Ray Dalio: We're in a world now where politics has a much bigger effect on markets

  • "We're in a world now where politics and choices made have a much bigger effect on the markets," Dalio said in a conversation on stage at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday.
  • Dalio, who founded the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, said populism is a phenomenon not just in the U.S. but around the world.
Ray Dalio speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Ray Dalio speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio said investors had priced in the outcome of a divided Congress in the midterm elections, but believes that politics is now playing a greater role in financial markets across the globe.

"We're in a world now where politics and choices made have a much bigger effect on the markets," Dalio said in a conversation on stage at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday.

Dalio, who founded the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, said populism is a phenomenon not just in the U.S. but around the world. The question, Dalio said, is whether the next downturn will happen before the next presidential election in two years.

"I would be surprised if it was more than three years down the line and it could be one or two years," Dalio said.

In an interview on CNBC in September, Dalio said the U.S. is in the seventh innings of its current economic cycle. Dalio warned the Federal Reserve should not increase interest rates faster than investors are expecting.

"When we look at the world there is that risk of a downturn from tightening monetary policy," Dalio told the audience on Wednesday.

He said tensions between the U.S. and China are also threatening the economic outlook, adding it's important for investors to maintain a diversified portfolio. "By and large, most importantly, is know how to balance your portfolio or your exposures," he concluded.