Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates became the
most successful hedge fund manager in history last
when the cumulative $35.8 billion he has earned investors since
1975 eclipsed George Soros' $31.2 billion in career gains. So mere
mortals might pay some heed to what Dalio is buying these days.
[caption id="attachment_71803" align="alignright" width="300"
caption="Cliffs Natural Resources was Bridgewater's second-biggest
buy in the second quarter"]
As it happens, the master's biggest purchase in the second
quarter of 2012 was Brazil -specifically, the iShares MSCI Brazil
Index Fund (
). Bridgewater Associates poured more than $100 million into the
struggling Latin American giant, grabbing some 2 million shares of
the ETF at an average price of $56.
Bridgewater's second-biggest buy in the April-June period was
Cliffs Natural Resources Incorporated (
), a U.S.-based miner that sells some of the same commodities as
Brazil, iron ore in particular. Headquartered in Cleveland, Cliffs
operates iron ore and coal mines in North America, as well as iron
ore mines and a thermal coal mine in Australia.
The details of Dalio's second-quarter investments were revealed
in the quarterly letter from Bridgewater Associates to its
investors, published by website GuruFocus.com.
With headquarters in Westport Connecticut, Bridgewater
Associates is the world's largest hedge fund firm, managing about
$130 billion in assets for institutional clients that include
pension funds, central banks, foreign governments and university
endowments. A graduate of Harvard University and former futures
trader, Dalio founded the firm in 1975.
Dalio and Bridgewater have not made any money yet on the Brazil
and Cliffs investments. The Brazil ETF is trading at
$55.52. Cliffs' shares keep
plummeting along with the price of iron ore
and now cost about $42; that compares with a $56 average for the
But Ray Dalio and Bridgewater have an excellent track record,
and these recent investments are definitely worth noting.