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1 April 2020 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 76, Issue 2

The Efficient Market Hypothesis, the Financial Analysts Journal, and the Professional Status of Investment Management

  1. Stephen J. Brown, PhD

Before Fama’s 1965 efficient markets hypothesis, it was considered easy to make money on Wall Street. We argue that his hypothesis is actually a call for a professional status for security analysis, the reason this Journal was established in 1945.

Prior to Eugene Fama’s 1965 contribution to the Financial Analysts Journal, making money on Wall Street was considered to be easy. The practical implication of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) changed that presumption. Despite challenges to the hypothesis, small investors—those who are not professionals and have limited capital and limited access to special information—may as well assume that the EMH is true. Persistent outperformance requires skill and a professional status for security analysis—Benjamin Graham’s argument in 1945 for the establishment of the Financial Analysts Journal. Not surprisingly, the Journal has extensively covered discussions of the EMH and its practical and intellectual implications.
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