Ray Dalio, an American billionaire investor and co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is renowned for his insights on success, investing and principles.
Born in New York City in 1949, Dalio started investing at the tender age of 12.
He later studied at C.W. Post College of Long Island University and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1973.
Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates in his apartment in 1975, which by 2013 had grown to be the world’s largest hedge fund.
In 2020, he was ranked as the world’s 79th-wealthiest individual by Bloomberg. Dalio’s business acumen and investment philosophy are well-documented in his 2017 book “Principles: Life & Work”, which made The New York Times bestseller list.
His early experience caddying for Wall Street professionals and working summer jobs in trading firms shaped his trajectory towards a successful career in finance.
I have made a list of some of the top quotes from Ray Dalio for you.
Inspirational Ray Dalio Quotes
The big question is: When will the term structure of interest rates change? That’s the question to be worried about. ~ Ray Dalio.
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. ~ Ray Dalio.
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. ~ Ray Dalio.
Nature is a machine. The family is a machine. The life cycle is like a machine. ~ Ray Dalio.
In the end, what matters most is that the people you work with share your values, so I’ve wanted people who value the meaningful work and meaningful relationships that always motivated me in building Bridgewater. ~ Ray Dalio.
A beautiful deleveraging balances the three options. In other words, there is a certain amount of austerity, there is a certain amount of debt restructuring, and there is a certain amount of printing of money. When done in the right mix, it isn’t dramatic. ~ Ray Dalio.
In China anything less than 6% growth is a recession meaning that it also causes financial problems and it’s disruptive and it’s a problem. ~ Ray Dalio.
Best Ray Dalio Quotes
Find the most believable people possible who disagree with you and try to understand their reasoning. Having open-minded conversations with believable people who disagree with you is the quickest way to get an education and to increase your probability of being right. ~ Ray Dalio.
Pull in your belt, spend less, and reduce debt. ~ Raymond Thomas Dalio.
I believe that one of the best ways of getting at truth is reflecting with others who have opposing views and who share your interest in finding the truth rather than being proven right. ~ Ray Dalio.
I’m just saying that if you understand how the economic machine works, it just works like a machine. There are cause-effect relationships. ~ Ray Dalio.
If you don’t own Gold, you know neither history nor economics. ~ Ray Thomas Dalio.
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.
People who acquire things beyond their usefulness not only will derive little or no marginal gains from these acquisitions, but they also will experience negative consequences, as with any form of gluttony. ~ Ray Dalio.
In trading you have to be defensive and aggressive at the same time. 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. ~ Ray Dalio.
I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure. ~ Ray Dalio.
It all comes down to interest rates. As an investor, all you’re doing is putting up a lump-sum payment for a future cash flow. ~ Ray Dalio.
Once we get the things we are striving for, we rarely remain satisfied with them. The things are just the bait. Chasing after them forces us to evolve, and it is the evolution and not the rewards themselves that matters to us and to those around us. This means that for most people success is struggling and evolving as effectively as possible. ~ Ray Dalio.
I could see that making judgments about people so that they are tried and sentenced in your head, without asking them for their perspective, is both unethical and unproductive. So I learned to love real integrity and to despise the lack of it. ~ Ray Dalio.
Inspiring Ray Dalio Quotes
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. ~ Ray Dalio.
I also believe that everyone needs to think independently and make their own decisions on what makes the most sense. ~ Ray Dalio.
When people get at each other’s throat, the rich and the poor and the Left and the Right and so on, and you have a basic breakdown, that becomes very threatening. ~ Ray Dalio.
Any damn fool can make it complex. It takes a genius to make it simple. ~ Ray Dalio.
Systemize your decision making. ~ Ray Dalio.
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; and three: feeling bad about them will prevent you from getting better. ~ Ray Dalio.
What matters most is that the people you work with share your values. ~ Ray Dalio.
Know what your people are like, and make sure they do their jobs excellently. ~ Ray Dalio.
Everyone has to decide for themselves what works for them and their organization. ~ Ray Dalio.
Life is like a giant smorgasbord of more delicious alternatives than you can ever hope to taste. So you have to reject having some things you want in order to get other things you want more. ~ Ray Dalio.
Success is achieved by people who deeply understand reality and know how to use it to get what they want. The converse is also true: idealists who are not well-grounded in reality create problems, not progress. ~ Ray Dalio.
Watch out for people who think it’s embarrassing not to know. ~ 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. ~ Ray Dalio.
Constantly probe the people who report to you, and encourage them to probe you. ~ Ray Dalio.
Powerful Ray Dalio Quotes
The key is to fail, learn, and improve quickly. If you’re constantly learning and improving, your evolutionary process will be ascending. Do it poorly, it will be descending. So I believe evolving is life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest award. ~ 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. ~ Ray Dalio.
I pay about a third in taxes, I give away about a third, and I follow the law. ~ Ray Dalio.
I can be stressed, or tired, and I can go into a meditation and it all just flows off of me. I’ll come out of it refreshed and centered and that’s how I’ll feel and it’ll carry through the day. ~ Ray Dalio.
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.
I don’t get caught up in the moment. ~ Ray Dalio.
Successful people ask for the criticism of others and consider its merit. ~ Ray Dalio.
Demand is best measured in terms of spending. You know, I think in traditional economics, it’s a mistake to measure it in terms of the quantity of goods. ~ Ray Dalio.
I believe that for the most part, achieving success – whatever that is for you – is mostly a matter of personal choice and that, initially, making the right choices can be difficult. ~ Ray Dalio.
Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. ~ Ray Dalio.
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.
Motivational Ray Dalio Quotes
Radical transparency fosters goodness in so many ways for the same reasons that bad things are more likely to take place behind closed doors. ~ Ray Dalio.
You should have a strategic asset allocation mix that assumes that you don’t know what the future is going to hold. ~ Ray Dalio.
To make money in the markets, you have to think independently and be humble. ~ Ray Dalio.
I was about twenty and the Beatles were meditating and I heard about it and they had a center in New York and I came to the center and I learned about it. ~ Ray Dalio.
Don’t worry about looking good – worry about achieving your goals. ~ Ray Dalio.
Watch out for people who confuse goals and tasks, because if they can’t make that distinction, you can’t trust them with responsibilities. ~ Ray Dalio.
Over the long run, the price of gold approximates the total amount of money in circulation divided by the size of the gold stock. If the market price of gold moves a long way from this level, it may indicate a buying or selling opportunity. ~ Ray Dalio.
When two intelligent parties disagree, that’s when the potential for learning and moving ahead begins. ~ Ray Dalio.
In return, society rewards those who give it what it wants. That is why how much money people have earned is a rough measure of how much they gave society what it wanted. ~ Ray Dalio.
I believe that dreamers who simply imagine things that would be nice but are not possible don’t sufficiently appreciate the laws of the universe to understand the true implications of their desires, much less how to achieve them. ~ Ray Dalio.
There are two main drivers of asset class returns – inflation and growth. ~ Ray Dalio.
What I’m trying to say is that for the average investor, what I would encourage them to do is to understand that there’s inflation and growth. It can go higher and lower and to have four different portfolios essentially that make up your entire portfolio that gets you balanced. ~ Ray Dalio.
Ask yourself whether you have earned the right to have an opinion. Opinions are easy to produce, so bad ones abound. Knowing that you don’t know something is nearly as valuable as knowing it. The worst situation is thinking you know something when you don’t. ~ Ray Dalio.
Truth – more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes. ~ Ray Dalio.
Famous Ray Dalio Quotes
Meditation helps you stay in a calm, clear-headed state so that when challenges come at you, you can deal with them like a ninja – in a calm thoughtful way. When you’re centered, your emotions are not hijacking you. ~ Ray Dalio.
Over the course of our lives, we make millions and millions of decisions that are essentially bets, some large and some small. It pays to think about how we make them because they are what ultimately determine the quality of our lives. ~ Ray Dalio.
Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all. ~ Ray Dalio.
Remember that experience creates internalization. Doing things repeatedly leads to internalization, which produces a quality of understanding that is generally vastly superior to intellectualized learning. ~ Ray Dalio.
I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one’s strengths and weaknesses are. ~ Ray Dalio.
There is slow growth, but it is positive slow growth. At the same time, ratios of debt-to-incomes go down. That’s a beautiful deleveraging. ~ Ray Dalio.
Treat your life like a game. ~ Ray Dalio.
The main reason I write the daily observations is because I want to know where I’m wrong. So lots of times if somebody points something out it helps me, and I want to have a diversified bet of uncorrelated bets. ~ Ray Dalio.
The world is still in deleveraging. ~ Ray Dalio.
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. ~ Ray Dalio.
Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values. Principles connect your values to your actions. ~ Ray Dalio.
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. ~ Ray Dalio.
You’ll see that excuses like “That’s not easy” are of no value and that it pays to push through it” at a pace you can handle. Like getting physically fit, the most important thing is that you keep moving forward at whatever pace you choose, recognizing the consequences of your actions. ~ Ray Dalio.
There is a strong tendency to get used to and accept very bad things that would be shocking if seen with fresh eyes. ~ Ray Dalio.
Top Ray Dalio Quotes
Look at what caused people to make a lot of money and you will see that usually it is in proportion to their production of what the society wanted. ~ Ray Dalio.
If it didn’t happen in your life before, then you’re not paying attention you don’t think it’s possible. But almost all important events never happen in your life before. ~ Ray Dalio.
An economy is not a complicated thing; it just has a lot of moving parts. ~ Ray Dalio.
The best advice I can give you is to ask yourself what do you want, then ask ‘what is true’ – and then ask yourself ‘what should be done about it.’ I believe that if you do this you will move much faster towards what you want to get out of life than if you don’t! ~ Ray Dalio.
I believe that we all get rewarded and punished according to whether we operate in harmony or in conflict with nature’s laws, and that all societies will succeed or fail in the degrees that they operate consistently with these laws. ~ Ray Dalio.
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.
I believe that understanding what is good is obtained by looking at the way the world works and figuring out how to operate in harmony with it to help it evolve. ~ Ray Dalio.
There is giant untapped potential in disagreement, especially if the disagreement is between two or more thoughtful people. ~ Ray Dalio.
It is a law of nature that you must do difficult things to gain strength and power. As with working out, after a while you make the connection between doing difficult things and the benefits you get from doing them, and you come to look forward to doing these difficult things. ~ Ray Dalio.
Embrace Reality and Deal with It. ~ Ray Dalio.
Because most people are more emotional than logical, they tend to overreact to short-term results; they give up and sell low when times are bad and buy too high when times are good. I find this is just as true for relationships as it is for investments – wise people stick with sound fundamentals through the ups and downs, while flighty people react emotionally to how things feel, jumping into things when they’re hot and abandoning them when they’re not. ~ Ray Dalio.
Popular Ray Dalio Quotes
When you’re centered, your emotions are not hijacking you. ~ Ray Dalio.
When growth is slower-than-expected, stocks go down. When inflation is higher-than-expected, bonds go down. When inflation is lower-than-expected, bonds go up. ~ Ray Dalio.
He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass. ~ Ray Dalio.
I notice a difference from the moment I meditate. ~ Ray Dalio.
Be wary of the arrogant intellectual who comments from the stands without having played on the field. ~ Ray Dalio.
There is an excellent correlation between giving society what it wants and making money, and almost no correlation between the desire to make money and how much money one makes. ~ Ray Dalio.
Choose your habits well. Habit is probably the most powerful tool in your brain’s toolbox. ~ Ray Dalio.
Though how nature works is way beyond man’s ability to comprehend, I have found that observing how nature works offers innumerable lessons that can help us understand the realities that affect us. ~ Ray Dalio.
It’s more important to do big things well than to do small things perfectly. ~ Ray Dalio.
I’m going to give away a lot more than half my money. I’d be happy to give that to the government if the government put together programs that were like I’m giving away to charity, in which I believe the money is effectively used to help people. ~ Ray Dalio.
By and large, life will give you what you deserve and it doesn’t give a damn what you like. So it is up to you to take full responsibility to connect what you want with what you need to do to get it, and then to do those things. ~ Ray Dalio.
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 be successful, we need everyone to think independently and work through disagreement to decide what’s best. ~ Ray Dalio.
Some people who are creative are not reliable and vice versa; some see big pictures while others see details, etc. All of them are important to have on well-orchestrated teams. ~ Ray Dalio.
There are far more good answers out there” than there are in you. ~ Ray Dalio.
Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had. ~ Ray Dalio.