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Principles  By  cover art

Principles

By: Ray Dalio
Narrated by: Ray Dalio,Jeremy Bobb
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Publisher's summary

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.

©2017 Ray Dalio (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

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Idea-meritocracy/Principles Reference

This work is a reference to Ray Dalio's principals & a brief history of how he created them to get where he is now.

I throughly enjoyed the first 5 hours of this book. Most everything after seemed redundant. So much so, that Ray often sites the same example for the same points over and over again. These instances took value away from this book's readability and message.

This book is not very clear that it serves as more of a reference and that it is intended to be two reference volumes combined. Albeit, the title's subscript mentions Work & Life. This work reads more like a dictionary after you remove the first few hours of Dalio's life story.

Besides your ability to create a drinking game from the number of times Ray states, "Idea-meritocracy", "Radical Truthfulness", "Believability", & each time he retells you about starting Bridgewater, you will find helpful advice on this book. I have listed general themes below

Ray could've summarized this book into less than a 10 hr read and kept the same quality in the 16 hr behemoth of reiderations. See my recommendation on his YouTube video below. 30 min.

Overall:
This book poses interesting ideas on how to improve life and business results. Obviously Bridgewater stands as a shining example of the success from Ray's points. I find that this melds well with Thinking Fast & Thinking Slow as well as many other jobs on how we think and make decisions. It makes our circle of knowledge a little bit wider on how to meet our goals/be successful. I am not sure I would recommend this book, but I believe it does actively challenge you to improve yourself and your processes in life and business.

What to take away:
Principles are useful for helping us get what we want out of life. They help guide us to meet our goals. You could argue they are algorithms that make us the best we want to be when we follow them.

We can use a 5 step plan to adjust our learn from our mistakes and become better, thus updating ourselves or our Principles.

It's best to write these principles down.

It's best to take the opinion of the whole to make decisions, rather than to think your opinion holds more weight. Seek out experts that are more "Believable" than you and weight their advice higher in their strengths.

Ray's YouTube videos are a greater & FREE synopsis of this book that cuts everything down to 30 minutes. I'd highly recommend reviewing that first of you're interested in this book.

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Personal

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.

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The Management/CEO’s Handbook

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.

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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.

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Bored to Tears

I don't usually give up on a book, especially one being read to me during a long drive when the only other option is silence. But, geesh. Some of the lead up stories to what I thought was the meat forthcoming were interesting but all in all no meat delivered. At least nothing up to the point where I threw up the white hankie and hit the stop button. The advice was generic and lacked the, for instance, this is how you'd apply this. I do know that he knows all about the ins and outs of pork bellies and the crops they eat and weather patterns ad nauseam. And he mentioned many times how he rubbed elbows with the rich and famous. Got it - you're a big deal.

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The Blueprint — Lessons From Reformed New Yorker

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.

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Two-thirds full.

I am a fan of Ray Dalio, the legendary hedge-fund manager. This book has three sections: a bio of Ray, followed by his "life principles," followed then by his "work principles." I found his life story to be very interesting indeed. And his "life principles" were excellent, especially the notion of "radical transparency" and "radical openness" and honestly confronting ones problems. So far great. But I got really bogged down in the third section, his "work principles." This seemed more like a corporate human resources manual than anything one could use in life. Even if you were a CEO or department head of a several hundred person organization, his principles often seemed like cliches. So much depends on what people are charged to do, but he has very little of that. I wish he had spent more time on his investment philosophy. This is where is his genius lies. He is not Tony Robbins. But I did learn from this book to confront my own problems more honestly and directly.

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Could have been much shorter

Slow in topic and performance. I had to listen to it on 2.0x. Some of this is very interesting, but overall it feels rather verbose and repetitive. I understood from the outset that this would be quite different from Shoe Dog, but I was hoping for something a little more exciting Than it turned out to be.

The first part of the book was the most interesting to me. It focuses on the background of the company and its Ascension.

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Everyone alive must learn this-

What made the experience of listening to Principles the most enjoyable?

Incredible information/ Principles.

What other book might you compare Principles to and why?

Tony Robbins Unshakeable.

Which character – as performed by Ray Dalio and Jeremy Bobb – was your favorite?

Dalio, playing himself!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

MADE ME ACT!!!

Any additional comments?

Just listen to it.

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phenomenally replete with wisdom

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.

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