Principles By Ray Dalio: Summary And Notes

Lessons from the most successful hedge fund manager ever

Dan Silvestre
12 min readMay 13, 2021


“If you work hard and think creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want.”

Rating: 9/10

Related: The Changing World Order, Your Next Five Moves, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Work The System, Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Principles By Ray Dalio: Short Summary

In Principles, Ray Dalio lays down the rules and frameworks he uses to navigate his life. The book explores truth-seeking, decision-making, and the implementation of systems to achieve success. Afterward, Ray goes over the management principles he used to build his multibillion-dollar hedge fund, Bridgewater.

Part 1: The Importance Of Principles

What Are Principles And Why Do They Matter?

All principles come from a set of values.

Your values are what you consider important and they define who you want to be. However, they are not practical to use when you are faced with tough decisions.

For example:

One of your values can be to “live a healthy lifestyle”. But what does “being healthy” mean in practice? What are the daily decisions you are going to make to be more health-conscious?

Instead of using your values to make decisions, you should defer to principles.

“Without principles, you would be forced to react to circumstances that come at you without considering what you value most and how to make choices to get what you want. This would prevent you from making the most of your life.”

The problem compounds in companies because there is no playbook on how to operate in a way that is consistent with the company’s values.

Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values.

“Principles connect your values to your actions; they are beacons that guide your actions, and help you successfully deal with…



Dan Silvestre

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