Are you Ready to Witness Finance Research on Steroids?

Are you Ready to Witness Finance Research on Steroids?

January 3, 2017 Research Insights, Investor Education
Print Friendly
(Last Updated On: January 5, 2017)

Have you ever dreamed of meeting Ben Bernanke face-to-face? Would you love the chance to bump into Larry Summers in the hallway? Or better yet, have you dreamed of listening to a Nobel Prize winner present a detailed critique of a research paper you considered unassailable?

For many, the experiences above are akin to sleeping on a bed of needles. Nonetheless, I’ve experienced all of these scenarios at the American Finance Association Annual Meeting and I recommend that anyone interested in new and exciting research attend the AFA event at least one time in their life.

The AFA conference, a 3-day affair that always occurs in the first week of January, is part of a larger American Economic Association Annual Meeting. The event assembles the world’s top financial economic researchers to discuss the most exciting and fresh research in an open forum.

This year’s platform consists of 235 papers, 72 sessions, and 19 general discussion forums with top thought leaders. The most exciting panel is led by Anil Kashyap, who will be discussing low interest rates and financial markets with Ken Griffin (Citadel CEO), Jerome Powell (Fed Reserve Governor), and Raghuram Rajan (former Chief Economist of the IMF).

Of course, most of us will not be attending this year’s event (sign up for next year’s event!) and by the time you’ve read this article the 2017 AFA event will have come and gone. Nonetheless, the 235 papers on the AFA program are all available here and can be reviewed at your leisure.

I list a few of my favorite new research pieces that piqued my interest (it will take me weeks to digest them all):

  • Anomalies and News: Joey Engelberg, David McLean, and Jeff Pontiff shed some light on the debate regarding market efficiency. Their unique approach highlights that stock prices are inefficient due to biased behavior.
  • Good and Bad CEOs: Dirk Jenter, Egor Matveyev, and Lukas Roth leverage a unique experimental design and highlight that individuals within firms — especially the top dog — matter for firm performance. Their research contribute to the debate on “excess” CEO pay.
  • Do High Frequency Traders Need to be Regulated? Tarun Chordia, Clifton Green, and Badrinath Kottimukkalur find evidence to suggest that competition within HFT is eroding the need for regulators to be overly concerned with HFT. Speed used to be a monopolistic advantage, but the monopoly has been broken and market trading is operating more competitively, which is better for market participants and consumers of financial products at large.

Paying attention to the AFA conference will help you become a better investor and access the latest and greatest ideas before they become mainstream. Check it out.

Some of the more exciting sessions that I’m reviewing:

Here is the first page of sessions with links…and this goes on for pages and pages…235 papers are on the program!




Note: This site provides NO information on our value investing ETFs or our momentum investing ETFs. Please refer to this site.

Join thousands of other readers and subscribe to our blog.

Please remember that past performance is not an indicator of future results. Please read our full disclosures. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Alpha Architect, its affiliates or its employees. This material has been provided to you solely for information and educational purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer or any advice or recommendation to purchase any securities or other financial instruments and may not be construed as such. The factual information set forth herein has been obtained or derived from sources believed by the author and Alpha Architect to be reliable but it is not necessarily all-inclusive and is not guaranteed as to its accuracy and is not to be regarded as a representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy or completeness, nor should the attached information serve as the basis of any investment decision. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission from Alpha Architect.

Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom)

About the Author

Wesley R. Gray, Ph.D.

After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned a PhD, and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. Dr. Gray has published four books and a number of academic articles. Wes is a regular contributor to multiple industry outlets, to include the following: Wall Street Journal, Forbes,, and the CFA Institute. Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a BS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • BG

    “The History of the Cross Section of Stock Returns” by Linnainmaa and Roberts looks interesting. Among other factors, are profitability and investment now suspect?