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The debt doctor is in

Ray Dalio offers free advice about managing during financial crises

Ray Dalio, billionaire investor and co-founder of Bridgewater Associates

Stop worrying about the next debt crisis: Raymond T. Dalio has a free solution for you.

In his latest book — "A Template for Understanding Big Debt Crises" — the iconic founder, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates LP shares the secrets of how the Westport, Conn.-based firm has successfully navigated through debt crises over its 43-year history.

"I am sharing this on the 10th anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis in order to bring the perspective of an investor who navigated through that crisis well because I had developed a template for understanding how all debt crises work," Mr. Dalio wrote in the book.

In an interview, Mr. Dalio said his goal in sharing the Bridgewater template is "to help investors understand that there are mechanics involved in debt crises" that can be observed and understood, adding "it's like tracking the progression of a disease."

The book is a granular, practical guide featuring:

Detailed explanation of the mechanics of a debt crisis and templates for use by investors in managing debt crisis situations.

In-depth examination of three crises — the U.S. Debt and Crisis Adjustment 2007-2011, the U.S. Debt Crisis and Adjustment 1928-1937, and the German Debt Crisis and Hyperinflation 1918-1924.

Case analyses of the 48 debt crises that happened in the past 100 years.

Bridgewater produced an oral history video of the global financial crisis — "Understanding the Signals: How Bridgewater Navigated the 2008 Financial Crisis" available on YouTube — to accompany the release of the book featuring Mr. Dalio, other Bridgewater executives and various policymakers active during the GFC years.

Mr. Dalio said in an interview that he'd written most of the book before the 2008 crisis. He was motivated to publicly share the debt crisis template now as part of a systematic plan to widely share the life-work principles he's developed throughout his career.

To that end, Mr. Dalio began offering his book free in PDF format at principles.com. It also is available on amazon.com in e-book format for $14.99 and in print for $50.

Bridgewater manages $160 billion in hedge fund and other alternative investment strategies.