Ray Dalio -- the mastermind behind the incredibly-profitable, controversial, and allegedly cultish hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates -- became the latest billionaire to agree to give away half of his fortune by signing "The Giving Pledge," a moral commitment (not a legal obligation) to donate most of one's wealth to charitable causes.
The "Pledge" was created by billionaire buddies Bill Gates and Warren Buffett; Dalio's philanthropic promise brings the total number of signatories to 69.
Other well-known billionaires who've inked their names to the pledge include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "Star Wars" director George Lucas, convicted inside trader Michael Milken, media mogul Ted Turner, ex-Citigroup head honcho Sandy Weill, former eBay President turned film producer Jeff Skoll, and the face of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.
As for Dalio's decision, the hedge fund guru wrote this as part of his pledge:
At first we [he and his wife, Barbara] experienced the worry about not being able to take care of the basics. When we earned more money, we experienced relief and then the diminishing benefits of having more money. We learned that beyond having enough money to help secure the basics -- quality relationships, health, stimulating ideas, etc. -- having more money, while nice, wasn't all that important. We experienced directly what the studies on happiness show -- that once the basics are covered there is no correlation between how much money one has and how happy one is -- but there is a high correlation between having meaningful work and meaningful relationships to one's health and happiness.
(DealBook: Bridgewater’s Dalio Joins Giving Pledge)
(Related: Bridgewater Associates Is Not a Cult, It's the Future)