Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, has become well-known for promoting so-called radical transparency, the notion that workplaces should be open about people’s mistakes and weaknesses.
The billionaire hedge fund manager made radical transparency a central theme of his best-selling self-help book from 2017, “Principles,” which has also spawned a complimentary app called “Principles in Action.” But in an interview this week with Yahoo Finance’s Melody Hahm, Dalio said that his most valuable principle is “to meditate.”
“It's not the most challenging, but I want to do it the most, because that gives me the equanimity, the creativity that really helps so much,” Dalio told Hahm at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. “So I would say that would be one of the most important certainly.”
It’s fitting that a hedge fund titan proclaimed his devotion to meditation at one of the country’s most notable tech conferences: Both Wall Street and Silicon Valley are obsessed with the practice. Avid meditators include Twitter (TWTR) and Square (SQ) CEO Jack Dorsey, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff, among others.
Dalio has studied transcendental meditation, which involves silently reciting a mantra, for over 40 years, he told Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche back in 2016.
“When I look back at my life, I am happy to have had what most people would consider a successful life, not only in terms of business, but in my relationships and in lots of ways. More than anything else, I attribute it to meditation — partially because of the creativity, partly because of the centeredness,” he told Yahoo Finance at the time.
Dalio’s meditation teacher, Bob Roth, is the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes transcendental meditation for domestic violence victims, at-risk kids, and military veterans with PTSD. This week, bidding kicked off for a charity lunch with another another hedge fund billionaire, Bill Ackman, which will benefit that foundation.
"Maybe this will be a catalyst for my being more meditative. It is great for mental health and wellbeing,” Ackman told Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche this week. “I'm a believer. I'm not as much of a practitioner as I would like to be.”
Erin Fuchs is deputy managing editor at Yahoo Finance.