Entrepreneurs / Investors

76 Ray Dalio Quotes on Life & Work (PRINCIPLES)

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12 of the Best Ray Dalio Quotes to Inspire Success

“School typically doesn’t prepare young people for real-life — unless their lives are spent following instructions and pleasing others. In my opinion, that’s why so many students who succeed in school fail in life.”

Ray Dalio
He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass.
He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass.
If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.
If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.
Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.
Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.
It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning.
It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning.
Choose your habits well. Habit is probably the most powerful tool in your brain’s toolbox.
Choose your habits well. Habit is probably the most powerful tool in your brain’s toolbox.

“Every time you confront something painful, you are at a potentially important juncture in your life – you have the opportunity to choose healthy and painful truth or unhealthy but comfortable delusion.”

Ray Dalio
Truth - more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality - is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.
Truth – more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.
To make money in the markets, you have to think independently and be humble.
To make money in the markets, you have to think independently and be humble.
If you can’t successfully do something, don’t think you can tell others how it should be done.
If you can’t successfully do something, don’t think you can tell others how it should be done.
The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and ideally write them down, especially if you are working with others.
The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and ideally write them down, especially if you are working with others.
There are two main drivers of asset class returns — inflation and growth.
There are two main drivers of asset class returns — inflation and growth.

64 Famous Ray Dalio Quotes on Failure, Leadership, Investing, and Money

“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.”

Ray Dalio
Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.
Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.
Above all else, I want you to think for yourself, to decide 1) What you want, 2) What is true and 3) What to do about it.
Above all else, I want you to think for yourself, to decide 1) What you want, 2) What is true and 3) What to do about it.
Success comes from knowing what you don’t know, more than coming from what you do know.
Success comes from knowing what you don’t know, more than coming from what you do know.
Don’t worry about looking good – worry about achieving your goals.
Don’t worry about looking good – worry about achieving your goals.
Demand is best measured in terms of spending.
Demand is best measured in terms of spending.

“Look for people who have lots of great questions. Smart people are the ones who ask the most thoughtful questions, as opposed to thinking they have all the answers. Great questions are a much better indicator of future success than great answers.”

Ray Dalio
The happiest people discover their own nature and match their life to it.
The happiest people discover their own nature and match their life to it.
If you don’t look at yourself and think, ‘Wow how stupid I was a year ago,’ then you must not have learned much in the last year.
If you don’t look at yourself and think, ‘Wow how stupid I was a year ago,’ then you must not have learned much in the last year.
Remember that the only purpose of money is to get you what you want, so think hard about what you value and put it above money.
Remember that the only purpose of money is to get you what you want, so think hard about what you value and put it above money.
Don’t just pay attention to your job; pay attention to how your job will be done if you are no longer around.
Don’t just pay attention to your job; pay attention to how your job will be done if you are no longer around.
I just want to be right—I don’t care if the right answer comes from me.
I just want to be right—I don’t care if the right answer comes from me.

“Some people go through life collecting all kinds of observations and opinions like pocket lint, instead of just keeping what they need. They have ‘detail anxiety’, worrying about unimportant things.”

Ray Dalio
Pain + Reflection = Progress
Pain + Reflection = Progress
The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.
The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.
The people who work for you should constantly challenge you. Don’t hire people just to fit the first job they will do; hire people you want to share your life with.
The people who work for you should constantly challenge you. Don’t hire people just to fit the first job they will do; hire people you want to share your life with.

I saw that to do exceptionally well you have to push your limits and that, if you push your limits, you will crash and it will hurt a lot. You will think you have failed—but that won’t be true unless you give up.

Ray Dalio
If you are not aggressive, you are not going to make money, and if you are not defensive, you are not going to keep money.
If you are not aggressive, you are not going to make money, and if you are not defensive, you are not going to keep money.

“Having the basics—a good bed to sleep in, good relationships, good food, and good sex—is most important, and those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less. And the people meet at the top aren’t necessarily more special than those who meet at the bottom or in between.”

Ray Dalio
The average man "tends to buy high and sell low."
The average man “tends to buy high and sell low.”
In order to be successful, you're betting against the consensus, and you have to be right.
In order to be successful, you’re betting against the consensus, and you have to be right.
If you don’t own gold, you know neither history nor economics.
If you don’t own gold, you know neither history nor economics.
Most of life’s greatest opportunities come out of moments of struggle; it’s up to you to make the most of these tests of creativity and character.
Most of life’s greatest opportunities come out of moments of struggle; it’s up to you to make the most of these tests of creativity and character.
It’s more important to do big things well than to do the small things perfectly.
It’s more important to do big things well than to do the small things perfectly.

“Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.”

Ray Dalio
Not being controlled by an emotion helps to see things at a higher level.
Not being controlled by an emotion helps to see things at a higher level.
Mistakes are the path to progress.
Mistakes are the path to progress.
The more you think you know, the more closed-minded you’ll be.
The more you think you know, the more closed-minded you’ll be.
You must not let your need to be right be more important than your need to find out what’s true.
You must not let your need to be right be more important than your need to find out what’s true.
More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to their potential from those who don’t is a willingness to look at themselves and others objectively.
More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to their potential from those who don’t is a willingness to look at themselves and others objectively.
If your objective is to be as good, as you can be, then you’re going to want criticism.
If your objective is to be as good, as you can be, then you’re going to want criticism.

Time is like a river that carries us forward into encounters with reality that require us to make decisions. We can’t stop our movement down this river and we can’t avoid those encounters. We can only approach them in the best possible way.”

Ray Dalio
Experience taught me how invaluable it is to reflect on and write down my decision-making criteria whenever I made a decision, so I got in the habit of doing that.
Experience taught me how invaluable it is to reflect on and write down my decision-making criteria whenever I made a decision, so I got in the habit of doing that.
Don’t let the little things divide you when your agreement on the big things should bind you.
Don’t let the little things divide you when your agreement on the big things should bind you.
Remember that weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
Remember that weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
Because our educational system is hung up on precision, the art of being good at approximations is insufficiently valued. This impedes conceptual thinking.
Because our educational system is hung up on precision, the art of being good at approximations is insufficiently valued. This impedes conceptual thinking.
Nature gave us pain as a messaging device to tell us that we are approaching, or that we have exceeded, our limits in some way.
Nature gave us pain as a messaging device to tell us that we are approaching, or that we have exceeded, our limits in some way.
Remember that in great partnerships, consideration and generosity are more important than money.
Remember that in great partnerships, consideration and generosity are more important than money.

“People who worry about looking good typically hide what they don’t know and hide their weaknesses, so they never learn how to properly deal with them and these weaknesses remain impediments in the future.”

Ray Dalio
To test if you are worrying too much about looking good, observe how you feel when you find out you’ve made a mistake or don’t know something.
To test if you are worrying too much about looking good, observe how you feel when you find out you’ve made a mistake or don’t know something.
Remember that most people are happiest when they are improving and doing the things that suit them naturally and help them advance.
Remember that most people are happiest when they are improving and doing the things that suit them naturally and help them advance.
Great is better than terrible, and terrible is better than mediocre, because terrible at least gives life flavor.
Great is better than terrible, and terrible is better than mediocre, because terrible at least gives life flavor.
Recognize that having an effective idea meritocracy requires that you understand the merit of each person’s ideas.
Recognize that having an effective idea meritocracy requires that you understand the merit of each person’s ideas.
Don’t mistake possibilities for probabilities. Anything is possible. It’s the probabilities that matter. Everything must be weighed in terms of its likelihood and prioritized.
Don’t mistake possibilities for probabilities. Anything is possible. It’s the probabilities that matter. Everything must be weighed in terms of its likelihood and prioritized.

“If you can stare hard at your problems, they almost always shrink or disappear, because you almost always find a better way of dealing with them than if you don’t face them head-on. The more difficult the problem, the more important it is that you stare at it and deal with it.”

Ray Dalio
People who confuse what they wish were true with what is really true create distorted pictures of reality that make it impossible for them to make the best choices.
People who confuse what they wish were true with what is really true create distorted pictures of reality that make it impossible for them to make the best choices.
Great people are hard to find so make sure you think about how to keep them.
Great people are hard to find so make sure you think about how to keep them.
Most fundamental work principle: Make your passion and your work one and the same and do it with people you want to be with.
Most fundamental work principle: Make your passion and your work one and the same and do it with people you want to be with.
By and large, life will give you what you deserve.
By and large, life will give you what you deserve.
Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have flexibility and self-accountability.
Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have flexibility and self-accountability.

“For every mistake that you learn from you will save thousands of similar mistakes in the future, so if you treat mistakes as learning opportunities that yield rapid improvements you should be excited by them. But if you treat them as bad things, you will make yourself and others miserable, and you won’t grow.”

Ray Dalio
Idealists who are not well grounded in reality create problems, not progress.
Idealists who are not well grounded in reality create problems, not progress.
The greatest tragedy of mankind, is people who have opinions that are wrong.
The greatest tragedy of mankind, is people who have opinions that are wrong.
When you think that it’s too hard, remember that in the long run, doing the things that will make you successful is a lot easier than being unsuccessful.
When you think that it’s too hard, remember that in the long run, doing the things that will make you successful is a lot easier than being unsuccessful.
I believe that all organizations basically have two types of people: those who work to be part of a mission, and those who work for a paycheck.
I believe that all organizations basically have two types of people: those who work to be part of a mission, and those who work for a paycheck.
The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist.
The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist.

“Do not feel bad about your mistakes or those of others. Love them! Remember that one: they are to be expected; two: they’re the first and most essential part of the learning process; three: feeling bad about them will prevent you from getting better.”

Ray Dalio
I came to see that people’s greatest weaknesses are the flip sides of their greatest strengths.
I came to see that people’s greatest weaknesses are the flip sides of their greatest strengths.
People with good work habits have to-do lists that are reasonably prioritized, and they make themselves do what needs to be done.
People with good work habits have to-do lists that are reasonably prioritized, and they make themselves do what needs to be done.
Be wary of the arrogant intellectual who comments from the stands without having played on the field.
Be wary of the arrogant intellectual who comments from the stands without having played on the field.
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.
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.
Every game has principles that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does life.
Every game has principles that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does life.
I think that the first thing is you should have a strategic asset allocation mix that assumes that you don’t know what the future is going to hold.
I think that the first thing is you should have a strategic asset allocation mix that assumes that you don’t know what the future is going to hold.

“Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to them directly, and don’t try people without accusing them to their face. Badmouthing people behind their backs shows a serious lack of integrity and is counterproductive. It doesn’t yield any beneficial change, and it subverts both the people you are badmouthing and the environment as a whole.”

Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio Short Biography

Born on 8 August 1949 in New York City, U.S., Raymond Thomas Dalio is an American billionaire who founded Bridgewater Associates (1975) after graduating with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Today, Bridgewater Associates is the world’s largest hedge fund firm which manages over $160 billion.

Since 1985, Ray Dalio serves as a co-chief investment officer for his company and has attained marvelous achievements under his belt.

In 2017, Institutional Investor ranked Ray Dalio fourth on its hedge fund managers list, and in 2018, Forbes ranked Dalio as the 67th-richest person in the world.

As of July 2020, Ray Dalio has a net worth of $18 billion and has donated over $760 million to philanthropic causes. Particularly to the Dalio Foundation (aka Dalio Philanthropies) that supports microfinance and inner-city education.

Further reading:

Here are the best Ray Dalio quotes so you can create independent opinions and use them to your advantage to achieve financial success.

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