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Business

A good book to readKong

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

Ray Dalio’s latest book entitled “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail” creates a stir. Dalio, today at age 72, is, of course, the celebrated billionaire founder of Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. His book would easily occupy the number 1 spot in my reading list. Many dislike him and the things he says in his book. Others respect him for his honesty and well-researched viewpoint. A few days ago, in an interview with CNBC, Dalio talked about his weaknesses. He says he struggles to give feedback without coming off as “brutal” and has a tendency of “rambling or not being clear.”

Dalio presents history lessons but vehemently claims that he is no historian and encourages the readers to check his present contents as he may be wrong. He reminds me of the famous quote of Charles Bukowsky: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” Dalio says: “History has taught us that there are five primary types of wars,

1. Trade and Economic Wars.

2. Technology Wars.

3. Geopolitical Wars.

4. Capital Wars.

5. Military Wars.

He shows how mighty empires on a decline would be obsessed with defending their status while a rising empire would engage them, and the different wars listed above would be employed. However, Dalio says he would like to add two more:

6. Culture Wars

7. The war within ourselves.

Dalio says: “While all sensible people wish that these wars weren’t occurring, and instead of that cooperation was happening, we must be practical in recognizing that they exist. We should use past cases in History. And our understanding of actual developments is taking place to think about what is most likely to happen next and how to deal with it.

It is such an exciting read. There is just too much content in the book that the space here would not permit me to present more of them but let me feature here an interesting observation Dalio casually mentioned. Then I will add just a little bit of my commentary on this.

Dalio tells us to think about all the things that we can’t imagine not having invented or discovered in just the last 150 years. Before we had them, nobody could have imagined them. For example:

THE TELEPHONE 1876

THE ELECTRIC BULB 1879

THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION-POWERED VEHICLE 1885

THE RADIO 1895

MOVIES 1895

THE AIRPLANE 1903

TELEVISION 1926

ANTIBIOTIC 1928

THE COMPUTER 1939

NUCLEAR WEAPONS 1945

NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS 1951

GPS 1973

DIGITAL CAMERAS 1975

ONLINE SHOPPING 1979

THE INTERNET 1983

ONLINE SEARCH 1990

ONLINE BANKING 1995

SOCIAL MEDIA 1997

Wi-Fi 1998

THE IPHONE 2007

CRISPR GENE EDITING 2012

Progress unfolds in significant and steady ways to shape the future through specific breakthroughs that we can’t imagine. That is what evolution and technologies look like. Dalio also mentioned that countries with more significant and sophisticated technological advancements tend to become more powerful than those not.

These are exciting times. It seems like all these wars are currently happening that might lead to military wars. History has time and again taught us that wars are expensive and would cost many lives. Never forget the old adage that says: “Old men fight wars and send the young men to die for them.”

Well, you can read this book and approach it from a philosophical point of view. Still, you should not read the book and then wallow in helplessness and hopelessness because, after all, the book is designed to inform and study Dalio’s opinions.

After reading it, I am more excited about the prospect of the future. I appreciate the need for personal reflection and understand the significance of culture and its impact on life and the world. What do all of these things mean? That the world continues to change, and we should all be learning. Yet my conclusion aligns with the observation of Solomon saying, “There is nothing new under the sun” while the great British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge says: “All the new news is old news happening to new people.”

 

 

(Francis Kong’s podcast “Inspiring Excellence” is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or other podcast streaming platforms.)

https://www.valuewalk.com/ray-dalio-principles-for-dealing-with-the-changing-world-order/

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