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The New Finance: The Case Against Efficient Markets (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
First, Haugen's writing style is annoying and childish. An engaging use of humor and metaphor are apparently beyond his skill.
Second, Haugen's story is unconvincing. The case against the efficient market hypothesis has been made much more rigorously and interestingly by other authors (e.g. Andrei Shleifer, Hersh Shefrin, and Richard Thaler, among others). Haugen in some case makes mountains out of statistical molehills and misses vital information in others. In short, Haugen is neither convincing nor complete in his critique. The field of economics covered here has a name, by the way, which Haugen never once cites: behavioral finance.
Third, in many cases Haugen is just plain wrong in his assertions. The cases are too numerous to count, but I'll give two examples from page 12. First, Haugen asserts that if no one uses the CAPM to construct their portfolios then markets cannot be efficient. This is not true. The efficient market hypothesis can hold, as Milton Friedman pointed out, if people act AS IF they use the CAPM, even if they don't really use it. Second, of evidence that markets generally react to new information quickly and without bias, Haugen says "Not true." Which is overstating the case, if not outright misrepresenting it. While there is some evidence of investor overreaction and/or underreaction, the case is far from closed. Moreover, anecdotal evidence of occasional over- and under-reaction does not prove the efficient market hypothesis to be a "Fantasy," as Haugen claims.
Fourth, and this point is somewhat related to the third, Haugen is far too full of himself.Read more ›
As a student, the material was brought to life by an excellent professor at Michigan State University. He was able to provide additional evidence and support for Haugen's arguement. Without the benefit of a good professors insights, the book does seem arrogant to a point of distraction. Not only is arrogance an issue but Haugen's writing style is hardly even par for the academic tome it claims to be.
My opinion of the material has not changed. I still find Haugen's point of view compelling and persuasive. I just find it unfortunate that so many will be left un-convinced primarily due to issues of style. If you choose to read this book, try your best not to reject the message along with the messenger.
FYI, I believe "Qualified Opinion" from NY was wrong when he desribed how EMH means market-superior returns are possible. EMH should mean that all information is priced into securities and thus, it is impossible to beat the market. Haugen's theory rejects this and suggests that due to market innefficiencies, superior returns are possible by choosing a Value strategy. Efficient market hypothesis is also referred to as "random walk" theory because it results in an inability to chart the market. Proponents of EMH suggest selecting Index funds to simply accept the market return.
It defends the opposite of what almost all mainstream financial academics belive : Markets are inneficient and somehow forecastable by a money manager with proper analysis tools. Thats exactly why this book is important for a serious finance thinker. It forces one to rethink key assumptions - yes, Haugen's arguments, reasoning and numbers are convincing - for a better understanding.
An open minded reader with adequate finance knowledge (beginners wont benefit much) will truly benefit from this challenging book, be it changing his mind/view on finance (accepting some of haugen's ideas), or simply reassuring his own previous belifs/approach.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is nice to have someone spell out exactly why the market can be inefficient. In this regard, Robert Haugen makes a valient and concise attempt to tackle the subject. Read morePublished on June 15, 2007 by 1000Books
Only a courageous professor willing to really find truth would write this insightful book. The fact that he also has a great sense of humor is to be greatly commended. Read morePublished on September 25, 1999
The author may or may not be right (I think he's probably more right than wrong). However, his tone is offensive, his citing of others is selective and misleading, and he's just... Read morePublished on August 13, 1999
Haugen takes it best shot against the Efficient Markets hypothesis. He states his case with analytical precision, wit and a good sense of humour. Read morePublished on October 26, 1998