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Raymond Dalio was born in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough. He is the son of a jazz musician, Marino Dallolio (1911-2002), who "played the clarinet and saxophone at Manhattan jazz clubs such as the Copacabana,” and Ann, a homemaker. He is of Italian descent.
After completing his education, Dalio worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and traded commodity futures. He later worked as the Director of Commodities at Dominick & Dominick LLC. In 1974, he became a futures trader and broker at Shearson Hayden Stone. In 1975, he founded investment management firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his apartment. The firm opened an office in Westport, Connecticut in 1981, and in 2005, the firm became the largest hedge fund in the world. The firm had $160 billion in assets under management, as of October 2017.
Dalio resides with his wife Barbara (married in 1976/77) in Greenwich, Connecticut, and is known to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. They have four sons. Their son Paul Dalio is a film Director. Their second son, Matthew A. "Matt" Dalio is founder and chairman of the China Care Foundation, a non-profit that seeks to help Chinese orphans, and CEO of Endless Mobile, a computer operating system company.
In 2007, Bridgewater predicted the global financial crisis, and in 2008 Dalio published an essay, "How the Economic Machine Works; A Template for Understanding What is Happening Now", which explained his model for the economic crisis.
In April 2011, he and his wife Barbara joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, vowing to donate more than half his fortune to charitable causes within his lifetime. Through the Dalio Foundation, he has directed millions in donations to the David Lynch Foundation, which promotes and sponsors research on Transcendental Meditation.
In 2012, Dalio appeared on the annual Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2011 and 2012 he was listed by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 Most Influential people. Institutional Investor's Alpha ranked him No. 2 on their 2012 Rich List.
Dalio was co-CEO of Bridgewater for 10 months before he announced in March 2017 that he would step down as part of a company-wide shake-up by April 15. The company had been in a seven-year management and equity transition to find a replacement. Jon Rubinstein, co-CEO of the fund, was announced to step down with Dalio, but would retain an advisory role.
The Dalio Foundation was part of a group of foundations supporting the 2018 launch of TED's Audacious Project, an initiative to fund social entrepreneurs working to solve global issues.