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5.0 von 5 Sternen Managing Unpredictable Variations in Order to Prosper!
Every person who is interested in investing should read this book!

In investing, few can tell the difference between being lucky and smart. Being successful in the short term can come from either source. If it is coming from unrecognized sources of luck, however, the behavior that the investor associates with success can sink the ship. The cautionary tale of...
Veröffentlicht am 16. Mai 2007 von Donald Mitchell

versus
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Past laurels are not a guarantee for future success!
Having read Taleb's great book "Black Swan", I have started reading this piece. However, after reading through 30% of this book, I quickly got bored and lost my interest. Beyond describing vaguely some statistical concepts ("Monte Carlo" simulation) it does not add any insights. The book is not written in an encouraging way and I miss the author's great...
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21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Managing Unpredictable Variations in Order to Prosper!, 16. Mai 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Every person who is interested in investing should read this book!

In investing, few can tell the difference between being lucky and smart. Being successful in the short term can come from either source. If it is coming from unrecognized sources of luck, however, the behavior that the investor associates with success can sink the ship. The cautionary tale of Long Term Capital Management is cited in the book as an example of this point. "If you're so rich, why aren't you smart?" is the wonderful reversal here on the old saw.

I see this effect all the time in my consulting practice with helping companies understand how their decisions affect their stock price. A large percentage of people feel that they know all the answers when their stock price is rising. They keep doing the same things when the stocks are falling. Few survive to still have top jobs when the cycle shifts again. Then a new group of self-confident people take over who often don't know any more than those who preceded them. It's just that their track records look better.

Fooled by Randomness will help make you more knowledgeably humble about what you can expect to accomplish with investments. Not only do fewer than one percent outperform the market averages over long time periods, the ones who do are probably often being aided by luck as well. "Get thee to the index funds as soon as possible" is the message that most should take away from this book. Better yet, buy them when multiples are low!

The book's fundamental point is that there is tremendous volatility in any investment. Ignore that volatility to your peril.

At the same time, you should be cautious about how well you understand the volatility. Stocks at their lows can still go to zero. There are all kinds of events that can happen, that have not done so yet. When they do, throw out all the old rules of investing. The terrorist attacks on the United States last week are probably an example of this. So each investment must be made as though you could be totally wrong. This means that you have to manage your risk exposure to events you don't even know how to expect.

I loved his example of the joint probabilities of having a rare disease if you get a positive result on a test for that disease. Even most doctors apparently don't know how to evaluate that one. If even well educated people cannot quantify two known risks occurring simultaneously in their own field, how can investors be expected to make good decisions?

Dr. Taleb has some very good advice for how to handle the psychology of being able to do this. He upholds the Stoic ideal -- "the attempt by man to get even with probability" which encourages "wisdom, upright dealing, and courage." This means not chasing the latest investment fad or fashion, not looking at your investments very often, and being open to both sides of any idea (it could go wrong as well as right -- what are the consequences of both?). I especially liked his idea of watching CNBC with the sound off so that the "experts" seem humorous and you are less likely to hear and follow their advice. Even more poignant was his advice not to live on Park Avenue where living with all of the arrogant, temporarily lucky can make you feel small. Instead, live somewhere that the results of your cautious approach will cause you to be the envy of all.

Dr. Taleb impressed me with his willingness to tell stories on himself about how quickly he can become superstitious when things are going well, take on excess risks, and start looking too short term. After all, we are only human!

The importance of this book can only be appreciated if you go back and think about your biggest investing successes. How much was luck versus skill? A good way to test is to see if the same approach has continued to work for you whenever you use it. Another good test is to see how often it would have backfired in the past.

In my research on good decision making, I find that those who guard the downside first make the most money in the long run. They are able to find ways to get the best of both worlds!

Remember that the two-edged sword can cut in either direction!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Managing Unpredictable Variations in Order to Prosper!, 16. Mai 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Every person who is interested in investing should read this book!

In investing, few can tell the difference between being lucky and smart. Being successful in the short term can come from either source. If it is coming from unrecognized sources of luck, however, the behavior that the investor associates with success can sink the ship. The cautionary tale of Long Term Capital Management is cited in the book as an example of this point. "If you're so rich, why aren't you smart?" is the wonderful reversal here on the old saw.

I see this effect all the time in my consulting practice with helping companies understand how their decisions affect their stock price. A large percentage of people feel that they know all the answers when their stock price is rising. They keep doing the same things when the stocks are falling. Few survive to still have top jobs when the cycle shifts again. Then a new group of self-confident people take over who often don't know any more than those who preceded them. It's just that their track records look better.

Fooled by Randomness will help make you more knowledgeably humble about what you can expect to accomplish with investments. Not only do fewer than one percent outperform the market averages over long time periods, the ones who do are probably often being aided by luck as well. "Get thee to the index funds as soon as possible" is the message that most should take away from this book. Better yet, buy them when multiples are low!

The book's fundamental point is that there is tremendous volatility in any investment. Ignore that volatility to your peril.

At the same time, you should be cautious about how well you understand the volatility. Stocks at their lows can still go to zero. There are all kinds of events that can happen, that have not done so yet. When they do, throw out all the old rules of investing. The terrorist attacks on the United States last week are probably an example of this. So each investment must be made as though you could be totally wrong. This means that you have to manage your risk exposure to events you don't even know how to expect.

I loved his example of the joint probabilities of having a rare disease if you get a positive result on a test for that disease. Even most doctors apparently don't know how to evaluate that one. If even well educated people cannot quantify two known risks occurring simultaneously in their own field, how can investors be expected to make good decisions?

Dr. Taleb has some very good advice for how to handle the psychology of being able to do this. He upholds the Stoic ideal -- "the attempt by man to get even with probability" which encourages "wisdom, upright dealing, and courage." This means not chasing the latest investment fad or fashion, not looking at your investments very often, and being open to both sides of any idea (it could go wrong as well as right -- what are the consequences of both?). I especially liked his idea of watching CNBC with the sound off so that the "experts" seem humorous and you are less likely to hear and follow their advice. Even more poignant was his advice not to live on Park Avenue where living with all of the arrogant, temporarily lucky can make you feel small. Instead, live somewhere that the results of your cautious approach will cause you to be the envy of all.

Dr. Taleb impressed me with his willingness to tell stories on himself about how quickly he can become superstitious when things are going well, take on excess risks, and start looking too short term. After all, we are only human!

The importance of this book can only be appreciated if you go back and think about your biggest investing successes. How much was luck versus skill? A good way to test is to see if the same approach has continued to work for you whenever you use it. Another good test is to see how often it would have backfired in the past.

In my research on good decision making, I find that those who guard the downside first make the most money in the long run. They are able to find ways to get the best of both worlds!

Remember that the two-edged sword can cut in either direction!
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13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Insideview eines Zufallsexperten, 1. September 2004
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Fooled by Randomness (Taschenbuch)
Nicholas Taleb, ein Wall Street Trader beschreibt pointiert die Mechanik der Märkte und die Rolle des Zufalls. Dabei schildert er sehr eindrucksvoll und mit Geschichten, die man nicht so schnell wieder vergißt, wie sehr doch der Markt und damit der Zufall die Geschicke der Märkte und nicht zuletzt auch unser Leben bestimmt.
Einerseits desillusionierend, weil er den Einfluß des Einzlnen auf seine "Börsengeschicke" drastisch in Frage stellt, andererseits könnte man hier ein paar lebenswichtige Reflexe lernen. Tips für Börsengewinne wird man hier nicht finden aber einen fantastischen Spiegel an dem man seine Selbstüberzeugung sehr gut testen kann.
Für alle, die sich mit Märkten oder auch nur dem Lauf der Dinge beschäftigen ein lehrreiches Buch, das sehr vom individuellen Erzählstil des Autors geprägt ist.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Past laurels are not a guarantee for future success!, 18. Juni 2013
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Having read Taleb's great book "Black Swan", I have started reading this piece. However, after reading through 30% of this book, I quickly got bored and lost my interest. Beyond describing vaguely some statistical concepts ("Monte Carlo" simulation) it does not add any insights. The book is not written in an encouraging way and I miss the author's great style of his first book. I do not recommend buying this book.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Learn to think critically with care, 2. September 2010
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This book is admirable in its courage to address the subject of uncertainty and coincidence and its willingness to stand up to it. It is one of a kind in that it can help you cultivate and indulge in an attitude of critical thinking, in a strive for maturity. But I would caution you to contemplate that it likes a certain attitude of black and white, of simple pro and contra. Also, it uses cliché, that is long standing relatively simple ideas of popular knowledge. I am aware, that many well educated people do that too, but that is not the point here. The perhaps too weighty power of the books standpoint in my opinion comes from the fact that it jumps to and fro from generalities to special cases in a very free, actually even in a selfindulgent way. To my mind, it is a bit too obliquious to the fact that the people it critisizes are often very intelligent, experts in their field with a history of many years weighing different ideas against each other and prioritising them. Of course, such people can be selfindulgent too, of course they can at times take advantage of others, that are less knowledgable and less versatile in their thinking, by presenting false ideas of certainties and securities. But they do not always do it, or as a general rule. They do not routinely lose their way. My point of criticism is, that this book is a bit too arrogant in the absoluteness of its comments. My advice to you then would be to read it, to teach yourself to think critically, to learn to recognise certain patterns while staying acutely aware of the fact, that nobody knows everything, that the possibility of mistakes is always there and that luck does play a certain role in life, according to the laws of statistics and probability, that therefore one must be aware, perhaps, that complete certainty is rarely a healthy option and reeks of blunder. However, my advise would also be, to not take this book too seriously, for the reasons given above. Read other books too, eg "How Markets Fail", for a more detailed history of economics. Onesidedness lurks everywhere, even in being conscious of uncertainties. One needs to remind oneself of that from time to time, to retain a healthy balance between determinism and the idea of complete chaos, to be your own best friend. Comment such as this must needs be imperfect, respecting uncertainties, but I do have a point that is worth contemplation, I think. And to the author: Please note that these comments are not anonymous. And another point still: We like control, all of us, embracing uncertainty too emphatically will strengthen ideas of controllism, simply by the fact that it strays to one side of life in too extreme a way. A combination of care and courage may be the best option to prevent controllism from evolving with too much freedom, or doubt with too much power (remember Shakespeare "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by failing to attempt"). Be critical, not overly critical.
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8 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Trivial Content, 23. Oktober 2010
"Fooled by Randomness" is a book that takes 300 pages (in the 2nd edition) to describe very few basic statistical concepts that are probably taught in every college statistics 101 class. They can probably be explained exhaustively on about 30 pages in a text book, or (to the same extend as the book does) by the corresponding Wikipedia articles.

Those concepts are:
- the survivor bias: being fooled into thinking that a property that many survivor have in common may be the cause of their survival; without looking into whether the non-survivors may also exhibit that property
- the correlation as causality falsity: being fooled into thinking that of two thinks repeatedly happening in connection, one must have caused the other
- mixing up probability and expected value: Ignoring events that are unlikely, even if their impact may be huge (e.g. being killed by lightning, a lottery win, stock market crash ...)

Most of the content of "Fooled by Randomness" (I'd say about 90% of it) does not add anything in terms of comprehension. Instead, they are filled with the author repeatedly creating fictional stock brokers in great detail (family life and more) just to explain how these people failed financially due to ignorance of these three concepts. After letting each of these characters fail, the author explains that his personal choices have shielded himself from their fate; something I as a reader do not care about in the least. The remainder of the book is filled with the authors comments on random philosophical theories.

My conclusion: Not worth the read. It is one of the very few books I will probably throw away, since it is worth neither keeping nor giving away.
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14 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great and important book!, 4. Juli 2008
This book is one of the most important books ever written! Although it may seem far fetched I think that this is true for several reasons.
One of the most important reasons is its main point : We all being fooled by randomness. This is especially true for areas of our lifes where we normally would not expect randomness to be present. It is a deeply inspiring book and has the ability to change the way the reader percepts the world around him, or the things that happen around him.
Having read his sescond book "Black Swan" I must say that I find "Fooled by Randomness" a far better read. It is concise and written in beautiful English. It just makes the point very clear and this is by no means easy if one looks at the topic. This is one of the books that had to be written and is a must read for every "thinking man" out there.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Der Start einer großen Serie, 26. März 2014
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Mit seinem ersten Buch hat NNT, wie wir heute wissen, sein Incerto gestartet. Ein großer Auftakt mit bestechenden Denkansätzen, überzeugenden Argumenten und einer bestechenden Logik. Einer der großen Denker unserer Zeit!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr empfehlenswert, 2. Juni 2013
Von 
Frank Herrmann "FH" (Fürth-Burgfarrnbach) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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bitte Lesen! Ich empfehle dieses unkonventionelle Buch. Sehr unterhaltsam und gleichzeitig lehrreich. Das Buch hat mich definitiv auch bewegt und vielleicht ein bisschen verändert ;-)
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Learn how to deal with uncertanties, 8. September 2009
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, professor for risk engineering at the NYU and former trader, describes in this book the underestimated influence of chance and rare events on our daily life and the financial markets.

The first part of the book is about people not understanding the rare event and its consequences, how luck fools us and that things achieved by luck are more likely to be taken away by luck.

The second part of the book deals with the biases of randomness, for example the survivorship bias. As we only see the successful traders, we get a false impression of possible profits in the market. This is also true for the stock indices. If stocks loose a lot of their value they disappear and are replaced by superior ones. What you see is a steadily rising stock indices.

The last part of the book is concerned with the human aspect of dealing with uncertainty and our thinking in causalities and the problems occurring because of that.

An interesting point made in the book is about extreme success. There are always some people who, due to luck, get extremely successful in a very short period of time. But if you look at it in a long-term perspective, you will find that most of them loose everything just as fast as they gained it. Because what you get through luck can be easily taken away again. It is more vulnerable to rare events.

He also writes about the significant difference between frequency and magnitude. In his opinion, the frequency of an occurring event is not important. What counts is its magnitude, in other words the extent of an event. For example, the frequency of gains and losses in an investment do not mean anything. You can loose little money frequently and still be a successful trader, as your few profits are huge. If you manage to not only be not vulnerable to rare events but to actually profit from them you are on a good way to become what he calls a 'crisis hunter'.

I can do nothing but give this book five stars and definitely recommend it to everybody who is willing to get a new perspective on looking at and dealing with rare events.
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