How Many Monkeys Does it Take to Find a Successful Strategy?

Give a monkey enough darts and she will eventually hit the bulls-eye on a dartboard. We wouldn’t dare consider that monkey an expert dart thrower, but investment professionals have been using essentially that same logic to assert that their strategies – often called “smart betas” – will outperform the market. New research exposes the faulty mathematics upon which such claims are based.

Early this month, four academicians — David H. Bailey and Marcos Lopez de Prado of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jonathan M. Borwein of the University of Newcastle in . . .

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