Ray Dalio on Thoughtful Disagreement

Bruce Greig
September 28, 2020

There is a subtle dual meaning in Ray Dalio's Principle 3.3: "Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement"

Ray Dalio is a hedge fund billionaire. You might think that means he just got slightly luckier than all the other hedge fund managers who are not billionaires. That's generally what I assume about mega-wealthy people - they just did a slightly better / luckier job than all the other people doing similar jobs.

But his book, Principles, is fascinating and does make me less inclined to credit his success to being 'a little bit luckier'. It documents the careful work he has put into creating the culture which pervades his company, Bridgewater Associates.

Principle 3.3 says this: “Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement”.

I like this. ‘Thoughtful’ has a subtle dual meaning here, for me. To be thoughtful means both “think hard and carefully” and also means “be considerate”. That is the key to resolving any disagreement.

Think hard about it, and consider carefully the other side’s point of view.