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What is “efficient market hypothesis”?

What is “efficient market hypothesis”?

The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) states that it is impossible to beat the market consistently over time, since all available information is priced efficiently into stock prices. But what the EMH misses is the impact that sentiment can have on price discrepancies in the short-term. Emotions can lead to gross mis-valuations (as we saw with the tech bubble in 2000), and market corrections can see stocks selling off dramatically for no fundamental reason. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to technical analysis of the markets?

Is there any merit to technical analysis of the markets?

Securities in the market can be analyzed on technical levels or fundamental ones, and it is generally best to take both into account, despite the fact that some theories dispute the merits of technical analysis. Some might say that fundamental analysis is all that you need to make wise investment decisions, and to some extent that is actually correct: at a minimal level, if all you had were fundamentals, you could make wise investment decisions. That does not mean, however, that all technical analysis is superfluous. Continue reading...

What is the Risk/Return Trade-Off

There are investments which have the potential for very high returns, but they will always be that much riskier than the lower-yielding alternatives, and this is part of the risk/return trade-off. The relationship between risk and return is a positive linear relationship in most theoretical depictions, and if an investor seeks greater returns, he or she will have to take on greater risk. This is called the risk/return trade-off. For more stability and less risk, an investor will have to sacrifice some potential returns. Continue reading...

What is market efficiency?

What is market efficiency?

Market efficiency describes the degree to which relevant information is integrated into the price of a security. With the prevalence of information technology today, markets are considered highly efficient; most investors have access to the same information with prices and industry news, updated instantaneously. The Efficient Market Hypothesis stems from this idea. Efficient markets are said to have all relevant information priced-in to the securities almost immediately. High trading volume also makes a market more efficient, as there is a high degree of liquidity for buyers and sellers, and the spread between bid and ask prices narrows. Continue reading...

What is the adaptive market hypothesis?

What is the adaptive market hypothesis?

The Adaptive Market Hypothesis uses theories of behavioral economics to update the aging Efficient Market Hypothesis. There have been many debates surrounding the Efficient Market Hypothesis and its validity, and a lot of research over the last 15 years or so has been done which suggests that behavioral finance holds many of the keys to an accurate “universal theory” of the markets. A marriage between the two schools of thought has given birth to the Adaptive Market Hypothesis, coined in 2004 by Andrew Lo of MIT. Behavioral and evolutionary principals come into play when theorizing about the large-scale behavior and adaptation of humans in a system. Continue reading...

What is the black swan theory?

What is the black swan theory?

The Black Swan Theory serves as a reminder to investors that unpredictable events can radically change our lives, society, and the markets. The Black Swan Theory, based on a recent book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb called “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” analyzes how events that were completely unexpected, or perhaps considered impossible, radically changed the world. Historical events such as the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the invention of the personal computer are categorized as Black Swans: they were unforeseeable, and their enormous impact on human civilization was only explainable in hindsight, according to Dr. Taleb himself. Continue reading...

How Do I Find the Best Mutual Fund?

How Do I Find the Best Mutual Fund?

It requires a great deal of due diligence, but investors should understand that past performance is not indicative of future performance. Focus on experience. In the stock market, as with most things in life, hindsight is 20/20. There are countless lists on the internet with titles like “The Best Mutual Fund Families” and “50 Winning Mutual Funds.” It is important to understand that the names on those lists are a function of hindsight and not foresight. Continue reading...

Are the markets efficient?

Are the markets efficient?

The concept of an efficient market is more applicable today than it was when it was conceived, a truly efficient market is nearly impossible. The Efficient Market Hypothesis states that random new information will affect the value of securities, and that new information disseminates so quickly among rational investors that it is futile to try to beat the “market portfolio.” Thirty years ago, this was more of a theory than an observable phenomenon, and plenty of inefficiencies in the dissemination of information and the pricing of securities could be pointed out. Continue reading...

What is the random walk hypothesis?

What is the random walk hypothesis?

The Random Walk Hypothesis states that in an efficient market, prices will correlate around the intrinsic value of securities, but there will always be a randomization and unpredictability to it. The Random Walk Hypothesis suggests that technical analysis and the efforts of chartists cannot beat the market over time, because the market will move randomly and unpredictably, and past results cannot predict future returns. Continue reading...

What is market disequilibrium?

What is market disequilibrium?

Market Disequilibrium occurs when market and external forces combine to unbalance a market, creating inefficiency in the market in the process. A disequilibrium produces what’s called a “deadweight loss,” “welfare loss,” “excess burden,” or “allocative inefficiency.” As described by efficient market theory, the price fluctuations we see in market behavior are the market trying to find its truly efficient price and quantity – the theoretical point of equilibrium. Investors attempt to locate it using moving averages and other means of technical analysis. Continue reading...

What is Dividend Capture?

Dividend capture is a strategy similar to dividend arbitrage that seeks to reap incremental gains somewhat reliably around the ex-dividend date of a stock. The investor seeks to benefit from the fact that stock prices don’t always go down as much as they should on the ex-dividend date, so by selling quickly at that point, the investor may still get a small gain from the dividend that will still be paid to him or her. Dividend capture is a strategy that plays on slight inefficiencies in prices around the ex-dividend date. Continue reading...

What does hypothesis testing mean?

What does hypothesis testing mean?

A theory about what will happen and why is a hypothesis, and to prove the hypothesis has some relevancy it will have to be compared to the probability of getting those results by pure chance. A hypothesis is a testable prediction of results that should be observed due to the effects of an independent variable. Such predictions must be tested against the probability of the resulting observations happening due to complete chance instead of the influence of the independent variable. Continue reading...

What is the “efficient frontier”?

What is the “efficient frontier”?

The “Efficient Frontier” is a modern portfolio theory tool, which demonstrates to investors the best possible returns they can expect from their portfolios, relative to the amount of risk they’re willing to accept. For investors that find themselves below the “Efficient Frontier,” it means their strategy is not providing enough return for the level of risk assumed. The opposite is true as well. What the theory means to communicate is that investors would be wise to include some higher growth, higher risk securities in their portfolios, but combine them in a strategic way so as to gain risk/reward value that comes with diversification. Continue reading...

What is a Market Maker?

What is a Market Maker?

A market maker is a broker-dealer firm or a registered individual that will hold a certain number of shares of a security in order to facilitate trading. There could be as many as 50 market makers for one particular security, and they compete for customer order flows by displaying buy and sell quotations for a guaranteed number of shares. The market maker spread refers to the difference between the amount a market maker is willing to pay for a security and the amount that the other party is willing to sell it. Continue reading...

What is an Earnings Surprise?

What is an Earnings Surprise?

Earnings surprises occur when the reported quarterly or annual earnings of a company are different than they were projected to be. This could be a good surprise or a bad surprise. The price of a stock will change quickly with this new information. Positive or negative earnings surprises occur when the earnings estimates for a company in a given quarter or year turn out to be better or worse than expected. Positive surprises will naturally cause the stock price to jump up, while negative surprises will cause the price to fall. Continue reading...

What is active money management?

What is active money management?

Active management is when an investor or money manager attempts to outperform an index or benchmark, using tactical strategies. Many economists and financial professionals believe that the markets are efficient. This means that all available financial information has already been built into the prices of securities, and that you cannot outperform the market by making specific selections of stocks, timing the market, reallocating your assets regularly, following the advice of market pundits, or finding the best portfolio managers. Continue reading...

What is the difference between active and passive money management?

What is the difference between active and passive money management?

The debate on whether active or passive management is better for investors has polarized many advisors and theorists for years. There are two schools of thought when it comes to long-term investing. One basically states that you should determine a proper allocation of asset classes for yourself, buy index funds to reflect each particular asset class, and possibly rebalance the portfolio periodically. This basically means “set it and forget it,” and the investor must be willing to ignore fluctuations in the markets and maintain a faith in an Efficient Market. Continue reading...

What does the Efficiency Ratio Mean?

The efficiency ratio is a metric that measures how effectively a company uses its assets and liabilities to run the business smoothly. There are several types of efficiency ratios that can give an analyst insight into a company: accounts receivable turnover, fixed asset turnover, sales to inventory, and and stock turnover ratio. Continue reading...

What is a market-maker spread?

What is a market-maker spread?

The difference between the Bid and Ask prices on a stock or other security are known as the Spread. Designated market makers are traders whose job it is to make a market for securities, by offering to buy or sell shares, and thus creating liquidity, often at the same time. Their money is made on the spread. In highly liquid markets, the spread will shrink. So if everyone is buying and selling the same stock one day, there may be virtually no spread between the Bid and the Ask price, and this is seen as efficient. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as the “January effect?”

Is there such a thing as the “January effect?”

The January Effect is a hypothesis which states that stocks will see their biggest monthly gains in January. The January Effect states that the stock market usually increases during the first few days in January, or that the largest monthly gains of the year will be realized in January, therefore January will set the pace. There are many explanations for this effect, such as tax-loss selling in December, fresh starts after the New Year, and many others. Continue reading...