Why legendary hedge-fund founder Ray Dalio is choosing to explore the sea instead of space like other billionaires

Ray Dalio US economy like 1937 thumbnails 01Gene Kim

While billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk are reaching for the stars, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is diving deep into the sea.

In a recent segment on "60 Minutes," Dalio took journalist Bill Whitaker underwater in his personal three-man submarine for some ocean sight-seeing. Dalio also owns a ship full of scientific equipment, and he regularly invites scientists to dive down with him and discover new wildlife.

"I find ocean exploration a lot more exciting, a lot more important than space exploration," Dalio told Whitaker. "And then you think about [how] it affects our lives so much."

Dalio has been in the news following the publication of a 7,500-word LinkedIn post in which he says that capitalism has failed to create equal opportunity, and that it needs a serious rethinking.

Dalio, who predicts a long period of slow economic growth and the continuing rise of China as an economic superpower, went on to lament the loss of the American dream. "I think for the most part we don't even talk about what is the American dream, and it's very different from when I was growing up," he said.

During his deep-ocean dive, he compared dying coral to the lack of economic opportunity. "If I come down here and I see the coral reefs are dying, and the population is dying, I know that we're out of balance. It doesn't take a genius to know that you're out of balance and you should do something."

The billionaire sees the mysteries of the ocean as the next great adventure. "I don't understand the resource allocation of space. Really, in terms of return on investment, the return on investment down here is fabulous."

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