Books Written and Recommended by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is the Founder of Bridgewater Associates. From 1975 he grew his fund into the fifth most important private company in the US. As of June 2021, his hedge fund manages roughly $140 billion in total assets. According to Forbes, Ray Dalio is the 88th richest person in the world with a net worth of approximately $20.3 billion.

Bridgewater Associates’ average return over the last 28 years has been 12% per year. That is almost double the average return of the S&P 500 which is about 7% after inflation.

Read next: Ray Dalio Portfolio Analysis in 2021

Ray Dalio often says that he is currently in the phase of transferring knowledge to others. In his interviews, he highlights some books that are worth reading, and he is the author of several of them. In the next part of the post, you will be able to find books written and recommended by Ray Dalio.

Books Written by Ray Dalio

Big Debt Crises

As you all already know, Dalio believes everything happens in cycles – over and over again. And he strongly believes if you study those cycles, you will be able to find the cause-effect relationships and act on them in your favor. The book is exactly about that – Ray Dalio explains how big debt crises arise in order to better address them in the future.

This book is ideal for investors and policymakers to avoid and respond to debt crises. However, it does not provide any recommendations nor includes any discussion of positions that should be taken. It’s up to you to draw your own conclusions as far as what you should do to protect yourself in the event of a crisis.

A good read for those interested in debt crises around the world with a lot of detail.

Principles: Life and Work

Written by Ray Dalio himself in 2017. In this book Dalio writes with a strong emphasis on easy-to-follow outlines and visuals that reinforce the storyline, making it even more actionable and easy to reapply to one’s life or work.

One of the biggest things he talks about is brutal honesty, and how it makes everyone better. Obviously, you can’t start being brutally honest with everyone, but you can ask others to be brutally honest about you.

Another interesting discussion in the book is about focusing on determining what is true (opposed to what you want to be true).

To conclude, there is plenty of useful and interesting stuff in this book that could help you have a more successful life.

Principles for Success

This is another book written by Ray in 2005. Again, in an easy-to-read and entertaining format, Ray lays out principles that helped him become one of the world’s most successful people.

Principles for Success is much simpler than Principles: Life and Work. I think this book is great for young people and children to read or even adults who haven’t yet made time to delve into Principles.

The book has some illustrations that certainly pull kids in. And it is always a good lesson for them to understand that they may make far better decisions in life if they open their minds to other, possibly very valid, points of view.

Both of these books are great. However, I would recommend reading Principles: Life and Work, while Principles for Success which is also a good read, can be a great gift for the younger generation if you want to buy them something useful and of value.

Books Recommended by Ray Dalio

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

In this book, Campbell demonstrates the commonality of many myths and stories and also provides the adventure of the Hero’s Journey which is full of research, passion and work.

Campbell spends a lot of time psychoanalyzing things, through dream interpretation and lots of Freudian approaches. This book is also written in professor-speak, designed to sound academic and deep language.

You’ll also get introduced to more myths and mythologies than you ever imagined. Campbell’s knowledge of world mythologies is staggering.

The Lessons of History by Durant

In school, I didn’t like most of the history, but just certain interesting parts. If only I had been given this to read then. I would recommend this book to anyone. It’s very short, very punchy and a very good read.

The book is an excellent summary of some key insights that History offers. It captures many of the lessons that other authors grapple with in lengthy expositions. If you like learning about macro themes and “long cycle” type ideas, then this might be a good match for you.

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life by Dawkins

In it Dawkins tried to show what evolution actually means by comparing how evolution works to things we know from everyday life, like rivers, and digital signals, so that it can be accessible to reasonably bright none scientists.

Not too long and not too lumbered with detail, it takes the reader through genes, DNA and natural selection – via African Eve and blindfolded bees – in a beautifully written account peppered with anecdotes and various mind-boggling facts and figures that will explain just enough to inspire you to read more.

Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation by Bob Roth

As the title of the book itself says, the main purpose of the book is to explain the impact of meditation in a simple way with real-life examples. Dalio strongly believes in meditation and that is the reason he recommends this book.

This is an inspiring, uplifting, informative, easy-to-read book that gives great promise for people who want to be happier, healthier, and more successful in the different aspects of their life.

Lots of information and real stories about real people meditating and the benefits they get. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to live a better quality of life no matter their current situation.

Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius by Hans

This book describes the scientific discovery as a process that includes error and insight, pitfalls and breakthroughs.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is inspired by science. The book exposes many biographical facts and neat physical themes, and also is a brutal critique of Einstein. The combination of these two makes it very interesting to read.

Super Mind by Rosenthal

Ray Dalio often emphasizes the importance of meditation, and he further recommended two books on meditation that confirm how important he considers meditation.

This book is really eye-opening. As the description of the book itself say – it shows how the incredibly simple daily practice of Transcendental Meditation can permanently alter your state of mind during the routine hours of waking life – placing you into a super-mind state of “cosmic consciousness” where you consistently perform at peak aptitude.

Now when you know what the book is about, why not try it? With meditation you can improve daily consciousness, resulting in greater productivity, emotional resilience, and aptitude for success.

Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side by Marks

At last, Ray Dalio recommended reading list includes the book about the economy and investing.

Written by Howard Marks who is chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm with $80 billion under management.

In his book, Howard will teach you about various general strategies and explain why you should watch market cycles.

“Howard Marks’s Mastering the Market Cycle is a must-read, because the cycles covered in this book are important and because Howard is one of the investing greats of his generation.”

– Ray Dalio, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Co-Chairman, Bridgewater Associates

“I always say, ‘There’s no better teacher than history in determining the future.’ Howard’s book tells us how to learn from history . . . and thus get a better idea of what the future holds.”

Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

The book is a good read. However, I believe it could be written on fewer pages. There is some repetition of material that can be useful for learning, but not so desirable if you don’t have time.


Since this is Ray Dalio’s list of recommended books, I would assume there will be more investing and economic topics covered. But through his list of books, it is noticeable how he recommends books for a larger population of people to make the world a better place.

By reading the books on this list, or at least some of them, you will be able to think in some way like our popular CEO Ray Dalio. As a result, you will make better decisions and see some new perspectives you didn’t even know about yet.

Disclaimer: This post consists of referral links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. No additional costs are added to the buyer.

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