24-7 news and commentary feeds us a nonstop diet of the sensational that is not statistically valid. We are practical people who must focus in our areas of influence and not in the manufactured areas of concern out there in media land. The best tip I can give you is to avoid the distracting, distorting newscasts at all costs.
Aggressive tinkering is the engine of growth for ALL small businesses, if targeted on total customer service. See my previous two newsletters December 2016 and January 2017. Taleb emphasizes the organic nature of business. It is not an engineered thing. Wealth creation is nonlinear. Frequency distributions cannot accurately describe it. Economic growth, sales revenue increases, and profit improvement are always nonlinear. ❸ Businesses fail because they cannot cope with volatility. We need to be aggressively tinkering all the time. I love my frequent visits to a local coffee shop. The proprietors regularly try new ingredients, flavors, and recipes, and I'm happy to try them out (purely on a consultant basis, you understand). It is a thriving, bustling hive of terrific customer service.
A dual strategy towards risk taking
Be ultra-conservative with 90% of your investments, and ultra-aggressive with the 10% that you can afford to lose. So, for example, with your pension, is most of it in municipal bonds and treasury bills? These are as close to guaranteed as we can have in our world. Only gamble an affordable proportion of it in venture capital where the upside is scalable and loaded with potential. Imagine getting in on the ground floor of the next Tesla or Microsoft.
Remember Siegfried's Tiger!
Read Taleb's books and be aware that the stock market is like the casino industry. They are both subject to the ludic fallacy and our confirmation bias, and they cannot cope with volatility. Casinos spend millions on security cameras and anti-cheating eventualities, even though the real-world data shows them that their "black swans" come from outside their game mindsets. Their uninsured losses were massive, and 267 people became unemployed when the Las Vegas headliner Siegfried (one half of Siegfried and Roy) was mauled by Mantecore, his own white tiger, during a performance in 2003.
The stock market was even more devastated by the 2008 black swan event known as the "subprime" mortgage game.
So, in summary, don't get complacent about the model you use to plan your future, and avoid using an external model for making predictions about your business. Rather, build a model from your own data and keep revising it, and remember it's only a model and not reality. Beware of the black swans.