Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Ray Dalio is the co-CIO and chairman of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.
- He’s a well-known reader, disclosing book recommendations for everyone from recent college graduates to people trying to understand the world.
- Here’s a list of the 15 books Dalio has recommended throughout the years.
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Billionaire investor Ray Dalio is known for his principles on everything from power dynamics to running an office with radical transparency. He even published a best-selling book titled "Principles: Life and Work" that elaborates on what he’s learned in the 40-plus years of his career.
However, Dalio draws inspiration from more than just his own ruminations. He’s fond of reading, and scouring through interviews and even the pages of "Principles" yields a number of book recommendations from Dalio himself.
Whether you’re a college student trying to figure out your next steps or an experienced investor looking for a career boost, you’re sure to glean meaning from the following 15 book recommendations from Ray Dalio.
“The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” by Paul Kennedy
In a July 2019 interview with Business Insider, Dalio called this book the best thing he’d read in the past year. The book tracks the arc of world powers since 1500. Dalio is of the opinion that the US is in a position of decline while China is on the rise. He found this book the most interesting out of the many he read to understand where we are in history.
"That dynamic has happened many, many times in history," he said, "and understanding that well, I think is very important."
“The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell
Campbell melds psychology with mythology in this book that outlines the phases of a hero’s journey.
Dalio’s son Paul gave him this book in 2014, and he immediately identified with it. He used Campbell’s roadmap of a hero’s journey to understand where he is along that path, and what he should do next.
Dalio even writes in "Principles" that he gave this book to China’s vice president Wang Qishan "because he is a classic hero."
"The Lessons of History” by Will and Ariel Durant
This is another book that Dalio gave Qishan, and he describes it in "Principles" as "a 104-page distillation of the major forces through history." The book was published in 1968 by a Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife duo that studied thousands of years of Western history.
This work tracks the cycles of history, and Dalio writes that it shows "how the same things happened over and over again throughout history."
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