Tag Archives: financial

Meet Ray Dalio

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MDC shares the best line, “I remember my mistakes better than I remember my successes’

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio sat down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget to discuss his book “Principles: Life and Work.” Here Dalio explains the importance of learning from his mistakes.

“Principles: Life and Work” is the first of two planned books, and includes a short autobiography along with an expanded version of the “Principles” that all Bridgewater employees read when joining the company. Following is a transcript of the video.

Henry Blodget: And one of the other principles that you stress is this idea that you should teach your team to fish rather than giving them fish, but you gotta give ’em room to make mistakes. This is something that Jeff Bezos and many other incredibly innovate entrepreneurs have stressed again and again. We have to get over the fear of mistakes. This seems to be a key part.

Dalio: Well, you learn from mistakes and learn from pain. Like I say, you can scratch the car, but you can’t total the car. Okay. Mistakes is one of the best sources of learning, right. Successes mean you do the same thing over again, and okay, that’s fine, but mistakes that are painful stick. When I look back on my career, I think that the mistakes were the best thing that happened to me.

I remember my mistakes better than I remember my successes. Somehow there must be more of the successes to get me where I am, but I remember all the mistakes, and I remember the lessons. So that’s what I mean by pain plus reflection equals progress. So yeah, it’s okay for you to make mistakes. It’s not okay for you to not learn from those mistakes. That’s a principle in there, right. And so you have a culture that operates this way.

If you don’t have a culture that operates this way, it’s not gonna be self-reinforcing. And so the reason I’m talking about these types of principles rather than my economic and investment principles, which’ll come out in the next book is because these are the most fundamental principles, which are the basis of success. And they’re not just in investment, investment firms principles. It’s not just a hedge funds principles. It’s like life principles and how we’re gonna deal effectively with each other.

The Stock Act

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A year ago President Obama signed the so-called STOCK Act. The point of the act was to allow the public to see for themselves if members of Congress and their employees were trading on material, non-public information. “The STOCK Act: Bans Members of Congress from Insider Trading” was the bolded headline at the top of a lengthy and self-congratulatory press release.

Last Monday the White House website took the guts out of the STOCK Act in one run-on sentence under the headline “Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 76.” Those so inclined are invited to read the memo themselves. The gist is that disclosures will no longer be practically available for all employees but only for the elected officials, which means staffers, lobbyists, employees, aides and anyone who works for or is close to a serving politician can do whatever they want. Corrupt officials could theoretically still dish insider info with little fear of discovery — it’s just hard for them to trade off of the information themselves.

The idea of transparency is to remove doubt about conflicts of interest and malfeasance, real or imagined. When the rules are quietly changed to such a degree, it defeats the purpose entirely.
Hank Smith of Haverford joined Breakout to discuss this backtracking. “We only have ourselves to blame because we’re the ones voting these clowns in,” notes Smith in the attached video. It’s a fair point, but the government doesn’t make it easy for the public to see these flip-flops. The STOCK Act passage was on the front page. When it got de-fanged, the announcement was so buried that only the most hardcore of wonks could find the news.

Smith thinks the existing regulations are deeply flawed but more than sufficient to level the investing playing field if the same rules applied to everyone and were enforced consistently. When the laws are baffling and when those entrusted by the public to look out for citizens quietly carve out exemptions for themselves, the STOCK Act and everything of the sort is little more than a cynical attempt to con the unwitting.

It is our responsibility, as voters, to raise our collective voice against the double-dealing sleaze like the phony STOCK Act and its quiet neutering. If you’ve read this far, take it to the next level: Let your Congressperson know you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore.

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