Friday, May 15, 2015

Risk taking

I like to watch "No Big Deal" Alex Honnold doing his free solos. Most people in the world would consider he is taking extraordinary risks, if not outright suicidal attempts, but he always seems so calm, just like going out for a walk.

Two thoughts on Alex's risk taking: 1) Different people have different skill set and inside information. The risk of free solos for Alex Honnold may be less than the risk of walking on street for many people. 2) Different people have different appetite for risk. Someone may enjoy working in safe cubicle and receiving stable income while others don't mind dying in free solos. You cannot put the same value on the same risk taking activity for different people.

Every time I watch his clips, I remind myself that risks mean different things for different people and I shall be aware of the pitfall of accepting the risk defined in most of investment textbooks.

The world is led by risk seekers and built by risk avoiders. The edge of frontiers are littered with corpuses of risk seekers, but, whenever risk takers make break-throughs, risk avoiders follow and build the new world brick-by-brick. It's kinds of like how evolution works in biological world.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fear and Insecurity

I think people with similar (+/-15%) talent, education and putting into similar efforts are capable of achieving similar things. However, in real life reward system, the final result is disproportionality affected by some random factors like luck. All things are equal, the desire to win,  the extra mile a few people are willing to walk, play make-or-break role in the making of legend. They are mainly driven by emotional factors such as fear, pride, greed, etc.

For a long time, I often had nightmare that I had to re-take China's College Entrance Examination. Like my mom, I'm always worried by the worst case scenarios and driven by fear. For all things I get, I attribute more to my sense of insecurity than my intelligence or anything else.