Principles – Ray Dalio | Review

Cover letters

The review is originally done for a school project, but I thought it’s good enough for a blog text. It fits perfectly with the theme of the page and Saavutus podcast. I can truly recommend this book to anyone!

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*Principles – Ray Dalio (Amazon)


Principles by Ray Dalio is a book about leadership. Ray Dalio is a founder of Bridgewater Associates, company is the fifth important private company in the USA. Bridgewater Associates have made more money in the world than any other hedge fund in history. Its net worth is roughly 140 billion dollars, and Ray Dalio himself belongs to the list of the wealthiest 100 in the world with over 17 billion dollars net worth.

In the book Principles, Ray Dalio tells his life story, how he eventually took Bridgewater Associates from his two-bedroom apartment to success. He also reveals all the tricks he learned and used about leadership during that journey.

Principles is a beautifully designed book with a lot of wise words and pictures. Pictures help the reader to understand things that Ray Dalio is trying to teach. It’s a convenient book, all about different kinds of principles that you can take in action right away (also, the name comes out of that). It helps you to be a better leader and a manager for your company.


The goal of the books is to teach you how to be a better leader. There are over 100 principles in the book; that’s why reading it once might not be enough. For example, Ray Dalio speaks about goal-setting, decision making, learning from mistakes, and teamwork. In the book are principles for all of that, and beyond. Principles that are easy to follow and anyone can do it.

Ray Dalio – Principles
Ray Dalio – Principles

Main topics

There are some principles which pop up again when you move on with the book. The first is that you have to be radically open-minded and radically transparent with everything you do. That will able you to be a fast learner and effective when some changes are happening around you. Ray says that ”You shouldn’t assume that you are always the best person to make decisions for yourself because often you aren’t.” (page 134). That sentence gets us to the next important topic, which is a radical truth. The truth will always bring more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships.

Ray uses powerful quotes through the book and says that pain plus reflection equals progress in any business and life itself. He shares his idea for the 5-step process to get anything you want, and it goes like this; set a clear goal, get into problems, diagnose why the problems occur, design a plan which helps, and push through to completion. And of course, there is detailed information in all of those steps.

The book also goes deep on hiring, friendships, and different responsibilities in a big company (they have over 1500 employees in Bridgewater Associates).

In a nutshell, the book has over 550 pages, and it’s a must-read for everyone who wants to be a better leader or a manager. It’s an impossible task to try to fit all the essential information from Principles in one page, or even in ten pages. An effective leader could base his whole company on the principles of this book.

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*Principles – Ray Dalio (Amazon)

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