- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 19, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501124021
- ISBN-13: 978-1501124020
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 756 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Principles: Life and Work Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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Winner of the Axiom Business Book Award for 2018
“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
“If there was an ‘it’ book for businesses or careers in 2017, it was Ray Dalio’s Principles. The book, weighing in at nearly 600 pages, begins with the author’s own story, including the rise of Bridgewater Associates, Dalio’s highly successful investment firm. Part memoir, part strategic plan, Dalio uses his own history to provide suggestions on attaining success while always stressing the power of individuality and personal goals. This isn’t just a book for the power elite. Dalio’s highly detailed game plan focuses on what he calls ‘radical’ truths and transparencies, and are applicable to the careers of powerful CEOs, ladder-climbing executives, longtime grunts, and fresh-faced rookies.”
“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.”
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 is split into his autobiography and his life and work principles.
The most salient points in his autobiography are that he wants you to think he is like Steve Jobs (but not as great) and that his life follows the story arc of a hero (but he's not a hero). Otherwise it's a pretty standard history of a baby boomer from New York who becomes Elite--he goes from talking about being part of the hippie culture of the 60s and 70s to brown-nosing China and their leaders. You wont learn anything new here if you are familiar with 20th century history and current events. To his credit, he has a great writing style (if he wrote this himself) and he appears to be a persuasive force (probably a key factor in his success).
His principles are meant to be the reason you bought the book, so let's give his autobiography a pass. Overall, his principles are strong, but they are recycled ideas. For example, one of his life principles is "Use the 5-Step Process to Get What You Want Out of Life" about having clear goals, recognizing your real problems, and finding solutions to overcome the problems and achieve your goals. Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, and I'm sure many others provide much more useful thought processes and examples to do the same thing. It's clear he's also out of touch in his examples: are you bad at accounting? Hire an accountant. Need to hire people? Find the right headhunter! He also seems to dabble in psychology for being a more effective/principled person. I agree with him that it's important. However, he doesn't seem to fully grasp how it works, and gets attached to pop psychology. For example, praising the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which has received a lot of criticism from experts.
There's nothing seriously wrong with this book. There's just nothing in it that would make me recommend it to anyone. The book covers a lot of subjects, and for each subject I would recommend reading another book.