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I truly enjoyed this book and it was particularly beneficial being read by the author. Ray Dalio is a very successful person and it’s excellent for him to share, in full transparency, his Principles that shaped him and Bridgewater. This allows you to gain a very intimate insight on Rays compass north during all important and mundane decisions and can be used a guide for you as you develop your own principles.
Of course, this is the premise of the book that to achieve results it requires radical truth with radical transparency. Ray certainly delivers on this and I have begun to implement these within my career and life.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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.
52 of 58 people found this review helpful
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.
132 of 149 people found this review helpful