What We’re Reading

 

David:

Principles

By: Ray Dalio

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success.

In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.

 

Cynthia:

Pour Your Heart Into It

By: Howard Schultz

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the most amazing business stories in decades. What started as a single store on Seattle's waterfront has grown into a company with over sixteen hundred stores worldwide and a new one opening every single business day. Just as remarkable as this incredible growth is the fact that Starbucks has managed to maintain its renowned commitment to product excellence and employee satisfaction.

In Pour Your Heart Into It, CEO Howard Schultz illustrates the principles that have shaped the Starbucks phenomenon, sharing the wisdom he has gained from his quest to make great coffee part of the American experience. Marketers, managers, and aspiring entrepreneurs will discover how to turn passion into profit in this definitive chronicle of the company that "has changed everything . . . from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." (Fortune)

 

 

Top 5 All-Time Favourite Books

  1. Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
  2. Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead 
  3. Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan 
  4. William J. Bernstein, Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults
  5. Charles D. Ellis, Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing