The investment world is not an orderly and logical place where the future can be predicted and specific actions always produce specific results. The truth is, much in investing is ruled by luck. Some may prefer to call it chance or randomness, and those words do sound more sophisticated than luck. But it comes down to the same thing: a great deal of the success of everything we do as investors will be heavily influenced by the roll of the dice.
To fully explore the notion of luck, in this chapter I want to advance some ideas expressed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Fooled by Randomness. Some of the concepts I explore here occurred to me before I read it, but Taleb’s book put it all together for me and added more. I consider it one of the most important books an investor can read.
Related link: Howard Marks' 2011 Value Investing Congress Speech