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Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past 40 years to create unique results in both life and business - and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and has grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater's exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as "an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency". It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio - who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood - that he believes are the reason behind his success.
In Principles, Dalio shares what he's learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book's hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of "radical truth" and "radical transparency", include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating "baseball cards" for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they're seeking to achieve.
Here, from a man who has been called both "the Steve Jobs of investing" and "the philosopher king of the financial universe" (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you'll find in the conventional business press.
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- The best management book I have ever read Review by bbkenMD
How I wish I have read this book 20 years ago!!! The wealth of knowledge and practical, time-proven solutions to managing organizational problems in this book is phenomenal. Ray Dalio is freely giving out gold in experience and wisdom. I must be wired the same way as he is, as I agree with 100% information and conclusions presented in this book. I work in government sector and have observed first-hand how departmental politics, lack of transparency and integrity extinguishes innovation and productivity. I am seeing unfulfilled potential of the place where I work and my heart cries for it. Even though I have strong internal desire to reach the stated mission of our organization, in Ray’s narrative I have recognized my own managerial weaknesses and mistakes. For some, I have learned from my own errors and reached identical conclusions and solutions as Roy presented in this book. For others, I have not reflected enough to identify the root causes and Roy’s book has been absolutely enlightening in this regard. It is very hard to do the right thing and achieve comparable level of efficiency and productivity in the government as can be done in the private sector; however, based on Ray’s book I am inspired to try precisely that. I can’t wait for him to release the practical tools he has described in the book! Thank you Ray, although we never met, you will always be in my mind honored as great mentor!
(Posted on 6/4/2019)
- Great book by someone worth listening to Review by Robin
This book is very zero in his way to describe how to run a business fairly, without stress, and profitably. It is very descriptive how to handle problems from top to bottom with a very methodical approach, while very inclusive and taking into account all ideas from the smartest people at your company without bias. I would recommend this book to all the employees of my company and believe it will improve decision-making process for everyone. Maybe one of the best books I’ve read.
(Posted on 4/30/2019)
- The Management/CEO’s Handbook Review by James Adams
Having fewer reports (zero), than the author, this book - while very interesting, insightful and practical - comes across as directed towards folks way above my pay grade. CEOs and VPs in particular. Still, as a small cog in a very big wheel, I recommend it for both perspective on what good management looks like, and for straight-up honorable principles to live by.
(Posted on 4/30/2019)
- Ray Dalio's ferocious fidelity to thought Review by Lance
In these days of social media we seem to have become pack creatures.
Someone pushes back, embarrasses you, just defriend them, circle yourself with people who understand you and you understand them. Or maybe you just pretend to because the social cost of disagreement is too high.
Ray Dalio describes a soul with ferocious fidelity to progressive thought, perhaps his or Bridgewater's collective version of the truth. A fidelity that has brought him scorn, ridicule, and ultimately undreamt of unhoped for success and attendant wealth. Bravo Mr. Dalio we should all take such care of something so seemingly small. Perhaps if we did the world would be a much better place.
(Posted on 4/25/2019)
- The Blueprint — Lessons From Reformed New Yorker Review by Mckenzy Germain
The Blueprint — 10 Lessons From Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
What makes this book a gold mine for me and like-minded people:
1. Understanding why a meritocratic environment works best for my personality has helped me shed imposter syndrome; mask off.
2. Ray defines a valid solution around a psychological dichotomy and process that stems to eliminate a ton of common misconceptions. Supportive ideologies around the power of numbers & group theory, associated with machine learning seem to be a great formula for creating an effective symbiotic ecosystem. If practiced by those who are open to change and constructive criticism.
3. The opening line made me want to get on plane to NYC, take a train over to CT, give Ray a high five, then head back to the concrete jungle to engage in shenanigans.
4. Machine learning (ai) can have a positive outcome as long as its used as supportive component for analytics and behavioral studies.
5. Ai, when done right, has the ability to yield some highly beneficial outcomes around structuring teams and making business decisions. At the same time, it can aid in studying your personal history, train of thought, and help predict what environments are good for personality.
6. It’s good to be open to constructive criticism.
7. Arguments should occur with the intention of arriving at new learnings, not to generate hatred or sense of detachment from the opposing party.
8. Some personalities just don’t work for the environment or culture that you are trying to creates. And in certain cases YOU actually create the high level of toxicity that destroys the environment that you are attempting to create.
9. The goal of learning is to grow and one day help another elevate themselves by sharing your learnings in an intuitive manner.
10. Mistakes should be embraced in the same we celebrate blessings. For in a lost or failure, we have an opportunity to learn and increase our aptitude around problem solving for that specific issue.
Bonus: never give up and let your humility serve as the honey that will capture the hearts and minds of your counterparts.
(Posted on 11/25/2018)
- Probably the best business book to date Review by Howard_a
The concept of the "Idea Meritocracy" would improve everything bad about today's companies. If only 10% of his rules are implemented, it may fix mant of the problems today's companies face. Highly recommended listen!!! #GoodBuisinessBook #tagsgiving #sweepstakes
(Posted on 11/25/2018)
- I need to go through this book a few more times. Review by Christian
This is a great book to listen to and I found myself drifting off quite a lot thinking how to apply any given section to my life/work. I'll have to go through it a few more times for sure.
(Posted on 10/14/2018)
- phenomenally replete with wisdom Review by Jon David Schein
if you're building a business or hold a management role in one or even if you're looking to improve your day-to-day life, I bet this book will serve you well.
(Posted on 9/16/2018)
- Personal Review by Robert F. Jones
Two stars - meh
three stars - good
four stars - worth a second read
five stars - life-changing - my top 50 of all time
Worth a second read because the ideas at the core of the book seem contrary to what has been my life experience.
I'd love to spend a couple of days at Bridgewater or extensively interview some longtime employees to find out if it works as the author suggests.
My experience has been that 'Idea Meritocracies' and 'Radical honesty' work great for those at the top, who's positions cannot be threatened because they deem what is valued and right.
I've also always been told that attempting to fit market movements to algorithms cannot predict the really important swings. This is because we cannot properly summarize all of the market conditions that existed historically, nor can we know all of the factors that effect markets currently because our information is incomplete. I should be able to tell if his approach works by comparing Bridgewater's performance to that of its peers, but I have not yet done this.
The author does make a telling comment early in the book, regarding the computational nature of reality. He states that if we knew we had a perfect description of the current state of the universe, we'd be able to predict what would happen next. This is by no means an established fact. Chaos theory, quantum mechanics and and Heisenberg would probably disagree.
I cannot decide if the 'Baseball Card' approach to personnel makes sense. Baseball stats are more objective that job performance or personality types based on standardized tests.
I'd love to believe that keeping stats on everyone would help predict future performance, but as Sabermetrics showed, which stats one calculates and how they are weighted have significant impact on outcomes.
I'd love to believe that his basic assumptions are correct, but I'm really ambivalent. This book raised many more questions than it answered.
If I check the facts and they seem to hold water, I will make changes to my life and thus this would qualify as a five-star book.
(Posted on 9/13/2018)