• Principles

  • Life and Work
  • By: Ray Dalio
  • Narrated by: Ray Dalio, Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 16 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-19-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (7,494 ratings)

Regular price: $27.99

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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Robert F. Jones on 10-08-17


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.

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156 of 176 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By James Adams on 11-22-17

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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66 of 74 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-28-17

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.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By J on 02-14-18

Mostly about Bridgewater

Not really a general self-help book, but has value if interested in the company.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 09-21-17


This book was awesome. Great to hear and listen to someone that has had great financial success talk about principles. I would love to be in Ray Dalio inner circle. So much wisdom and knowledge that you can learn from. I'm developing my own principles now while also noting down Rays. Awesome book and many thanks for writing this gem.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 02-07-18

Too lengthy, internal code for BridgeWater's staff

The book can be cut to one-tenth in volume without losing much detail.
The gist of the book is about how the author sees his organizstion as a machine with people as its parts. The principles given in this regard are blueprints without much delving into reasoning. Mostly useful as a code of conduct and practice for BridgeWater people.
I expected much more from this book.

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8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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