The Ivory Tower Changes Wall Street – Part 1

For as long as there has been a stock market, investors have sought a reliable framework to determine the future direction of prices. Success has been elusive. But thanks to the work of three American economists, we operate today with a better understanding of what determines an asset’s price than the generations of investors that came before us.

For their work, Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller were awarded the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. We can see the impact of their research in the development of low-cost index mutual funds and a methodology for identifying when home prices may reach irrational levels.¹

Eugene Fama

Fama is considered the father of the “efficient markets theory,” which postulates that markets are exceedingly good at incorporating all known information into the value of an asset, making it difficult to predict the short-term direction of a stock or bond.²

Fama is famous for describing market movements as nothing more than a “random walk,” discounting the efficacy of price-prediction models. This view led to the conclusion that investors could do as well, or even better, by investing in a passively managed index fund.

  1. Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
  2. The market value of a bond will fluctuate with changes in interest rates. As rates rise, the value of existing bonds typically falls. If an investor sells a bond before maturity, it may be worth more or less that the initial purchase price. By holding a bond to maturity an investor will receive the interest payments due plus his or her original principal, barring default by the issuer. Investments seeking to achieve higher yields also involve a higher degree of risk.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.



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