* Prices may differ from that shown
This book is a semi autobiographical account of why Nassim Taleb stopped working as a trader, and instead, worked to get his "f*ckoff" money and got out of the city. The reason? He discovered there was a factor in trading that could not be measured: The black swan.
The black swan is an event or element that when added to a scenario throws the probability rates completely off the scale, such as 911 or an earthquake. For instance, the probability of a plane flying into a building before 911 was tiny, but mix in the actuality of the event and the odds are thrown out of all scale.
This book discusses why you should never run for a train, and why betting on horses is always completely random - but also, how it may be possible to find a pattern in the impossible.
The title comes from the tale of a world where scientists believed that only white swans existed - until one day a black swan was discovered, proving that you can't measure the unknown, and therefore, you can never know the whole of anything.
A good read, but some more canny readers may want more information and stats and less dumbed down explanation. Alas, this book tries to reach a wider audience than will ever probably read it, hence, ironically, delivering its own black swan into the account of the potentially brilliant world Taleb has created for himself. But don't expect much advice on trading.