Ray Dalio, who has a near $19bn fortune, is one of a handful of the 0.01% to go public with concerns about the system that created that wealth
Ray Dalio, the billionaire investor, has just released his first childrens book. Its a bedtime story he hopes will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. There are other stories that keep Dalio awake at night.
Stock markets have soared in recent years, employers are struggling to find workers, inflation is under control. And yet: This period is very similar to that of the 1930s, he says. Were at each others throats when these are the best of times. I worry about the bad times.
Dalio, the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the worlds largest hedge funds, and a man with a personal fortune that tops $18.7bn, is one of a handful of the 0.01% who have gone public with their worries about the system that created that wealth.
The world has gone mad, and the system is broken, he wrote in a series of viral posts on the issues he sees in the modern economy last year.
The gap between rich and poor has grown too wide, and most people have not seen real income growth in decades, he wrote. The economy is stacked against those at the bottom. Education, healthcare, the tax system, the prison system and political deadlock have created a situation that presents an existential risk to the US and the rest of the world. It was a searing indictment of the status quo, not least because it came from someone who had benefited from it the most.
While on the surface the financial numbers of the world economy look good, it is clear that the Great Recession has left a pool of seething resentment in its wake. Nationalism is sweeping the world and the political order is being overturned. As Eric Hoffer pointed out in The True Believer, his book on mass movements, the French and Russian revolutions came not at economic and social nadirs, but as living conditions were improving.
Dalio hopes, in part, that his latest book can help people at an individual level to address the dilemmas they now face and will always face no matter what the political or economic headwinds. An illustrated distillation of his bestselling book Principles for Success, the book offers the life lessons Dalio says helped him not only amass one of the worlds largest fortunes but live a successful life.
In the book, an unnamed hero in a backpack and Pharrell Williams hat negotiates a series of problems, a dark wood, a mountaintop and the loss of said hat, as he chases a blue diamond. While its not really clear what the diamond represents (maybe $18.7bn?), its really about the journey. Over 157 pages, Dalio shares his insights, a five-point system for assessing our weaknesses and overcoming problems, and somewhat hokey aphoristic formulae like Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life and Pain + Reflection = Progress.
The Hungry Caterpillar it aint.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/09/ray-dalio-billionaire-hedge-fund-capitalism