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If a crowd suddenly starts running in one direction, it's normal for you to run in that direction as well, even if there isn't a rational reason for doing so. There are three forms of EMH: weak, semi-strong, and strong.

Is The Efficient Market Hypothesis Still Valid?

Here's what each says about the market. EMH does not say that no investors can outperform the market; it says that there are outliers that can beat the market averages; however, there are also outliers that dramatically lose to the market.

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The majority is closer to the median. Those who "win" are lucky and those who "lose" are unlucky.

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Index investors might say they are adhering to the common saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Some investors will still try to beat the market averages. You should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investment discussed in this article. Strategies or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value. Investors may get back less than invested. Investments or strategies mentioned in this article may not be suitable for you. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs and is not intended as recommendations appropriate for you.

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You must make an independent decision regarding investments or strategies mentioned in this article. Before acting on information in this article, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser. I founded Thorpe Abbotts alongside Robert Leed Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin.

Crowd Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash. Jeff Henriksen. It has preceded finance and economics as the fundamental theory explaining movements in asset prices.

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The accepted view is that markets operate efficiently and stock prices instantly reflect all available information. Since all participants are privy to the same information, price fluctuations are unpredictable and respond immediately to genuinely new information. As a result, efficient markets do not allow investors to earn above average returns without accepting additional risks.

7. Efficient Markets

Yet, as we all know or have experienced ourselves, markets do not always act this way or exhibit rationality. In fact, a fundamental shortcoming of EMH is its inability to explain excess volatility. Fundamental to modern portfolio theory, efficient markets are the basis that underpins financial decision making. In the early s, Nobel Prize winning economist Eugene Fama put forth the theory of efficient markets, which continues to garner acceptance throughout the field of finance.

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The logic behind this is characterized by a random walk, where all subsequent price changes reflect a random departure from previous prices. In this case, news and price changes are unpredictable. Therefore, both a novice and expert investor, holding a diversified portfolio, will obtain comparable returns regardless of their varying levels of expertise.

As we know, the distribution of news is channeled through various sources and according to Fama, this represents three different forms of market efficiency; strong form, semi-strong form, and weak form.

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Strong form efficiency is where all information, public, personal and confidential, is reflected in share prices. Therefore investors are unable to achieve a competitive advantage and deters insider trading. To a lesser degree, semi-strong efficiency proposes that share prices are a reflection of publicly available information.

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Since market prices already reflect public information, investors are unable to gain abnormal returns. Therefore, technical analysis is not a practical tool to predict future price movements. While efficient market theory resonates throughout financial research, it has often fallen short in its application throughout history. In the wake of the Financial Crisis, many of our traditional financial theories have been challenged for their lack of practical perspective on the markets.