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 most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Special Offer