ton of effort into developing young talent and caring about your development
    - Can work with senior leaders of the company early on

    Cons

    - Only a few roles that stand out (mainly Investment Associate or other roles in the investment engine, Client Advisors) as great opportunities that would set Bridgewater apart as a place to work (and thats only ~20% of company)
    - Location in CT (especially for young people)
    - I generally felt like Bridgewater is one of the worst places to work if you're doing poorly in your job, as they won't hesitate to tell you

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus resources on the most important things

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Unique corporate culture that is unlike all others I have seen

    • 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

    Rigorous decision making framework based on multiple data points

    Cons

    Some would call the culture too direct. If you aren't comfortable with direct feedback, then it may not be the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep compensation competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    A meaningful experience at an outstanding company

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Incredible sense of community, people genuinely care about each other.

    Cons

    Can be stressful to always be upholding the culture.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A cornerstone of my career.

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

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

    Pros

    I was at Bridgewater for a little over a year and then left to pursue another incredible opportunity. I enjoyed every minute at Bwater. The people are excellent. The benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    Bwater can take over your life very easily. The culture sucks you in (in a good way) and you find yourself missing the office when you are gone.

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

    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 (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
  7. 8 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 (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. 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.

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    I've been at Bridgewater now for 5+ years and cant imagine working somewhere else

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

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Community - the people are what make a place and the people and relationships you build working here are really one of a kind and long lasting. You are surrounded by really smart people with all different and interesting life experiences, who work hard, care a lot about this place and will have genuine conversations with you about what they think and push to help you get better. There is no talking behind peoples backs or shady decision making happening behind closed doors - its an open environment where we work through problems and feedback together and in that, creates very trusting and honest relationships. If you want to be at a place where you can just be yourself and surround yourself with other people doing the same thing, this is a great community to be a part of.

    The Personal Growth– I have learned so much about myself while working here, which has helped me evolve both professionally and personally. It’s just such a cool experience to think about who I was when I joined, how much I have grown in these past 5+ years (i.e. I’m a much better problem solver, more open minded) and to imagine what my journey will be like as I continue to evolve in the future. The rate of improvement and learning here is like nowhere else I have experienced and it’s just such a unique opportunity to be at a company that fosters so much personal evolution and learning.

    Ability to Make Impact – this place and your job really are what you make it. You have a set of goals and responsibilities but how you achieve those things can really be up to you. This place wants independent thinkers, people who strive to make things better, will put themselves out there with ideas and have the drive to take on projects or improve how we are doing things. In my experience here, I really have seen this to be true. We are a growing firm with lots of change happening so it’s really an exciting time to be a part of this place and the opportunity to make an impact really is huge.

    Cons

    Work/life balance can be tough – I think because the people that work here are so passionate about what they do and this place, it can be difficult at times to maintain that work/life balance and go home when you know there is so much to be done. Over the years, I think I’ve for the most part been able to manage it OK (because I know there will always be tons to get done, but am comfortable prioritizing the things that have to be done and the stuff that can wait until tomorrow), but I’ve seen this as something many colleagues have struggled with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    I can be myself

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    I found my transition into Bridgewater surprisingly easy. Everyone talks about how unique and harsh the culture is, but the way of being at BW felt natural to me from the start...
    I have been there for 2+ years and I have found it to be a very liberating place to work. Everyday I just walk in and be myself. I am not stressed about looking good (both figuratively and literally since you can wear what you want) or worried about office politics or what's going on behind closed doors. I just focus on doing my very best at my responsibilities and being open to the learning that comes along the way. I always know where I stand on my performance because I get the feedback constantly. I find by and large my colleagues to be of high integrity and easy to get along with. And unlike other places, I know what management is talking about behind those closed doors bc they send out the tapes of it to everyone! Its awesome to not have to fear about making mistakes or saying "I don't know" - just frees up your mindshare. I can focus on how I can contribute and make impact without distractions that can come into play in more "typical" work environments.

    Also a big plus for me and one of the reasons why I came to BW is the high standards that it maintains. It doesn't mean that everything is perfect - far from it ... but the place despises mediocrity and laziness. It really is a place that wants to be excellent and acknowledges where it is isn't. BW doesn't tolerate slackers or people who are just "along for the ride". Who really wants to work with those type of people?

    Cons

    There is not a lot flexibility re: telecommuting or flexible work arrangements which as a working mom would be a welcomed benefit. That being said I find that my managers and colleagues respect how I manage my time and there is no "facetime". If you are explicit about your reality and limitations, people will be reasonable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    A great place to start a career in investments

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

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

    Pros

    Bridgewater hired me right out undergrad (where I was a Liberal Arts major) as an Investment Associate. I've been here for 3.5yrs. I'm really glad I came for the following reasons:
    -I've found the culture really fulfilling - work with brilliant people who push me hard to get better, but care a lot about me. As a result, I think I've grown a lot here.
    -The Investment Associate class - a nine month crash course on how to be an investor - was outstanding. Better (and harder) than any class I took at school.
    -Even past the first year, strong focus on training and developing. "Trading game" is a good example of a training tool - Bridgewater will take the other side of any global macro trade you want to make (big or small), and your profit or losses comes out of your bonus - a great way to get your hands dirty in markets and testing your ideas.
    -Work is hard, thought provoking, and interesting. I seem to be more challenged and stimulated by my work than my friendsw who pursued other careers (esp. banking and consulting).
    -Great career opportunities. High ability to try out different roles to get different experiences.
    -I work with really fun, cool people. Really like my co-workers and bosses.
    -Lots of resources and willingness to experiment with good, innovative ideas. A place where you can be very entrepreneurial if you are able to do it.
    -The set of clients and folks that pay attention to our research is impressive - you have the opportunity to influence the understanding of people who matter.
    -People and policies are flexible and reasonable. Easy to go to the gym or a run the middle of the day.
    -Beautiful office, in the middle of basically a forest and wetland.
    -Great pay and benefits, particularly if you stick around for a few years.

    Cons

    -Biggest for me is location in Westport CT rather than NYC.
    -Relatedly, Bridgewater's telecommuting options suck. In certain departments and role, you can't work from home without a (rare) exception for a particular project.
    -Hours aren't great, though not banking bad. I average working about 9-9 M-Th, 9-5 Friday, and 2 hrs on weekends. (totaly of 55-60 hrs). Lots of flexibility though (Usually I can leave early no problem if I want to)
    -For those who may want to switch careers within macro hedge funds, you got to wait a couple years (go to business school) due to non-compete agreement.
    -I love the culture -but its not for anyone. With open feedback, you have to have a thick skin sometimes.
    -Company facing growing pains related to a lot of new hiring over the last 4yrs, including inexperienced people bumping into eachother.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allowing greater telecommuting is an easy way to make employees a lot happier. Be more transparent about pay and benefits so people understand what they are getting into.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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