0812 | Economic Bubble | Efficient Market Hypothesis
Contrary to the few men in history that have beat the S&P (), Eugene Fama from the University of Chicago developed the efficient market hypothesis back in 1969 stating that markets are “informationally efficient”. How so? In the hypothetical situation that insider trading doesn’t exist, information will reach each investor at the same time, thus giving no one the upper hand in making the most coherent investment decisions. As a byproduct of this market behavior, investors will not be able to return profits (or losses) that exceed the market’s average returns. Again, this theory lies on the underlying fact that the market is (1) running on a risk-adjusted basis and (2) information is received to all parties at the same exact time.
Efficient Market Hypothesis: Evidence from the JSE …
An installed principle in Fama’s hypothesis is that traders may overcompensate the information they receive and make irrational decisions. As theoretical as the hypothesis is, the theory is further construed with greater reliance on the psychology of the human mind, stating that factors like overconfidence and false grips on reality result in inefficiencies of traders as a whole entity. But, in the grand scheme of things, the market is always correct. Assuming that all people’s behaviors follow a normal distribution pattern (little to no investors steer away from the majority and make their own decisions against the power of the information provided), the three stipulations to the market state why the investing world runs the way it does. Aspects of behavioral finance and cognition biases help detail why there are always winners in investing, and why there are always losers in investing.
All in all, why learn this hypothesis? Eugene Fama’s thesis represents the core of behavioral economics that tracks the psychology and behavior of people and the markets we live in. The knowledge to know why our market runs as efficiently as it does can help economists compare behavior and the effects of macro- and micro-decisions to markets and their results. And that is the reason we study economics into the grand scheme of investing.