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 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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 28-11-17
Your compass north guide on your life journey
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.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
By MARK WATSON on 22-11-17
An absolute gem!
This has to be there with the best book I have consumed in a very long time. So much so that I truly believe that any individual should listen to or read to add value and benefit their lives both personally and professionally. I could not switch it off!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Belle Ho on 16-11-17
Insightful but repetitive
I listened to the entire book to understand the context of the principles. However that led me to become easily bored by the constant repetition of the words "idea maritocracy" and "radical honesty". I would suggest skipping to the second portion of the book when the author explains the life and work principles.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Robert F. Jones on 08-10-17
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.
169 of 191 people found this review helpful