Students, Bankers, and Umbrellas
The life of a student is fragile. We’re thrown into a world where judgement is rewarded, despite being in a limbo for 4 years. A period where we can’t exercise our decision-making other than studying for exams and meeting deadlines. Students must become antifragile if they wish to progress in the modern world.
The probabilist Nassim Taleb defines the term this way:
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile.”
To demonstrate what a fragile student looks like, there’s an analogy I came up with using a quote from a fortune cookie:
To flip it for students:
A fragile student is someone who borrows an umbrella despite a shining sun.
Fragile students get defined by what they study. They go with the momentum of trying to specialize in one field. The inability to problem-solve through multiple disciplines makes us vulnerable. Decision-making rewards those who’ve experienced multiple lanes. That’s what an antifragile student does.
An antifragile student is someone who’d enjoy walking in the rain without an umbrella.
Investing is a way for students to become antifragile. It forces us to think on our feet and make decisions with actual consequences.
If you’d like to un-fragile yourself and learn investing from a self-proclaimed antifragile student, join my weekly newsletter.