As many of you know, Bridgewater Associates is mega-successful, multi-billion dollar hedge fund guided by Principles, a company handbook written by founder and Mentor Ray Dalio, which instructs employees to go on radical truth seeking missions in order to better themselves and in turn the firm. Bridgewater takes the principles very seriously and each member of the staff is given spiral bound copies to read, highlight, and imbue their souls with. While the idea of Truth above all else is the overarching idea, there are literally hundreds of principles (such as 31a. “Ask yourself whether you have earned the right to have an opinion,” 130. “…Firing people is not a big deal…” and 184. “Use checklists”), which span 123 pages and are broken down into outline form after being explained at length. Though familiarity with them has always been an essential part of the job, there has never been a formal test determining that all employees met the required level of efficiency. Until now.
Apparently the firm has notified employees that there will be an exam on the material, which has resulted in people carrying around their copies and studying whenever they can, particularly on the bus ride from Manhattan to Wesport and back. No date has been announced but it will be in the near future and administered online à la one of those mandatory HR quizzes that won’t let you skip forward. According to proctors, Bridgewater simply wants to use the test as an opportunity to assess what people know, how they’re interpreting the principles, and what requires further elucidation. It’s unclear what the penalty for failing will be but remedial Principles classes seem obvious. Because we would hate to see any of you have to stay after school, we’ve highlighted the material most likely to be covered– feel free to print these out and add to your study guide.