Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, saw one of its most prominent funds lose money for the first time in more than a decade, even as the S&P 500 surged.
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The firm's Pure Alph II fund fell 0.5 percent last year, according to Institutional Investor, citing an investor in the funds. Overall, Pure Alpha, Bridgewater's flagship fund, was essentially flat in 2019, ending an 18-year winning streak.
This happened even as the S&P 500 gained 29 percent in 2019 and marks a disappointing decline for the fund (in 2018, the Pure Alpha strategy jumped nearly 15 percent, according to the report). Over the past three decades, Pure Alpha has produced average annual returns of 11.5 percent. Bridgewater manages more than $160 billion in assets for about 300 institutional investors, including public and corporate pension funds, university endowments, charitable foundations, supranational agencies, foreign governments and central banks, according to the report.
Dalio tapped David McCormick to take over as CEO in 2020 when longtime co-CEO Eileen Murray departs.
In a November LinkedIn post, Dalio blamed several economic indicators, such as persistently low (or even negative) interest rates, for creating what he called an unsustainable and broken economic system.
“This set of circumstances is unsustainable and certainly can no longer be pushed as it has been pushed since 2008. That is why I believe that the world is approaching a big paradigm shift,” Dalio wrote.