As an investor I don t usually read the writings of traders, simply prefer long term investors and find practitioners way useful I ve only read the book because Howard Marks refers to the author in his memos specifically to the idea of Black Swans.I find Taleb all over the place.Somehow he is trying to provoke Provoke by calling people ugly, or saying that he would rather die than be a janitor He classifies all sorts of people in all sorts of ways, in other words name calling He uses rare words, so you have to consult with the dictionary quite often I find him funny but the information he conveys not very useful to me, only a few things here and there. I enjoyed this book, something quite different to the type of books I normally read I particularly liked the model used on chance and randomness I applied it theoretically to the chances of detection across different types of crime i.e., burglary and murder when I gave a presentation to some police officers from various forces at UWE in Bristol I don t think they agreed with my argument Nevertheless, understanding these things in a different way to their perspective I m still optimistic that it is a viable theory on non apprehended offenders. I had my doubts about buying this book initially due to some of the hate Taleb seems to get for his style Having now finished reading this book, I will admit that if you can get past the author s arrogance in some places and overlook these as mere human flaws, then you will gain value from his insights As I am both a long term investor short term trader, I found the real life explanations of the psychological processes of Nassim s trader colleagues worth the read alone Hearing what led up to these traders having such an amazing run over many years and then what caused them to blow up their firms accounts enables small time investors like myself to avoid their mindset.This was my first Nassim Taleb book I ve read, so I can t compare to his two main books Anti fragile The Black Swan, although I will be reading those next. Taleb comes across as an arrogant writer but if you look beyond it then you discover a brilliant theory, relevant for everyone, who is interested in randomness, statistics, correlation causation, etc.Is it only for numberphiles No, it probably is too basic for the initiated even though they still might enjoy the examples and life stories.Everything is well explained in a simple manner probably also because Taleb is not as brilliant as he thinks.The outcome is a practical theory, exciting, and filled with anecdotes of an unusual character.Lets put it this way, this book makes a dry theory entertaining and accessible to everyone That should be applauded. An interesting book that I bought to replace an earlier copy It must be good because the old copy was loaned out to a friend but never received back This book makes you look at apparent randomness in all sorts of areas in a different way Are things random or is there a pattern to events or a reason for them Thought provoking Good seller too Thank you.. One of the most thought provoking books I have ever read, maybe the most thought provoking book I have read It s really about probability, trading financial instruments and psychology Some profound insights into how these three things interact And what this means for how you should treat any financial advice or you yourself treat trading assets. A delightful book of thought from a gentlemen of considerable reading and contemplation Mr.Taleb s style is wonderfully relaxed and assured The subject at the heart of the book is fascinating The author beautifully explores the subject without recourse to ugly analytics, but instead illuminates his thoughts with colourful stories from the ages that bring life and joy to what could be an exceptionally dry subject Highly recommended for anyone, especially those who feel in control of their destiny. This audiobook is about luck, or precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far explainable than it actually is The audiobook is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance Yogi Berra, the baseball legend Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge Solon, the ancient world s wisest man the modern financier George Soros and the Greek voyager Ulysses We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness But the most recognizable character remains unnamed, the lucky fool in the right place at the right time the embodiment of the Survival of the Least Fit Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru s insights and methods But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance It may be impossible to guard against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared Nassim is an intellectual with original ideas, but a bad communicator, so it s not worth your time to wade through the 90% rambling to get to the 10% insight Which is ironic, because Nassim criticises people who appear on TV as being good at communication but wrong in what they re communicating He s right, one the opposite is no good either, because there are thousands of other books we could be reading to learn things, and this book is a poor ROI Nassim should have cut out 90% of the pages, and I d then rate it 5 stars.In another instance, Nassim criticises an interviewer for pointing out to an expert that his ideas if followed would have caused a loss Nassim doesn t explain why this objection is invalid.On the plus side, there are some interesting ideas here We re good at understanding even bets, where there s a 50% chance in your favor, not skewed bets, where the chance is on one side A 20% chance of making 1 crore is not the same as a 10% chance of making 2 crores, though both have the same expected value of 20 lac Expected value is not the only factor in analysing bets The human mind is poor at understanding probabilistic thinking, because it s counter intuitive When Nassim was asked on one instance whether he thinks the market will go up or down, he said that it s likely to go up but he bet that it went down Why Because if it goes up, it goes up only a little, but if it goes down, it s expected to go down a lot, so the expected value is negative The often you check your portfolio, the likely you ll find dips, which will make you feel bad A negative event isn t counter balanced by a positive event it requires roughly two positive events to counter balance it So Nassim, aware of his own irrational mind, checks his portfolio rarely And so should we Randomness plays a big part in outcomes, and most people take credit for good luck but blame bad luck on things beyond their control Plus there s so much ego involved A family earning half a million dollars a year and staying in fashionable Park Avenue in New York, where they re the poorest in their apartment building, will be happier if they move to a middle class area, where people will look up to, not down at, them A person who repeatedly takes bets and is proven right for a decade can still be wrong, and gives us the example of a trader who was right for two decades, and then went bankrupt If you bet that rare things won t happen, it may take a decade or two for luck to catch up with you Everyone assumes rare things won t happen, while Nassim bets that they will Nassim loses money every day for years, and finally earns a lot to make up for all the losses, though it s emotionally draining to see money go out every day Nassim knows his worst case scenario, while others don t Wall St banks have bad incentives and will never behave properly Bad behavior is ignored as long as it produces a profit Stochastic means a process consisting of a sequence of random events Not one event Monte Carlo techniques are computer programs that simulate thousands of scenarios, all random, and give you a conclusion like 20% of the time, you go bankrupt 30% of the time, you make a million dollars The rest of the time, you earn a modest return of 10 20% on your investment This is a much better way of analysing things than a single number, like what is the probability that this investment technique produces a 15% profit Monte Carlo techniques are the only option when the equations to model things are too complex Monte Carlo is brute force, and works Survivorship bias means that the average fund manager has a high return because the rest are out of business If you count them, the average return is low Nassim is an intellectual and prefers thinking to working. The book begins well but get lost in circular thinking It is not productive keep hammering on the issue of randomness but poorly addresses solutions The author writes a lot about casual moments that happen to be boring and burdensome for the reader than instructive However I appreciated the commentary on stoicism and the difference between noise and information I d recommend a quick reading I d rather devote time to antifragile which happens to be written by the author in a mature phase and is his masterpiece I did not like this one at all, but I am going to read antifragile again.