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How Economics and Literature Made Me a Better Investor

When I look back at the courses in high school and college that were most influential in my financial life, it’s a dead-even heat between economics (expected, right?) and English (whoa, come again?).

At Wellesley College, there is an iconic economics course taught by Prof. Joe Joyce on capital markets. In this class, students are introduced to Burton Malkiel’s seminal classic, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.” The notion of efficient markets (basically the concept that market prices currently and accurately reflect all known or knowable information nearly instantly) was one I didn’t adhere to immediately.

Like so many of my peers, I initially chose the investment road most commonly traveled. I spent the first half of my investment career on the “active” side of the business, seeking that ever-elusive alpha. In my 40s I had a wake-up call–on many fronts, personal and professional–and those early lessons about market efficiency and the futility of trying to beat it finally sunk in.

Read the rest of the article on The Wall Street Journal.

 

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