This week on our Masters in Business podcast, we speak with Burton Malkiel, chairman’s professor of economics at Princeton University, and is a two-time chairman of the economics department. Professor Malkiel served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers (1975–1977), president of the American Finance Association (1978), and Dean of the Yale School of Management (1981–1988). He was a director for the Vanguard Group for 28 years. He is best known for A Random Walk Down Wall Street, now in its 11th edition, with over 1.5 million copies sold.
Malkiel is Chief Investment Officer to software-based financial advisor Wealthfront.
Our conversation range far and wide, and Malkiel discussed everything from how he urged the creation of index funds to why “a blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper’s financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by the experts.”
Its not that investors are stupid – it’s the opposite! Markets have become so filled with very smart, hard-working and insightful managers with a vast wealth of technology at their fingertips, he says, that Alpha is almost immediately arbitraged away.
Next week we speak with Steven Pinker, Professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard, and author of How the Mind Works.