Ray Dalio Says Fairness And Generosity Clearly Different — And This Example Proves It

Zinger Key Points
  • Fairness and generosity are different things, Dalio believes.
  • The billionaire investor believes generosity is good and entitlement is bad, and they can easily be confused.

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, believes there is a clear difference between fairness and generosity that people should be able to discern.

Citing the example of a Bridgewater employee, Dalio explained how the company’s generosity was mistaken for a sense of entitlement.

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“When Bridgewater arranged for a bus to shuttle people who live in New York City to our Connecticut office, one employee asked, ‘It seems it would be fair to also compensate those of us who spend hundreds of dollars on gas each month, particularly in light of the New York City bus.’ This line of thinking mistakes an act of generosity for some for an entitlement for everyone,” Dalio tweeted.

The Difference: The author of the best-selling book "Principles" explained how fairness and generosity are different things. “If you bought two birthday gifts for two of your closest friends, and one cost more than the other, what would you say if the friend who got the cheaper gift accused you of being unfair?” he asked.

“Probably something like, ‘I didn't have to get you any gift, so stop complaining.’ At Bridgewater, we are generous with people (and I am personally generous), but we feel no obligation to be measured and equal in our generosity,” Dalio said.

On Entitlement: The billionaire investor argued how generosity is good and entitlement is bad, and they can easily be confused. “So, be crystal clear on which is which. Decisions should be based on what you believe is warranted in a particular circumstance and what will be most appreciated,” he said.

Dalio also said if one wants to have a community of people who have both high-quality, long-term relationships and a high sense of personal responsibility, a sense of entitlement cannot be allowed to creep in.

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Photo courtesy: World Economic Forum on Flickr


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