Antifragile Book Review – Nassim Taleb
The fallacy of “average” (mistake of average / average figures).
Vietnam’s GDP per capita in 2016 is about 2,200 USD (50 million / year). The average house / apartment price is from 700 million – 1.5 billion. High-end apartments are about 3 billion or more. If the average GDP is calculated, Vietnamese people have to work 30 years to buy a mid-range apartment and 68 years of work to buy a high-class apartment. Many people are surprised why the fact that the high-end apartment project still sprung up like mushrooms after the rain, the project that opened and sold out also ran out of stock, so many stars had so much money, it must be speculation / bubbles.
In fact, the average GDP data does not indicate the distribution and the difference in income. The average of the whole society is 2,200 USD, but many people earn hundreds of times that average. My personal guess: the Vietnamese population is 100 million, 70% (70 million) are in the working / working age. Of those 70 million, about 0.5% (350 thousand people) can earn up to 10 billion per year, 5% (3.5 million people) with an income of about 1 billion / year, nearly 15% (11 million). with an income of up to 500 million / year and the remaining 80% (56 million) with income of less than 50 million / year.
Thus, 11 million people can afford an average apartment (less than 1.5 billion) after 4 years of work. Nearly 4 million people are able to buy luxury apartments (over 3 billion) after 4-5 years. The number of high-class apartments in the country is about 12,000 units per year on average, so after only 7 years (from 2009 until now), there are only about 85,000 units, still very few compared to the potential. Not surprisingly, the demand for high-end apartments is still high.
Brand name firms, from Herme leather bags of 2 billion VND / unit, to Rolex watches, LV belts … can survive because of the unequal distribution of properties. Based on the average income of 2,200 USD / year, no firm exists (even in the world, not Vietnam).
Similarly, Vung Tau is the locality with the highest average income of goods in the country, but the business of goods and high-quality investment services is difficult to make money, almost restaurants and coffee shops. high-end, Japanese / American furniture stores are 1 year long and short, only 2-3 months are closed. The reason rich people contribute to high average GDP accounts for a small amount. Although they have a lot of money, they only drink 1 cup of coffee / day, eat up to 3 meals … the demand is only that, the high-end business is difficult to live.
On average, women are smart and capable of being inferior to men. But in men, the distribution of talent is uneven: on the average, the whole species is equal to women, but in some men it is excellent, but others are also ridiculous. That explains why the national leaders, companies, characters are better in men than in women in science and art, but go to jail for drug addiction, addiction, forgiveness, lazy … men also superior to women many times.
Now Nassim Nicholas Taleb has only written 3 books (Fooled by Randomness, Black Swan and Antifragile), but every book is very impressive, profound and countless new ideas. “The fallacy of average” is just a bullet point in a page of Antifragile (450 pages).
All three of Taleb’s books are difficult to read, but deserve to ponder, struggle and read over and over again.