Review of ‘The Fund’ by Rob Copeland

“The Fund” by Rob Copeland offers a revealing and critical perspective on the inner workings of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.

Rob Copeland’s Background

The author, with a background in journalism, notably for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, looks into the culture, practices, and key personalities of Bridgewater.

The book has garnered praise for its accuracy in recounting events and personalities within Bridgewater.

The reviewer provides unique insight, validating the authenticity of many stories and character portrayals.

The book is appreciated for going beyond mere gossip, offering a detailed and often critical analysis of Bridgewater’s culture and its founder, Ray Dalio.

Characters in the Book

Copeland’s depiction of Greg Jensen, Bob Prince, and Karen Karniol-Tambour, three prominent figures at Bridgewater, is highlighted for its accuracy.

Jensen is portrayed as a firm believer in Dalio’s “Principles” and an ambitious potential successor, while Prince is described as well-liked, independent, and non-confrontational.

Karniol-Tambour, though perhaps underrepresented as a character in the book (she ascended to co-CIO), is depicted as a staunch Dalio supporter, with her rise within the firm being attributed to her alignment with Dalio’s views.

Exploration of Bridgewater’s Culture

The review also touches on the book’s exploration of the firm’s unique culture, including its “Dots” system and the emphasis on finding employees’ weaknesses.

Copeland criticizes the system as being more about sycophancy than meritocracy, with Dalio’s influence skewing the true nature of the firm’s internal dynamics.

Despite the criticism, the reviewer acknowledges Dalio’s success and sees some of the value of his “Principles,” though cautioning against his narcissistic traits and the toxic workplace culture it creates.

The book is seen as a necessary counterbalance to Dalio’s self-promotion, offering a more nuanced view of his leadership, his self-portrayal as a benevolent billionaire, and the overall environment at Bridgewater.


Overall, “The Fund” is recommended for its thorough and candid portrayal of Bridgewater, providing an inside look at the hedge fund’s culture, leadership, and practices.

It is seen as an important read for those interested in finance, corporate culture, and the dynamics of power within a leading financial institution.

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