Tags: Taleb | finance | career | luck

‘Black Swan’ Author Taleb: Stay Out of Finance, Only the Lucky Will Survive

Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 01:36 PM

Job seekers should avoid looking for careers in finance as only experienced professionals will drum up what little work will be available, says Nassim Taleb, economist and author whose popular 2007 book “The Black Swan” predicted the current financial crisis.

Many successful investors got where they are today thanks to good luck, and money will follow those who were lucky in beating the market, which makes finance a bad industry.

“A spurious tail is the performance of a certain number of operators that is entirely caused by luck, what is called the ‘lucky fool,’” Taleb writes in a brief paper published on his website.

Editor's Note: Unthinkable Haunts Investors: Evidence for Imminent 90% Stock Market Drop.  

“Because of winner-take-all-effects (from globalization), spurious performance increases with time and explodes under fat tails in alarming proportions. An operator starting today, no matter his skill level, and ability to predict prices, will be outcompeted by the spurious tail.”

Even though it is easier for recent college graduates to find a job this year than it has been in the previous four years, “new entrants into finance simply won’t be able to out-compete existing investment managers,” Taleb notes.

Those who graduated from college this year are facing a brighter outlook in the job market, The Associated Press reported.

However, the recovery in jobs for new grads is not consistent across all majors. Colleges say the strongest growth in job offers has been from investment banks, consulting firms and Fortune 500 companies. Grads with degrees in architecture are having a tougher time because of the collapse of the construction industry, according to The AP.

Editor's Note: Unthinkable Haunts Investors: Evidence for Imminent 90% Stock Market Drop.

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Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 01:36 PM
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