You might recognize Ray Dalio from his most recent book “Big Debt Crises” or his earlier book “Principles: Life and Work.” You might even know that he is an American billionaire investor and was the founder of one of the most successful hedge funds in the world today, Bridgewater Associates. He is also one of the wealthiest people on the planet and he works with governments, central banks, and other entities to manage funds by preserving capital and perpetuating capital. Needless to say, if Dalio has tips for success, then it would be wise to listen.
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He’s successful because of a few critical traits and recently shared one principle that helped him evolve and become the person he is today.
What’s the principle?
Seeking different opinions and ideas or non-consensus. (mic drop)
Ray Dalio and The Principle of Non-Consensus
Why is the principle of non-consensus something that might have led Ray Dalio to success? Well, according to Dalio, he was able to seek opinions from fascinating and sharp people who viewed the world differently. When you’re at the top of your game like Dalio, it’s easy to be surrounded by “yes men” but that doesn’t challenge the status quo, nor does it help one expand their horizons. These disruptors helped him weigh his decisions and look effectively at both sides of the picture.
Dalio would find that searching for and talking with experts who had a different opinion would help him refine his decision making and potentially produce better outcomes. With their ideas and his knowledge, merging the two to define his own path has led to success.
Needless to say, Ray Dalio realized that he could create a “higher probability of being right“ by working with smart people who thought differently than he did.
“By questioning experts individually and encouraging them to have thoughtful disagreement with each other that I can listen to and ask questions about, I both raise my probability of being right and become much better educated.”
Of course, this principle of non-consensus seems quite apparent, but is it?
Many of us are more likely to make decisions by seeking out opinions and experiences from people who trust or align ourselves with to affirm and solidify our initial decision or path. We may outright reject the data that conflicts with our view. Naturally, this can affect our trading and investing life in substantial ways.
What’s even more attractive about this principle is that you don’t have to be as rich as Ray Dalio to practice this method.
Anyone can do it.
Dalio wasn’t always a billionaire. He worked his way through the ranks and became a billionaire by practicing this principle in his regular decision-making process.
Indeed, Dalio comments, “for most of my life, I hardly had any money, and I still found tremendous benefit from triangulating with the smartest people I could get to speak with.”
Dalio also had to find his way to being where he is today slowly.
Better decision making and different principles that contribute to decision making are undoubtedly one of the keys to his success.
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