Raymond Dalio (born August 8, 1949) is an American billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. Dalio is the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. As of January 2018, he is one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people, according to Bloomberg.
- “Embrace Reality and Deal with It
1.1 Be a hyperrealist.
- a. Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life.
1.2 Truth—or, more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality—is the essential foundation for any good outcome.
1.3 Be radically open-minded and radically transparent.
- a. Radical open-mindedness and radical transparency are invaluable for rapid learning and effective change.”
- b. “Don’t let fears of what others think of you stand in your way.
- c. Embracing radical truth and radical transparency will bring more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships.
1.4 Look to nature to learn how reality works.
- a. Don’t get hung up on your views of how things “should” be because you will miss out on learning how they really are.
- b. To be “good,” something must operate consistently with the laws of reality and contribute to the evolution of the whole; that is what is most rewarded.
- c. Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything.
- d. Evolve or die.
1.5 Evolving is life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest reward.
- a. The individual’s incentives must be aligned with the group’s goals.
- b. Reality is optimizing for the whole—not for you.
- c. Adaptation through rapid trial and error is invaluable.
- d. Realize that you are simultaneously everything and nothing—and decide what you want to be.
- e. What you will be will depend on the perspective you have.
1.6 Understand nature’s practical lessons.
- a. Maximize your evolution.
- b. Remember “no pain, no gain.”
- c. “It is a fundamental law of nature that in order to gain strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful.
1.7 Pain + Reflection = Progress.
- a. Go to the pain rather than avoid it.
- b. Embrace tough love.
1.8 Weigh second- and third-order consequences.
1.9 Own your outcomes.
1.10 Look at the machine from the higher level.
- a. Think of yourself as a machine operating within a machine and know that you have the ability to alter your machines to produce better outcomes.
- b. By comparing your outcomes with your goals, you can determine how to modify your machine.
- c. Distinguish between you as the designer of your machine and you as a worker with your machine.
- d. The biggest mistake most people make is to not see themselves and others objectively, which leads them to bump into their own and others’ weaknesses again and again.
- e. Successful people are those who can go above themselves to see things objectively and manage those things to shape change.
- f. Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t be doing.
- g. Because it is difficult to see oneself objectively, you need to rely on the input of others and the whole body”
- h. If you are open-minded enough and determined, you can get virtually anything you want.
2 Use the 5-Step Process to Get What You Want Out of Life
2.1 Have clear goals.
- a. Prioritize: While you can have virtually anything you want, you can’t have everything you want.
- b. Don’t confuse goals with desires.
- c. Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your goals and your desires.
- d. Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself.
- e. Never rule out a goal because you think it’s unattainable.
- f. Remember that great expectations create great capabilities.
- g. Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have a) flexibility and b) self-accountability.
- h. Knowing how to deal well with your setbacks is as important as knowing how to move forward.
2.2 Identify and don’t tolerate problems.
- a. View painful problems as potential improvements that are screaming at you.
- b. Don’t avoid confronting problems because they are rooted in harsh realities that are unpleasant to look at.
- c. Be specific in identifying your problems.
- d. Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem.
- e. Distinguish big problems from small ones.”
- f. “Once you identify a problem, don’t tolerate it.
2.3 Diagnose problems to get at their root causes.
- a. Focus on the “what is” before deciding “what to do about it.”
- b. Distinguish proximate causes from root causes.
- c. Recognize that knowing what someone (including you) is like will tell you what you can expect from them.
2.4 Design a plan.
- a. Go back before you go forward.
- b. Think about your problem as a set of outcomes produced by a machine.
- c. Remember that there are typically many paths to achieving your goals.
- d. Think of your plan as being like a movie script in that you visualize who will do what through time.
- e. Write down your plan for everyone to see and to measure your progress against.
- f. Recognize that it doesn’t take a lot of time to design a good plan.
2.5 Push through to completion.
- a. Great planners who don’t execute their plans go nowhere.
- b. Good work habits are vastly underrated.
- c. Establish clear metrics to make certain that you are following your plan.
2.6 Remember that weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
- a. Look at the patterns of your mistakes and identify at which step in the 5-Step Process you typically fail.
- b. “Everyone has at least one big thing that stands in the way of their success; find yours and deal with it.
2.7 Understand your own and others’ mental maps and humility.
3 Be Radically Open-Minded
3.1 Recognize your two barriers.
- a. Understand your ego barrier.
- b. Your two “yous” fight to control you.
- c. Understand your blind spot barrier.
3.2 Practice radical open-mindedness.
- a. Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible path and recognize that your ability to deal well with “not knowing” is more important than whatever it is you do know.
- b. Recognize that decision making is a two-step process: First take in all the relevant information, then decide.
- c. Don’t worry about looking good; worry about achieving your goal.
- d. Realize that you can’t put out without taking in.
- e. Recognize that to gain the perspective that comes from seeing things through another’s eyes, you must suspend judgment for a time—only by empathizing can you properly evaluate another point of view.
- f. Remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.
- g. Be clear on whether you are arguing or seeking to understand, and think about which is most appropriate based on your and others’ believability.”
- h. “Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement.
3.4 Triangulate your view with believable people who are willing to disagree.
a. Plan for the worst-case scenario to make it as good as possible.
3.5 Recognize the signs of closed-mindedness and open-mindedness that you should watch out for.
3.6 Understand how you can become radically open-minded.
- a. Regularly use pain as your guide toward quality reflection.
- b. Make being open-minded a habit.
- c. Get to know your blind spots.
- d. If a number of different believable people say you are doing something wrong and you are the only one who doesn’t see it that way, assume that you are probably biased.
- e. Meditate.
- f. Be evidence-based and encourage others to be the same.
- g. Do everything in your power to help others also be open-minded.
- h. Use evidence-based decision-making tools.
- i. Know when it’s best to stop fighting and have faith in your decision-making process.
4 Understand That People Are Wired Very Differently
4.1 Understand the power that comes from knowing how you and others are wired.”
- a. “We are born with attributes that can both help us and hurt us, depending on their application.
4.2 Meaningful work and meaningful relationships aren’t just nice things we chose for ourselves—they are genetically programmed into us.
4.3 Understand the great brain battles and how to control them to get what “you” want.
- a. Realize that the conscious mind is in a battle with the subconscious mind.
- b. Know that the most constant struggle is between feeling and thinking.
- c. Reconcile your feelings and your thinking.
- d. Choose your habits well.
- e. Train your “lower-level you” with kindness and persistence to build the right habits.
- f. Understand the differences between right-brained and left-brained thinking.
- g. Understand how much the brain can and cannot change.
4.4 Find out what you and others are like.
- a. Introversion vs. extroversion.
- b. Intuiting vs. sensing.
- c. Thinking vs. feeling.
- d. Planning vs. perceiving.
- e. Creators vs. refiners vs. advancers vs. executors vs. flexors.
- f. Focusing on tasks vs. focusing on goals.
- g. Workplace Personality Inventory.”
- h. “Shapers are people who can go from visualization to actualization.
4.5 Getting the right people in the right roles in support of your goal is the key to succeeding at whatever you choose to accomplish.
- a. Manage yourself and orchestrate others to get what you want.
5 Learn How to Make Decisions Effectively
5.1 Recognize that 1) the biggest threat to good decision making is harmful emotions, and 2) decision making is a two-step process (first learning and then deciding).
5.2 Synthesize the situation at hand.
- a. One of the most important decisions you can make is who you ask questions of.
- b. Don’t believe everything you hear.
- c. Everything looks bigger up close.
- d. New is overvalued relative to great.
- e. Don’t oversqueeze dots.
5.3 Synthesize the situation through time.
- a. Keep in mind both the rates of change and the levels of things, and the relationships between them.
- b. Be imprecise.
- c. Remember the 80/20 Rule and know what the key 20 percent is.
- d. Be an imperfectionist.
5.4 Navigate levels effectively.
- a. Use the terms “above the line” and “below the line” to establish which level a conversation is on.”
- b. “Remember that decisions need to be made at the appropriate level, but they should also be consistent across levels.
5.5 Logic, reason, and common sense are your best tools for synthesizing reality and understanding what to do about it.
5.6 Make your decisions as expected value calculations.
- a. Raising the probability of being right is valuable no matter what your probability of being right already is.
- b. Knowing when not to bet is as important as knowing what bets are probably worth making.
- c. The best choices are the ones that have more pros than cons, not those that don’t have any cons at all.
5.7 Prioritize by weighing the value of additional information against the cost of not deciding.
- a. All of your “must-dos” must be above the bar before you do your “like-to-dos.”
- b. Chances are you won’t have time to deal with the unimportant things, which is better than not having time to deal with the important things.
- c. Don’t mistake possibilities for probabilities.
5.9 Use principles.
5.10 Believability weight your decision making.
5.11 Convert your principles into algorithms and have the computer make decisions alongside you.
5.12 Be cautious about AI without having deep understanding.
Learn more about Ray Dalio:
- His recent new book Principles: Life and Work
- His 2017 TED Talk: How to build a company where the best ideas win
- His video “How The Economic Machine Works” (Economic Principles)
- His investment hedge fund Bridgewater Associates (largest hedge fund in the world)