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Principles: Life and Work Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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“Mr. Dalio has long been an object of fascination. . . . His new book is more significant than the original list of principles: It is part memoir, part how-to guide. It is a deeply personal story, with Mr. Dalio wading into how he started his firm in 1975, internal conflicts inside the company, and strife early on in his career. The book is both instructive and surprisingly moving. . . . Underneath what may seem like a clinical, emotionless approach is something different and far more poignant: Mr. Dalio is preaching for individuals to have a sense of humility and introspection, an ability to open themselves to appreciate pointed criticism and use it to improve.”
—The New York Times
“Ray Dalio has provided me with invaluable guidance and insights that are now available to you in Principles.”
“I absolutely loved this book. It’s beautifully written and filled with such wisdom.”
“I found it to be truly extraordinary. Every page is full of so many principles of distinction and insights—and I love how Ray incorporates his history and his life in such an elegant way.”
“Ray Dalio’s market acumen is legendary, but it was creating and living by a set of principles that allowed him to reach the top. Everyone with goals and dreams can learn from Ray’s approach.”
“It’s important and instructive to share what you’ve learned in life with others, and Ray does this in an interesting and provocative way in this compelling work.”
“I was surprisingly moved by it. I found it to be remarkably engaging. It made me think about life and how we all deal with each other in pretty profound ways. And Mr. Dalio’s own story about how he came to these principles is fascinating.”
—Andrew Ross Sorkin
“The billionaire investor has created the strongest culture I’ve ever seen in an organization—one that prizes radical transparency over politics and meritocracy over democracy. In his long-awaited book, he describes the systems that he has designed to shape meaningful work, meaningful relationships, and the world’s most successful hedge fund.”
“I highly, highly recommend this book. It has already changed how I think about making decisions in my life and in my business.”
“Principles had a profound positive impact on my leadership style—through living more honestly.”
About the Author
Ray Dalio is the founder and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, which, over the last forty years, has become the largest and best performing hedge fund in the world. Dalio has appeared on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world as well as the Bloomberg Markets list of the 50 most influential people. He lives with his family in Connecticut.
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In the second part of the book, the author gets into the stuff that's incredibly important, but difficult to implement. In short, he provides a roadmap and tools (via algorithmic means) to accomplish anything you want in life. There's a ton of substance, definition, & practicality on how to action your objectives. He has a five-step process to achieve what you want out of life, and it couldn't be more understandable and reasonable. The tricky part for most people (in my humble opinion) is finding a goal or objective that they can focus and remain passionate about for an extended period. If that's not your problem, then Mr. Dalio's advice in the second part of the book is significantly profound.
In the third section of the book, the author teaches you how to build the mastermind group/organization that's going to achieve the goals/mission you outlined in the second part of the book. The knowledge and thought that went into these 300 pages of the book are quite impressive. In short, the reader needs to get the culture right, get the people right, and then build and evolve the protocols that run the organization at a fundamental level. There's so much granularity behind those core concepts that it'll keep you busy trying to absorb everything.
In my humble opinion, MBA programs should be designing management courses around the information contained in this book. It's extremely thorough, practical, and organized.
Negatives. The book is a long read. If you're looking for something that's quick and easy, you're in the wrong place. The book is so organized (which I personally liked) that some might find it too programmatic. If you're looking for surprises and adventurous stories with your learning, you won't get that in the last two parts of the book. Dalio is all business.
In general, I'm so impressed the author took the time and effort to teach the world everything he has learned. You can tell he truly wants to help others be successful. The book has taught me the importance of trying to understand the fundamental building blocks of my own life. I now have an appreciation for trying to understand how things work and how I can model success habits around those principles. I've started to list my own principles, but it's hard identifying unique ideas beyond those found in the book (because it's so thorough). But the important part is that I'm aware of developing my own list and co-opting or creating new principles. This book has had a profound impact on me - it's definitely worth more than 5 stars.
The book starts with a seemingly simple question, What do you want? and proceeds to provide a global framework for getting what you want and then working with others to achieve greater objectives as well.
My takeaway is that finding the truth, being open, and persistence are the qualities needed to achieve any goal or solve any problem. Many people 'think' they are finding the truth and being open but they are not, and companies are rampant with self-delusion in these areas. If all companies would adopt these Principles, the world would be a better place.
Principles describes in great detail how you achieve any objective from the individual small goal to the organization huge goal with a clear framework. Along the way, there are hundreds of tips and thought-gems that you will find useful.
It's been a long time since a book was published with such enduring principles and quality. You can tell this is Mr. Dalio's life work and not like so many other books in this genre where someone set out to write a book and show they were an expert or make some cash (indeed, Mr. Dalio doesn't need any more;).
I expect that this book will become one of those rare books that are still read and recommended 100 years from now as the Principles are timeless, clear, and potentially life-changing. For me, this is THE book I will write an inscription on and give to my son when he becomes an adult.
Do keep in mind though that reading the book alone won't change your life, you must take action on what you learn!