The Institute for Financial Analysts polled its members and found that they no longer believe in efficient markets, or at least that prices reflect all information (see article). So, is stock investing based on fundamentals a waste of time? After all, information is more prevalent now than every before, and new information (for the most part) is suppose to be shared equally. If prices are not reflecting fundamentals, then surely, efficient market theory is lacking. As a kind of compromise, some will argue that while the markets are efficient, the participants are not, each analyzing the news, information, and data differently. It is felt that this is where some of academia has gone wrong - assuming that all participants interpret new news in the same way (although those in behavior finance might beg-to-differ).

Unfortunately, this view usually creates more confusion given that for many the participants are the market, such that as long as there are human traders, there will be fear, greed, and pricing anomalies. This is why it is often felt that being a fund manager is as much about understanding historical patterns and psychology, as it is about knowing the fundamentals. The irony is that as the flow of information has become more efficient, given the Internet and the 24-hour new cycle, one could speculate that the market may have actually become less efficient. Now freshly armed with new information, you have even more traders and investors trying to figure it all out, each with their own biases, over-reactions, and in some cases, somewhat predictable herd behavior. Such inconsistencies will no doubt keep market participants looking for alpha, all the while allowing fund managers and technical analysts to continue to thumb their noses at those in the ivory tower.