Bridge over ocean
1 November 1999 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 55, Issue 6

Behavioral Finance: Past Battles and Future Engagements

  1. Meir Statman, PhD

Market efficiency is at the center of the battle of standard finance versus behavioral finance versus investment professionals. But the battle is not joined because the term “market efficiency” has two meanings. One meaning is that investors cannot systematically beat the market. The other is that security prices are rational. Rational prices reflect only utilitarian characteristics, such as risk, not value-expressive characteristics, such as sentiment. Behavioral finance has shown, however, that value-expressive characteristics matter in both investor choices and asset prices. Therefore, the discipline of finance would do well to accept the first meaning of market efficiency and reject the notion that security prices are rational. We could then stop fighting the market efficiency battle and focus on exploring (1) asset-pricing models that reflect both value-expressive and utilitarian characteristics and (2) the benefits, both utilitarian and value expressive, that investment professionals provide to investors.

Read the Complete Article in Financial Analysts Journal Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content

We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings.  Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Accepting cookies does not mean that we are collecting personal data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.