A 75 year review of financial practice through the lens of the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, examines a complex ecosystem where technological innovation interacts with shifting business conditions and a growing population of financial stakeholders.
The 75th anniversary of the founding of the Financial Analysts Journal offers a rare vista of the evolutionary path of financial analysis and its practitioners. That path is by no means random but is shaped by a complex ecosystem in which technological innovation interacts with shifting business conditions and a growing population of financial stakeholders. Using the lens of the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis—the principles of evolutionary biology and ecology applied to the financial system—we can clearly identify eight discrete financial “eras” in which unique combinations of economic need and technological advances gave rise to new products, services, and financial institutions. By understanding the underlying drivers and resulting dynamics of these eras, we can begin to develop a deeper appreciation for the origins of financial innovation and its great promise for our future.