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Investment Research: How Much is Enough

16 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2009  

Bradford Cornell

California Institute of Technology

Date Written: June 2009


Aside from the decision to enter the equity market, the most fundamental question an investor faces is whether to passively hold the market portfolio or to do investment research. This thesis of this paper is that there is no scientifically reliable procedure available which can be applied to estimate the marginal product of investment research. In light of this imprecision, investors become forced to rely on some combination of judgment, gut instinct, and marketing imperatives to determine both the research approaches they employ and the capital they allocate to each approach. However, decisions based on such nebulous criteria are fragile and subject to dramatic revision in the face of market movements. These revisions, in turn, can exacerbate movements in asset prices.

Keywords: Investment Research

JEL Classification: G10

Suggested Citation

Cornell, Bradford, Investment Research: How Much is Enough (June 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Bradford Cornell (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
310-825-2922 (Phone)
310-206-5455 (Fax)

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