Inside the Mind of a Billionaire

What if you could ask one of America’s smartest and richest investors any question? What would you ask him?


Some Redditors had the opportunity to question Ray Dalio, hedge fund manager of Bridgewater Associates, at the Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) on a variety of topics. If you had checked must read book lists you would be sure to come across “Principles”, a 2017 best seller, which provides advice for life and work.


Here are some highlights from the Reddit AMA Interview.


Climate Change Is Fake News?


Dalio believes that climate change is “like a slow-growing cancer” and that we must pay more attention to this topic. He thinks that the biggest obstacle to the problem is our decision making as a collective group and getting stuck on disagreements. Individually we should consider the impact over the next decades because these changes are inevitable.


Knowledge Is Power


Reading is the gateway to knowledge and Dalio has recommended a few books that are his favorites of all-time.


The list includes: The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant, Hero of a Thousand Face by Joseph Campbell, The River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins, and The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy.


When one of the richest men gives you a reading list, we suggest you pick one up!


Do You Have A Crystal Ball?


Dalio states that competing in the markets is extremely difficult and investing is a zero-sum game. Dalio recently downgraded the odds of a recession to 35%, and he provides some insight on what to look at when evaluating a market including “expected return of equities relative to the return on bonds and the return on cash” and why people are buying what.


This enables him to determine how cheap or expensive equities currently are. When it comes to investments, he shares five issues to consider

  1. The limited ability of the Federal Reserve and the inability of other institutions to stimulate economies

  2. Wealth gaps and populism

  3. The impact of elections

  4. The rise of China and how the United States responds

  5. Big data and artificial intelligence

Radical Transparency


For Dalio the key to a successful relationship is being clear about process and expectations. To form strong relationships, you should consider if you want an idea meritocracy, how truthful or transparent you want to be, and whether you can present people’s strengths and weaknesses with evidence.


Explore Your Passions


If Dalio was put back into his 18-year-old body at college, he would explore a broad range of perspectives.


The most important aspect is to be exposed to different cultures and views from around the world. By exploring these perspectives, you can get a better sense of the direction you would like to go.


The Art of Thoughtful Disagreement


Dalio thinks that individuals and most groups are too attached to their own biased opinions and do not challenge these perspectives. Through thoughtful disagreement we can first explore which view is true and then how to proceed after coming to a consensus.


If a Genie Could Grant You One Wish


The one thing no one can buy, TIME!


Dalio states “I love meaningful work and meaningful relationships and I never have enough time to have as much of them as I would like.''


Stay Connected to Dalio


One way to connect with the mind of Dalio is through the app called “Principles in Action” which provides insight into key components of this best-selling book. The app is available on multiple platforms.


Reading tips and advice can be helpful but putting them into practice is another story. When applying investing principles, you can use the ETFication app to assist and educate you on how to invest and how ETF’s can add value to your portfolio. By using the Portfolio Shepherd app, you can become a smarter investor and take control.

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