Ray Dalio’s Recommended Books: His Reading List

By Richard Reis

If you’ve read my Personal Finance Series, you know I admire Ray Dalio.

Rarely do I find a founder who talks about the same exact things I’m interested in.

For example, we both enjoy studying:

  • Finance,
  • Computers,
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • The human brain,
  • History,
  • And just figuring out how the world works.

If you’re interested in any of these topics, you’ll love this list.

Sidenote: The only other founder I relate to in the same way is Bryan Johnson, founder of Braintree and Kernel. Coincidentally (or not), some of his favorite books are on this list too.

Ray’s 68 and I’m 25. He’s had far more time to research these topics (and filter out the good resources from the bad).

Naturally, I’ve always wanted to know what books he recommended. But I couldn’t find much online.

Until now.

Two weeks ago, Tim Ferris interviewed Ray and asked his famous question “what three books would you give to every graduating high school or college senior?” (the answers are at the top of the list).

Last week, Ray launched his latest book, “Principles” (which you should absolutely buy). Here, he mentioned 30+ books!

I couldn’t be more excited to share this list with you. I’m sure you will find your next read.

Without further ado, here’s the list.

Ray Dalio’s Favorite Books

  1. The Lessons of History — Will Durant & Ariel Durant

2. River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life — Richard Dawkins

3. The Hero with a Thousand Faces — Joseph Campbell

4. Leadership the Outward Bound Way: Becoming a Better Leader in the Workplace, in the Wilderness, and in Your Community — Outward Bound USA

5. Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius — Hans C. Ohanian

6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business — Charles Duhigg

7. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future — Daniel H. Pink

8. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari

9. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds — Michael Lewis

10. The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class — Edward Conard

11. The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why it Matters — Sean B. Carroll

12. From Bacteria to Bach and Back — Daniel C. Dennett

13. A Magic Web: The Forest of Barro Colorado Island — Christian Ziegler & Egbert G. Leigh

14. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage — Alfred Lansing

15. Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life — Sandra Aamodt & Sam Wang

16. The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul— Mario Beauregard & Denyse O’Leary

17. Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World — Dalai Lama

18. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain— David Eagleman

19. Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds — Howard Gardner

20. Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain — Michael S. Gazzaniga

21. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World — Adam Grant

22. Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization — Edward D. Hess

23. Thinking, Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman

24. The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development — Robert Kegan

25. In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life — Robert Kegan

26. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Development Organization— Robert Kegan

27. You: Being More Effective in Your MBTI Type— Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger, & Roger P. Pearman

28. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior — Leonard Mlodinow

29. The Role of the Individual in History — Georgii V. Plekhanov

30. Who Am I?: 16 Basic Desires That Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personalities — Steven Reiss

31. Discovering Your Personality Type: The Essential Introduction to the Enneagram— Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

32. The Gift of Adversity: The Unexpected Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks, and Imperfections — Norman E. Rosenthal M.D. & Rameck Hunt

33. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey — Jill Bolte Taylor

34. Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith — J. Anderson Thomson

35. Creativity and the Brain — Mario Tokoro & Ken Mogi

36. The Meaning of Human Existence — Edward O. Wilson

37. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life — Walter Isaacson

38. Einstein: His Life and Universe — Walter Isaacson

39. Steve Jobs — Walter Isaacson

P.S.: Follow Ray on Twitter.

P.P.S.: If you like book recommendations such as these, I recently built this website with a friend. Here you can find many more people’s recommendations (e.g. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, etc…)

"I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other." - Epicurus https://www.richardreis.me/