Mission: Our unique success is the direct result of our unique way of being. We operate as an idea meritocracy founded on radical truth and radical transparency. This requires being extremely open, airing disagreements, testing each other’s logic, and viewing mistakes and ...
If you want to work in an environment that values truth and openness in the pursuit of innovation, excellence and quality relationships....
If you want to discover your strengths and weaknesses and work hard to get better fast...
If you have the need to understand what makes sense rather than to follow instructions...
If you can put aside ego barriers to learning...
If you demand others to be truthful and open with you and you are willing to be truthful and open with them...
If you want meaningful work and meaningful relationships...
...come to Bridgewater.
At Bridgewater, our overriding objective is excellence, or more precisely, constant improvement. We believe that producing excellence requires approaching both work and people in a principled way. Above all else, we want to find out what is true and figure out how best to deal with it. We value independent thinking and innovation, recognizing that independent thinking generates disagreement and innovation requires making mistakes.
To foster this thinking and innovation, we maintain an environment of radical openness, even though that honesty can be difficult and uncomfortable. At Bridgewater each individual has the right and the obligation to ensure that what they do and what we do collectively in pursuit of excellence makes sense to them. Everyone is encouraged to be both assertive and open-minded in order to build their understanding and discover their best path. The types of disagreements and mistakes that are typically discouraged elsewhere are expected at Bridgewater because they are the fuel for the learning that helps us maximize the utilization of our potential. It is through this unique culture that we have produced the meaningful work and meaningful relationships that those who work here and our clients have come to expect.
To help communicate what it’s like here, some of the people who work at Bridgewater described their experience in a series of videos on our website.
I have also posted my Principles, which we use, debate and change to agree on how we should be with each other in our pursuit of excellence. You can explore Principles here.
- Ray Dalio
I worked at Bridgewater Associates (More than 5 years)
Overall, I feel very grateful that Bridgewater was my first job out of college. I had unparalleled exposure to senior management, was able to take on as much responsibility as I could handle, and I learned more about management and running a company than I realized until I went and founded my own company. At the time, I wasn't always sure how relevant all The Principles and The Culture was to quality management. Now, that I am out of my own I am much better able to navigate ambiguity and complicated decisions because I have a universal framework I can turn to to help me sort things out. The practical application is even clearer to me now, then it was then. Business insider has a great article talking to the CIO Bob Prince that's worth reading if you want to better understand the relationship between the culture and business outcomes. Beyond a ton of learning, the Bridgewater community is what I cherish most about my 5-years there. The culture of openness and honesty lends itself to extremely deep and meaningful relationships. When I left, it was the people that I was the most sad to leave but it's the people that I have stayed in touch with and make me still feel connected to Bridgewater. And I don't just mean who you would traditionally call my peers, I still keep in touch with my first managers who are almost twice my age. It is these unexpected friendships, and the perspectives they bring to my life, that I really treasure.
Bridgewater is an extremely intense environment and is not for the faint of heart. It can be exhausting, at a day-to-day level, to be part of a company that focuses so much on the process of how to achieve a goal and how to improve. If you don't step back to see the larger picture, it can feel like you are never good enough even though that's not the case - just because you can improve doesn't mean that you aren't doing great. The focus on constant improvement can be draining vs just being satisfied with how things are.
Advice to Management
At Bridgewater, I was part of the inaugural Management Associate (MA) class and spent my five years there as an MA working in multiple different departments across the company. One of the main reasons I left Bridgewater was that I felt disconnected from the bread and butter of the business - i.e. if I did well, my manager was happy and if I did poorly my manager was upset - but how I did didn't really affect Bridgewater and it's bottom line. I wanted my actions to be more connected to business outcomes. Since I was so early in my career, this was by and large is reasonable but I think there were ways Bridgewater could make Management Associate roles seems more integrated. For non-investment professionals, I think there could be more specific industry training around the basic fundamentals of how to think about markets in order to help bridge gaps in understanding and ensure people understand the business they are working to help run better.
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Bridgewater Associates (Wilton, CT) in April 2016.
It was lengthy but it seemed like they took the time to really get to know you. It was an all day thing but they had lunch for you, it was set up into three parts where they tested out more of the way you think than the knowledge or skills that you had. that made me feel better about it all because they were basing it on the way that you thought not what you knew.