BOOK 2019: Principles: Ray Dalio


Principles is really 3 books in 1 each of which would be well worth it to read on their own. The first is a short biography (perhaps autobiography) of Ray Dalio. The second is life principles. The third is work principles. And together they form a great set of, well principles, to live life and for work. 

The book is thick at over 500 pages, yet well worth the read. I bought the hard copy and dislike putting physical highlights in books and was so tempted to do so as there were so many useful insights. 

In the section of his story, Ray’s openness about his life, both in the successes as well as the failure, is what struck me about the first part. It’s part of the saying that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of it. He then takes his life lessons and distills them into his life principles. The work principles are far more detailed and outline much of what he has implemented at BridgeWater Associates and what has allowed it to become the success that it is. 

At all points, he mentions to take what is relevant for you, and just mentions that these principles were what helped him become successful and you should adapt them for yourself. 


Read Jun 2019

Why I decided to read it

I’ve heard the book mentioned on several podcasts that I listen to. Then it was also mentioned by someone I was connecting with over LinkedIn. 

I ended up getting the hard copy version as for some reason it was less expensive then the soft copy version. Also, I was planning on going on a trip and thought the physical version would be better for reading on the plane (though nowadays you’re able to read off a phone/eReader during take-off/landing.

Who should read it

Those looking for a guide on success for both life and work. Especially those looking to get into finance. Although the principles relate to all areas, not just the business world, the principles seem to resonate more for those in business. The work principles provide a great foundation for those looking for guidelines on building a great company (or adding them to their own company)

Memorable highlights for me

The 5-step process to getting what you want out of life. 

People are wired differently plus the culture and way you deal people are exceptionally important to have a successful career.

Making effective decisions.

Constant never-ending improvement for your organization. It can be as simple as treating your business as a machine. 

TBH Most of the table of contents would be SIWIKE for me.

Get it on Amazon:

Also published on Medium.