Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

28 of 40
BACK NEXT
Performance is random
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Author, "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable"

When I was 24, I was just learning to be a trader at Calyon Indosuez. An old French trader told me that the markets have princes but they never have kings. That could mean a lot of things, but what he meant is that nobody's thoughtful enough to make it for long without falling on his face; things change all the time.

I was already a little skeptical by nature, but he convinced me that a lot of the successes you see are just the product of luck. I pushed that to its natural conclusion, which is that most market performance is random.

NEXT: Stick with what you know

Last updated July 22 2008: 11:27 AM ET
More Galleries
10 of the best beaches near airports Wait out your layover in the transit lounge? Or grab some sun, sand and surf? More
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed business students at colleges around the world to see where they most want to work. More
A White House press briefing as told by CNN's sketch artist The White House started banning cameras during some briefings, so CNN sent in sketch artist Bill Hennessy. More

Special Offer