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The Money Game by Adam Smith

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11. WHAT THE HELL IS A RANDOM WALK?

Charting is as old as papyrus; the “random-walk” thesis has ancient origins but, properly worked out, is as new as computers. Charting seeks to find some order in what has happened; the random-walk thesis maintains there is no order. If the random-walk people are right, the Chartists are out of business and all the security analysts are in trouble.

The random-walk people are university professors in business schools and economics departments. They have had a lot of advanced mathematics and they delight in using it, and in fact, most random-walk papers by these academics must be arcane and filled with symbols so that their colleagues will be impressed. If you want to read some of these, try a journal called ...

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