Ray Dalio On Success Though Failure

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Ray Dalio is renowned worldwide for being one of the savviest investors of all time. But this wasn’t always the case. In the early 1980s, Dalio went broke after betting against the American economy.

“I’d lost so much money I couldn’t afford to pay the people who worked with me. One by one, I had to let them go,” Dalio writes in Principles (Simon & Schuster, Sept. ’17). “To make ends meet, I even had to borrow $4,000 from my dad until we could sell our second car.”

The devastating end was a turning point. Dalio changed his perspective and became “radically open minded,” and the new iteration of Bridgewater became an idea meritocracy. Today, the fund manages over $160 billion and Dalio is one of the world’s richest men with an estimated fortune of $17 billion.

“I learned that failing is an essential step toward success, and that the key to success lies in knowing how to both strive for a lot and fail well,” he observes. “By failing well, I mean being able to experience painful failures that provide big learnings without failing badly enough to get knocked out of the game.”

Dalio will join the HBS Club of NY for an exclusive conversation about the life lessons he has learned through the course of five decades of investing, moderated by CNBC’s Maneet Ahuja. This program is co-presented with the Harvard Club of New York.