O'Reilly logo

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Darts Trounce the Pros

Luck and the Market

The sports pages of the January 11, 1994, Wall Street Journal reported that the Darts scored a smashing victory over the Pros in their ongoing series. The sport, of course, is stock picking, and the darts are just that–random selections by dart–while the pros are a rotating collection of market experts. The Darts averaged a 42 percent gain in the period July 7, 1993, to December 31, 1993, compared with 8 percent for the Dow Jones and 2.2 percent for the experts. As of the date of the article (the pattern has continued since then), the Pros had twenty-five wins to the Darts’ eighteen in a series of overlapping six-month contests. Their lead over the Dow Jones was a narrow 22 to 21.

Mutual funds also display ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required