A Quote by Nassim Nicholas Taleb on money


It was hard to tell my friends, all hurt in some manner by the [stock market] crash, about this feeling of vindication. Bonuses at the time were a fraction of what they are today, but if my employer, First Boston, and the financial system survived until year-end, I would get the equivalent of a fellowship. This is sometimes called "f*** you money," which in spite of its coarseness, means that it allows you to act like Victorian gentleman, free from slavery. It is a psychological buffer: the capital is not so large as to make you spoiled-rich, but large enough to give you the freedom to choose a new occupation without excessive consideration of the financial rewards. It shields you from prostituting your mind and frees you from outside authority--any outside authority. (Independence is person-specific: I have always been taken aback at they high number of people in whom an astonishingly high income led to additional sycophancy as they became more dependent on their clients and employers and more addicted to making even more money.) While not substantial by some standards, it literally cured me of all financial ambition--it made me feel ashamed whenever I diverted time away from study for the pursuit of material wealth. Note that the designation f*** you corresponds to the exhilarating ability to pronounce that compact phrase before hanging up the phone.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Source: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Pages: 20-21

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos