Principles: Life and Work

Author(s): Ray Dalio

2017-11-21 3/10

The book opens with an autobiographical account about how Ray made his career in the financial markets. He spends a lot of time talking about how you should have well-defined principles for making decisions and then put those principles into a computer program to help you make decisions.

The second part is a huge list of “life principles” and the third part is an equally huge list of “work principles”. I didn’t find these all that useful. There was a lot of repetition, and they felt too abstract and arbitrary to be applicable to anything I’m doing.

Overall I found the book underwhelming, however these quotes resonated with me:

The success of this approach taught me a principle that I apply to all parts of my life: 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.

Then later:

And it reminded me that when faced with the choice between two things you need that are seemingly at odds, go slowly to figure out how you can have as much of both as possible. There is almost always a good path that you just haven’t figured out yet, so look for it until you find it rather than settle for the choice that is then apparent to you.