Are you Ready to Witness Finance Research on Steroids?

/Are you Ready to Witness Finance Research on Steroids?

Are you Ready to Witness Finance Research on Steroids?

By | 2017-08-18T17:10:02+00:00 January 3rd, 2017|Research Insights, Investor Education|1 Comment

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!




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About the Author:

Wes Gray
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?