A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street

Princeton University Press
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For over half a century, financial experts have regarded the movements of markets as a random walk--unpredictable meanderings akin to a drunkard's unsteady gait--and this hypothesis has become a cornerstone of modern financial economics and many investment strategies. Here Andrew W. Lo and A. Craig MacKinlay put the Random Walk Hypothesis to the test. In this volume, which elegantly integrates their most important articles, Lo and MacKinlay find that markets are not completely random after all, and that predictable components do exist in recent stock and bond returns. Their book provides a state-of-the-art account of the techniques for detecting predictabilities and evaluating their statistical and economic significance, and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the financial technologies of the future.

The articles track the exciting course of Lo and MacKinlay's research on the predictability of stock prices from their early work on rejecting random walks in short-horizon returns to their analysis of long-term memory in stock market prices. A particular highlight is their now-famous inquiry into the pitfalls of "data-snooping biases" that have arisen from the widespread use of the same historical databases for discovering anomalies and developing seemingly profitable investment strategies. This book invites scholars to reconsider the Random Walk Hypothesis, and, by carefully documenting the presence of predictable components in the stock market, also directs investment professionals toward superior long-term investment returns through disciplined active investment management.

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About the author

Andrew W. Lo is the Harris & Harris Group Professor of Finance at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A. Craig MacKinlay is Joseph P. Wargrove Professor of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. With John Y. Campbell, they are the authors of The Econometrics of Financial Markets (Princeton), which received the Paul A. Samuelson Award in 1997.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Nov 14, 2011
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781400829095
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Investments & Securities / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book offers the small investor unique assistance that is not found in other publications offering investment advice. The small investor is, in effect, competing with professional money managers, who are often on the opposite side of a trade. If a stock is becoming cheaper because institutions (the mutual funds, hedge funds, etc.) are net sellers, should you, the individual, buy? The professionals have access to corporate managements, employ or have access to paid staffs of analysts, are trained to read a companys financial statements, and actively participate in company conference calls. In short, this is still an uneven playing field, even though SEC Regulation FD (for fair disclosure) has mandated the dissemination of material information in a more equitable fashion. This book is comprised of three sections. Part One describes the major institutional investor groups and the deep resources at their disposal. Part Two illustrates the tools available to small investors that can create a more level playing field. Access to company-sponsored conference calls and web casts are examples that are open to individual, as well as professional investors, but many either are unaware of these tools or fail to avail themselves of these opportunities. The main section of the book is an outline of 24 key industry groups that comprise the S&P 500; the salient metrics and terms; the valuation methods that investors use; most common questions asked on conference calls; and what motivates pros to buy or sell the stocks. Why are some technology stocks often valued as a multiple of sales when most industries are measured by their price/earnings (P/E) multiple? What is the appropriate price/cash flow multiple for industries that are measured by that metric? Why do analysts scrutinize a retailers same-store sales and the semiconductor industrys book-to-bill ratio? These are among the many issues that are crucial to successfully investing in individual stocks. Understanding how pros judge companies and value their stocks will enable people to make better investment decisions and, hopefully, realize greater returns on their stock portfolios. A good introduction to stock market investing, coming at the perfect time. 2014 will be a challenging year and readers of Mark Mandels new book will be ready. John Rubino, author of Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom
Wouldn't life be better if you were free of the daily grind - the conventional job and boss - and instead succeeded or failed purely on the merits of your own investment choices? Free Capital is a window into this world.

Based on a series of interviews, it outlines the investing strategies, wisdom and lifestyles of 12 highly successful private investors. Each of them has accumulated £1m or more - in most cases considerably more - mainly from stock market investment. Six are 'ISA millionaires' who have £1m or more in a tax-free ISA, a result which is arithmetically impossible without exceptional investment returns.

Some have several academic degrees or strong City backgrounds; others left school with few qualifications and are entirely self-taught as investors. Some invest most of their money in very few shares and hold them for years at a time; others make dozens of trades every day, and hold them for at most a few hours. Some are inveterate networkers, who spend their day talking to managers at companies in which they invest; for others a share is just a symbol on a screen, and a price chart shows most of what they need to know to make their trading decisions.

Free capital - money surplus to immediate living expenses - is the raw material with which these investors work. It can also be thought of as their psychological habitat, free from the petty tribulations of office politics. Lastly, free capital describes the footloose nature of their assets, which can be quickly redirected towards any type of investment anywhere in the world, without the constraints which institutional investors often face.

Although it presents many advanced insights and valuable investment hints, this is not an overly technical book. It offers practical ideas and inspiration, with revealing detail and minimal jargon, making it an indispensable read for novice and experienced investors alike.
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