An Amazing Book with Invaluable Insights || Principles – by Ray Dalio

What are your principles for success? Do you have any?

Every successful person you’ll ever meet operates within a certain set of principles. In this post, I will be reviewing Ray Dalio’s book – Principles: Life and Work. It’s a collection of principles that helped him achieve success.

The book is structured in three parts:

  1.  Where I’m coming from: Ray shares his journey, experiences, mistakes, learnings that led to discovering his principles.
  2. Life Principles:  Ray’s approach to life which I would say was the best part of the book.
  3. Work Principles: The culture behind his hedge fund company Bridgewater Associates.

I loved the perception and the thought process behind the context of each principle. It adds a lot of value, brings clarity, and makes it easy to understand. Reading through it felt like guidelines that were backed with neurology and psychology. The insights, wisdom, and knowledge especially about the financial markets were invaluable.  

The first two principles and their following sub-principles were most impactful for me. It was about embracing reality, dealing with it and the five-step process to get what you want in life.

The read got a bit boring during work principles, but I must highlight that I don’t run a company, hence I skimmed and scanned through some of these principles. Some work principles were relatable in my personal life too.

The author cautions that you need to use these Principles as a reference. Don’t copy them without reflecting on your goals.

I felt work principles is one section that you could avoid. They are related to the core foundation behind how Bridgewater Associates operates. Unless you are interested to learn about its culture, hiring, training and firing principles and Bridgewater evolves over time, you can avoid it. But life principles are worth reading.

Besides, if you love financial markets and want to learn about trading and investments, part one would be an interesting read. You will learn quite a lot. It used a lot of graphical data and charts. Ray’s insights on important topics like the 2008 depression, policymaking and the European debt crisis was information and amazing.

Five principles that I felt was the most impactful are:

  1. Whatever circumstances life brings you; you will be more likely to succeed and find happiness if you take responsibility for your decisions.          
  2. Pain + Reflection = Progress 
  3. Man needs difficulties, they are necessary for health.
  4. Choosing a goal often means rejecting something you want to get other things that you want or need even more.
  5. Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have flexibility and self-accountability.

Final Thoughts:

I liked the book. The wisdom, insights and knowledge shared are invaluable. I recommend it if you are looking to learn the principles behind Ray’s success that will prompt you to discover your principles and add on to your existing ones, which is the author’s goal.

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Also, if you read a book that benefited you, I would like to share your story through my blog. If you have such a story, mail me at

See you later. Cheers!!! 

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