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But Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates with $142 billion under management, advised investors not to chase headlines or try to predict the direction of the markets.
"You're not going to win by, sort of, trying to get what the next tip is," he said. "What most [of] the investor[s] need to do is have a balanced, structured portfolio. A portfolio that does well in different environments."
Dalio said investors should have:
—A quarter of their portfolios in assets that do well when economic growth is faster-than-expected
—A quarter for when growth is slower-than-expected
—A quarter for when inflation is higher-than-expected
—A quarter for when inflation is lower-than-expected
This "all-weather"-type portfolio is one of the two basic approaches at Bridgewater. "This has nothing to do with bets. It has to do with how to make all the assets the same risk parity."
Betting on any market is like poker, "a zero-sum game," he said, adding that the deck is stacked against the individual investor in favor of big players like Bridgewater, which has about 1,500 employees. "We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on research … and we don't know that we're going to win. We have to have diversified bets."
"It's very important for most people to know when not to make a bet. [Be]cause if you're going to come to the poker table you are going to have to beat me.
"So the nature of investing is that a very small percentage of people take money, essentially in that poker game, away from other people who don't know when prices go up whether that means it's a good investment or if it's a more expensive investment."
Dalio is a global macro investor, who's credited with anticipating the financial crises of 2008. "What happened in 2007 was we had a bubble. Credit growing much faster than … income. So now we're going through an adjustment."
In a white paper, he explained that funding gaps can be reduced by a mix of three factors: austerity, debt write-downs, and printing money.
Under the heading, US Deleveraging, 2008-Present, he wrote:
"Like the US deleveraging in the 1930s, the lead-up consisted of a debt driven boom, and the deleveraging has transpired in two stages: a contraction in incomes followed by reflation and growth. However, because of a swift policy response from the Fed, which was prompt in guaranteeing debt and aggressively printing money, the contractionary period only lasted six months (versus over three years in the 1930s), and since then there has been reflation and debt reduction through a mix of rising nominal incomes, default and debt repayment."
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere at @Matt_SquawkCNBC and Maneet Ahuja at @WallStManeet.