Why Ray Dalio shuns bonds in favor of cash

Bridgewater Associates LP founder Ray Dalio said he doesn’t want to own bonds and prefers cash, highlighting difficulties investors face as global central banks try to manage inflation.

“I don’t want to own debt, you know, bonds and those kinds of things,” the billionaire said Thursday at the 10th Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore, when asked to don the hat of a fresh macro investor in the current landscape. “Temporarily right now, cash I think is good.”

When asked how to unwind the world’s huge borrowings, he said when debt becomes a big share of the economy, the situation “tends to compound and accelerate” as interest payments also grow. “We’re at that turning point of acceleration.”

While the size of the deficit is going to require the US to sell a lot of bonds to investors around the world, it’s difficult to keep interest rates at a level that’s attractive for creditors to hold, but not too high to harm the issuer, Dalio said. When investors choose to sell, pushing up yields, the central bank will need to decide whether to print money and buy bonds, which will drive up inflation pressures, he added.

“We’re seeing that dynamic happen now,” Dalio said. “I personally believe that the bonds, longer term, are not a good investment.” 

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