Market Extra: Ray Dalio is offering everyone a window into their own fragile psyches, free of charge

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Many people are now more than a year into the most isolated periods of their lives, forced into months of self-reflection under unprecedented stress and causing public health experts to worry that a second pandemic of poor mental health will flow just as the pandemic ebbs.

So Ray Dalio is thinking folks must be in the mood to have their personalities radically poked, transparently prodded.

The billionaire hedge-fund manager turned self-help author is offering up a chance for Regular Joes to take a personality assessment worthy of employees at his $140 billion hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, for free! 

“As many of you know, my main goal at this stage of my life is to pass along those things of value that I acquired in my lifetime to help others be successful,” Dalio wrote in an email Thursday morning. “As explained in my book Principles, I found that knowing what oneself and others are like to be invaluable, and I found psychometric tests very helpful in obtaining that knowledge.”

Now you too can do some Bridgewater-style self-discovery by donating just 10 minutes of your time (30 if you’re interested in going deep), clicking here for the test.

Bridgewater is known for its “radical transparency,” a philosophical theory of total openness that Dalio has used as the firm’s governing corporate ethos for decades and adopted into “Principles,” a list of best practices and the title of his bestselling book.

Radical transparency has made Dalio a very wealthy man, worth an estimated $20 billion, and helped create the world’s biggest hedge fund. He also has spent the majority of the past few years preaching the gospel of his “Principles” in books and on social media. Dalio also has publicly mourned the tragic loss of his son in December.

As an employer, Dalio’s Bridgewater has been famously selective in its hiring process, while recruits often must navigate an environment of sharing unvarnished and often painful truths in an office setting, which is not for everyone.

Psychometric tests like the one Dalio says he created with three “expert psychologists,” are the kind of thing that can be used to sift through the shortlist of people deemed smart enough to trade at Bridgewater and identify the precious few that are emotionally secure enough to withstand the constant withering criticism of a radically transparent workplace.

Or, as Dalio puts it, “A uniquely effective personality assessment that paints a clear portrait of those who take it and helps to guide people on their interactions with others.”

Besides making heaps of money, Dalio also has become well-known for not mincing words when it comes to his thoughts on financial markets.

Last month, the hedge fund founder said the “economics of investing in bonds (and most financial assets) has become stupid,” in a LinkedIn blog post. The 10-year Treasury yield
was at 1.554% Thursday, but still 64 basis points above its Jan. 4 low for this year.

In terms of the Dalio personality test, all it takes is a few clicks to assess your self on a sliding scale of “Disagree strongly” to “Agree strongly” on a litany of prompts, like “compared with others I have no difficulty controlling my anger” and “Seeking a deeper meaning in things comes naturally to me.”

Test takers should be prepared to get some real feedback, letting them know if they’re an extravert, a nurturer, and how they interact –or don’t– with others.

This reporter, for instance, learned that while he has, perhaps, the requisite “tough” score and a low enough “nurturing” score to thrive on the Bridgewater trading floor, his personality scores was so low on the traits of “composed” “flexible” or “determined,” that he might not really thrive…anywhere.

But the fun doesn’t have to stop there.

“And if you want to go further down this path of self-discovery for you and those around you,” Dalio generously offered in his email, “let me know and I will pass along other ways to make the most of what you learn.”

At the bottom of the generated results, Dalio makes it easy to share your personal assessment, with colorful prompts letting users who just got an unvarnished look at their own personalities with a “Sister,” “BFF,” or most obviously “Spouse.”