Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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3.3
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Recommend to a friend
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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

162 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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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  5. Helpful (1)

    Avoid! You have been warned...

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Pros

    Pay is pretty good. People who know nothing about the culture tend to be impressed if they see it on a resume.

    Cons

    Sadly, too many to name. If you are a free-thinker, this place will be torture. The lack of diversity at the company is truly startling. Almost completely white, male and from privileged backgrounds. Absolutely crippling non-competes. Honestly, there is too much to say about why you should avoid the company. I would urge you to reach out to former employees who can be candid with you before accepting a position!


  6. 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.


  7. 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


  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. Helpful (3)

    PTSD

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation. This is how they keep you in their toxic environment. CEO is brilliant at what he does but is totally nuts. He likes to create a lord of the flies environment.

    Cons

    The culture is abusive. Most of the people are very smart, but they are not being utilized or developed properly (think MIT Mathematics PhDs being asked to do busy work knowing that they're never adding value to the company). It's very political. As a manager, I was expected to yell at and fire people to move up in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being crazy and abusive.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Brainwash

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

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

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

    Pros

    You are pushed off your limit to survive and succeed. Incentives are great. They give you free lunch and pantry is fully stocked. If you survive a month in Bridgewater, you could make it in any company.

    Cons

    If you are fresh out of college, they make you believe that Bridgewater is the best place to work until you go to another company and realize how much lies you have been told. It is a good place to start, to test your strength. They have consultant who they consider second class citizens; they can't park their car at the same lot as employees, they can't use the gym and they are not allowed to company parties



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