Computer Models Won’t Beat the Stock Market Any Time Soon

We’ve come to expect a lot from intelligent machines: Spotify picks songs for your playlist. Your phone has learned to recognize your face, even on a bad hair day. And self-driving cars, we’re promised, are just around the corner. As the technology gets better, it usually becomes more commonplace. But here’s something you’ll likely never have access to: a computerized stockpicker that outsmarts the market.

It’s not for lack of interest on Wall Street’s part. The effort to scientifically model markets, which began in the mid-1980s, has absorbed the talents of some of the brightest graduates of math and computer science programs. A handful of secretive hedge fund managers—including Renaissance Technologies, PDT Partners, and D.E. Shaw—have carved out extraordinary returns. But tellingly, many of the leading operations today are the same ones that dominated scientific modeling decades ago. And you probably aren’t rich enough or connected enough to invest with them. READ MORE ON: BLOOMBERG

Illustration: Jaci Kessler Lubliner for Bloomberg Businessweek

Illustration: Jaci Kessler Lubliner for Bloomberg Businessweek

BusinessYusra Hamid