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Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto) Paperback – August 23, 2005
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If the prescriptions for getting rich that are outlined in books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad Poor Dad are successful enough to make the books bestsellers, then one must ask, Why aren't there more millionaires? In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professional trader and mathematics professor, examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill. This eccentric and highly personal exploration of the nature of randomness meanders from the court of Croesus and trading rooms in New York and London to Russian roulette, Monte Carlo engines, and the philosophy of Karl Popper. Part of what makes this book so good is Taleb's ability to make seemingly arcane mathematical concepts (at least to this reviewer) entirely relevant in evaluating and understanding everything from the stock market to the success of those millionaires cited in the aforementioned bestsellers. Here's an articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In this look at financial luck, hedge fund manager Taleb (Dynamic Hedging) addresses the apparently irrational movement of money markets around the world. Using his own investing experience and examples of others' successes and disappointments, he discusses theories like Monte Carlo math (easy; considered cheating by purists) and the concept of Russian roulette. Taleb tells interesting, well-wrought stories about individual behavior: "While Nero has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, both personally and intellectually, he is starting to consider himself as having missed a chance somewhere." While serious investors and mathematics enthusiasts will be intrigued, readers looking for practical investment strategies will be disappointed by this rambling intellectual discourse. Tables. 40,000-copy first printing; $150,000 marketing budget.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Taleb's writing also makes me ponder the pointlessness of envy. After all, before Alabama teen Natalie Holloway met Joran Van der Sleuth, people would have thought that her mother, Beth Holloway, had had the perfect life: she was happily married, slim, pretty, and well-to-do with a bright, beautiful, healthy daugher who never gave her any trouble. But I doubt that anyone would envy Beth Holloway today after her daughter continues to be missing.
I hope Mr. Taleb will write his next book on probability in everyday situations, but I sort of doubt that he will. I know that he won't read this review because as he wrote: "The information from an anonymous reader on Amazon.com is all about the person, while that of a qualified person, is going to be all about the book". I still loved the book even though the auther considers reading my review beneath him. Now does that say more about the book or about me?
I have a training background hence I could relate to several things like Monte Carlo simulation etc.
Most recent customer reviews
Reading this book will make me read his others.
I don't exaggerate. I think he's that insightful.Read more