Open main menu

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, written by Burton Gordon Malkiel, a Princeton economist, is a book on the subject of stock markets which popularized the random walk hypothesis. Malkiel argues that asset prices typically exhibit signs of random walk and that one cannot consistently outperform market averages. The book is frequently cited by those in favor of the efficient-market hypothesis. As of 2019, there have been twelve editions and over 1.5 million copies sold.[1] A practical popularization is The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success.[2]

A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Book Cover Random Walk.jpg
AuthorBurton Malkiel
CountryUnited States
PublisherW. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Publication date
Pages456 pp.
332.6 22
LC ClassHG4521 .M284 2007

Investing techniquesEdit

Malkiel examines some popular investing techniques, including technical analysis and fundamental analysis, in light of academic research studies of these methods. Through detailed analysis, he notes significant flaws in both techniques, concluding that, for most investors, following these methods will produce inferior results compared to passive strategies.

Malkiel has a similar critique for methods of selecting actively managed mutual funds based upon past performance. He cites studies indicating that actively managed mutual funds vary greatly in their success rates over the long term, often underperforming in years following their success, thereby regressing toward the mean. Malkiel suggests that given the distribution of fund performances, it is statistically unlikely that an average investor would happen to select those few mutual funds which will outperform their benchmark index over the long term.

Alternative viewEdit

In 1984, Warren Buffett gave a speech at Columbia University rebutting the Efficient Market Hypothesis. See The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville. As of 2013, Malkiel has not yet responded and has ignored Buffett's argument. As Seth Klarman has stated: "Buffett's argument has never, to my knowledge, been addressed by the efficient-market theorists; they evidently prefer to continue to prove in theory what was refuted in practice".[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit