Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Best Advice Fama Got

With formal statistics, you say something -- a hypothesis -- and then you test it. Harry always said that your criterion should be not whether or not you can reject or accept the hypothesis, but what you can learn from the data. The best thing you can do is use the data to enhance your description of the world. That has been the guiding light of my research. You should use market data to understand markets better, not to say this or that hypothesis is literally true or false. No model is ever strictly true. The real criterion should be: Do I know more about markets when I'm finished than I did when I started? Harry's lesson is one that I've passed on to my students over the 49 years that I've been a teacher.