Book Review: Principles by Ray Dalio

We don’t do book reviews often here on Big Brand Boys, but Principles by Ray Dalio deserves one. It serves as a guide to life, and to guide young people into success. These are the life lessons of a 69-year-old Multi-Billionaire and he’s made them available for everyone to benefit from. If you are focussed on self-improvement and enjoy reading advice from the older guys who’ve done it all, then this book could help you. The only question is, does the book do what it promises? Today we will review the book, and help you decide whether you should buy it or not.

The book is basically split up in 3 parts. The first part is an autobiography of Ray Dalio’s life, how he started Bridgewater and all the things he has accomplished in his life. It’s interesting to read, but not particularly helpful for if you aren’t interested in Dalio as a person, but more in his advice/lessons. The second part is about his life principles. These are to be read very carefully and you need to incorporate them into your life to benefit from them. The third part of the book is about work principles, and are more to be used as a database for managerial work problems you might encounter over the course of your career. Below you’ll find coverage on those parts, and our recommendations after that.

Life principles

The life principles of Ray Dalio are seriously awesome. They are practical, actionable and very well thought out. Dalio goes to big lengths explaining these principles, the inner workings of them, and how he came up with them and incorporated them in his life. Over his lifetime he’s made plenty of mistakes including a near bankruptcy in one of the greatest economic booms the US economy has ever experienced. These failures have made him a stronger person and taught him a few good lessons, from which he derived these principles. They’re not some generic advice that a self-improvement guru spits out to provide some temporary form of motivation. He explains them in great detail which enables you to fully take them in and really understand the core of the principles, because only then can you truly apply them in your life.

Work Principles

These principles might not apply to a younger audience as they are more aimed at managers and upper-level management. It might be a good idea to skim over them as a young guy, but don’t expect to get much from them if you’re not in a high-level executive position. For a manager, this is a completely different story. While reading these principles you will encounter plenty of recognizable problems and the solutions for them. Dalio has experienced his fair share of problems in the office while growing his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to a fortune-500 company. You can learn a lot from how he handled these problems, and apply them to your own decision making. It’s also good to keep the book close-by at work so whenever a difficult problem does arrive, you can quickly read what Dalio has to say about it.

Ray Dalio Principles quote

All in all, this book is a fantastic guide for anyone looking for unique insights from a Billionaire investor who made his way from the gutter to the top. Growing up in Long Island, Ray Dalio has worked his way up to become a major success and through his book Principles, you can get a feel for the attitude you need to adopt when striving for success. We highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for success and self-improvement. You can buy his book via Amazon and have it on your doorstep the next day.

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