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D.Muthukrishnan (Muthu), Certified Financial Planner- Personal Financial Advisor

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Wisdom of Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Posted by Muthu on March 3, 2011

We’ve  written earlier about Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his books ‘Fooled by Randomness’ and ‘The Black Swan’. 

I came to know about an article written by Taleb through another blog. Thank you Mr.Subra.

As I’ve told you before, I get ideas only by reading. I read a lot. I do not claim any originality to my ideas.

When I reproduce an idea with my own understanding and narrative, I do not mention any source.

In all other cases when I quote something, the source is mentioned. When I reproduce something the link is given. Hope this is in compliance with fair use policy about which I came to know something only after Equitymaster episode in October’10.    

To be fair to myself, I do get original ideas too. May be I would start getting more as I keep writing.

Some gems from Taleb’s article are:

A vendor of funereal goods could not be trusted to wish for the good health of his fellow citizens.

Possessions are there to punish people unless they have a mechanism to handle it.

This is the argument usually provided about the notion that money does not give happiness, which is not quite true. It should be rephrased that some people do not gain in happiness beyond a certain level of material comfort and safety, and strangely such a level is usually not too far beyond minimum wage.

Fear of loss and actual loss are almost the same thing.

Being self-owned is a state of mind.

To attain self-ownership you need to feel that you have no downside, which is why philosophers have traditionally been light of possessions.

Please read the entire article of Taleb by clicking the link below


As regarding the first quote, if vendor of funeral goods could not be trusted to wish for good health of fellow citizens, what about the hospitals and pharma companies?

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