Known throughout the investment world for his savvy business decisions, Ray Dalio has long held an excellent reputation for his ability to generate substantial returns. His Bridgewater Associates is consistently ranked as one of the top performing hedge funds in the country. While some investors may have wondered how Bridgewater would fare at a time in which even some of the most stalwart hedge funds are suffering significant losses, investor fatigue and withdrawal, and closures, Dalio has managed to beat the negative trend to produce excellent results for the past several months. In fact, Bridgewater Associates brought in gains of $4.9 billion for its investor clients in the past year.

Major Asset Base, Major Returns

Bridgewater's $4.9 billion payday in 2016 may be dependent in large part upon its substantial asset base. The hedge fund, the largest in the world in terms of assets under management, holds $117.8 billion in its portfolios. According to a report by LCH Investments, shared by Bloomberg and News Times, Bridgewater will top the list for 2016. LCH regularly reviews the top 20 performing hedge funds in terms of total returns brought in after fees. Some of the usual firms on the list are likely to have dropped or disappeared entirely, as scandalous negative returns have continued to plague the industry.

Other Firms Beat the Odds, But None to the Level of Bridgewater

While hedge funds on average trailed the performance of the S&P 500 Index by a substantial amount for the eighth straight year, there were nonetheless some that managed to provide impressive returns for 2016. Still, LCH's top funds for 2016 brought in a weighted return on investment of just 2.6%, well below the prior results of the list. Other top performing funds included those related to Viking Global, Tudor Investment, and Lone Pine Capital, all based out of Greenwich. Point72 Asset Management, the family office in Stamford, Connecticut that managed the personal wealth of Steven A. Cohen, the embattled former head of SAC Capital Advisers currently banned from managing outsider investments due to insider trading charges. Still, none of the other firms on the list managed to come close to Bridgewater's impressive $4.9 billion net for the past year. Investors in Bridewater's funds are likely to want to stay there, particularly at a time in which prominent names in the hedge fund industry are falling seemingly at random. Nonetheless, if Bridgewater should end up failing to deliver exceptional returns to its clients, it is a safe bet that those investors will look for alternative investment options that are free of the bulky fees that all hedge funds take as the price of investment.

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