Ray Dalio bought his first stock at age 12 and tripled his money

Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates.
J. Countess | Getty Images

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio got hooked on investing early. He bought his first stock as a kid living on Long Island when he was only 12, he tells Tony Robbins in a recent podcast.

It was the early 1960s and "the markets were hot at the time," Dalio recalls, so he used the money he had earned as a caddy to buy stock in Northeast Airlines. It was the only company he had heard of that was selling for less than $5 a share.

"The only reason I bought it is, I figured I could buy more shares, so if it goes up I would make more money," says Dalio. "That was a dumb strategy."

Still, the young investor tripled his money, thanks to a lucky merger effort, and "I got hooked," Dalio tells Robbins. "I loved the game." He continued investing as a teenager and, by the time he graduated from high school, Dalio had built an impressive stock portfolio worth thousands of dollars.

Dalio went on to found Bridgewater Associates in his late 20s, which evolved into the world's largest hedge fund, managing about $160 billion in assets.

Today, 56 years since getting hooked on the market, Dalio has amassed a $17 billion dollar fortune, most of which he prefers to keep in a balanced portfolio, he tells Robbins.

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