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Ray Dalio's Principles

I love this book & highly recommend it.  I also love how aggressively Ray Dalio is promoting this book and doing so through modern marketing techniques - he's on every podcast ever, he buys Facebook ads, his Twitter account tweets snippets of the book.  He has a deep personal desire to (1) spread his message and (2) make this part of his legacy.

Here are quotes from the book I loved:


  • "I’m passing along these principles because I am now at the stage in my life in which I want to help others be successful rather than to be more successful myself."
  • "If you can think for yourself while being open-minded in a clearheaded way to find out what is best for you to do, and if you can summon up the courage to do it, you will make the most of your life." 
  • "I learned my principles over a lifetime of making a lot of mistakes and spending a lot of time reflecting on them."
  • "I believe that the key to success lies in knowing how to both strive for a lot and fail well. By failing well, I mean being able to experience painful failures that provide big learnings without failing badly enough to get knocked out of the game."
  • "The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and ideally write them down, especially if you are working with others."
  • "After that, there will be no advice I can give that will not be available in these two books, and I will be done with this phase of my life."
  • "Time is like a river that carries us forward into encounters with reality that require us to make decisions. We can’t stop our movement down this river and we can’t avoid those encounters. We can only approach them in the best possible way."
  • "Over the course of our lives, we make millions and millions of decisions that are essentially bets, some large and some small. It pays to think about how we make them because they are what ultimately determine the quality of our lives."
  • "To help you understand where I’m coming from, I am giving you an unvarnished account of my life and career, placing special emphasis on my mistakes and weaknesses and the principles I learned from them."
  • "When I didn’t want to do something, I would fight it, but when I was excited about something, nothing could hold me back. For example, while I resisted doing chores at home, I eagerly did them outside the house to earn money."
  • "Living through that taught me that while almost everyone expects the future to be a slightly modified version of the present, it is usually very different."
  • "Meditation has benefited me hugely throughout my life because it produces a calm open-mindedness that allows me to think more clearly and creatively."
  • "On March 26, 1978, my wife gave birth to our first son, Devon. To have a child was the most difficult decision I ever made, because I couldn’t know what the experience would be like and it would be irrevocable."
  • "It turned out to be my best decision."
  • "Making money in the markets is tough. The brilliant trader and investor Bernard Baruch put it well when he said, “If you are ready to give up everything else and study the whole history and background of the market and all principal companies whose stocks are on the board as carefully as a medical student studies anatomy— if you can do all that and in addition you have the cool nerves of a gambler, the sixth sense of a clairvoyant and the courage of a lion, you have a ghost of a chance.”"
  • "The most important thing you can do is to gather the lessons these failures provide and gain humility and radical open-mindedness in order to increase your chances of success. Then you press on."
  • "I needed to have both low risk and high returns, and by setting out on a mission to discover how I could, I learned to go slowly when faced with the choice between two things that you need that are seemingly at odds. That way you can figure out how to have as much of both as possible. There is almost always a good path that you just haven’t discovered yet, so look for it until you find it rather than settle for the choice that is then apparent to you."
  • "I urge you to be curious enough to want to understand how the people who see things differently from you came to see them that way. You will find that interesting and invaluable, and the richer perspective you gain will help you decide what you should do."
  • "My family, my extended family of co-workers, and my work have all been extremely important to me. Juggling work and family has been as much a challenge to me as to anyone else, especially since I wanted both to be great, so I combined them whenever I could. For example, I took my kids on business trips."
  • "Making a handful of good uncorrelated bets that are balanced and leveraged well is the surest way of having a lot of upside without being exposed to unacceptable downside."
  • "I felt about this fork-in-the-road choice the way I felt about most others— that whether or not we could have our cake and eat it too was merely a test of our creativity and character."
  • "I do things through trial and error— making mistakes, figuring out what I did wrong, coming up with new principles, and finally succeeding"


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    Response: Amos Navanjo
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