Andrew W. Lo

Inquire About This Speaker

World-renowned Economist and Financial Scholar Whose Research and Evidence-based Frameworks Offer Audiences a Deeper Understanding of Market Behaviors and Modern Investment Strategies; Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, MIT Sloan School of Management; Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of the AlphaSimplex Group, QLS Advisors, and the Award-winning BridgeBio Pharma; Author, “Adaptive Markets” (2017); Co-Author, “In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio” (2021); TIME’s 100 Most Influential People

Biography

Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of MIT’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a principal investigator at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Lo is the co-author of “In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest” (Princeton University Press, August 2021) and “Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought” (Princeton University Press, May 2017).

Lo’s current research spans five areas: evolutionary models of investor behavior and adaptive markets, systemic risk and financial regulation, quantitative models of financial markets, financial applications of machine-learning techniques and secure multi-party computation, and health care finance. Recent projects include: deriving risk aversion, loss aversion, probability matching and other behaviors as emergent properties of evolution in stochastic environments; constructing new measures of systemic risk and comparing them across time and systemic events; applying spectral analysis to investment strategies to decompose returns into fundamental frequencies; and developing new statistical tools for predicting clinical trial outcomes, incorporating patient preferences into the drug approval process and accelerating biomedical innovation via novel financing structures.

Lo has published extensively in academic journals, and his awards include Batterymarch, Guggenheim and Sloan Fellowships; the Paul A. Samuelson Award; the Eugene Fama Prize; the IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year; the Global Association of Risk Professionals Risk Manager of the Year; the Harry Markowitz Prize; the Managed Futures Pinnacle Achievement Award; one of TIME’s “100 most influential people in the world;” and awards for teaching excellence from both Wharton and MIT. “Adaptive Markets” has also received a number of awards, including the 2018 PROSE Award, in two categories (Social Sciences and Business, Finance & Management). He is a Fellow of Academia Sinica, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the Society of Financial Econometrics.

Lo has also taken his research ideas from theory into practice. In 1999, he co-founded AlphaSimplex Group LLC, an asset management company that has received numerous awards for its pioneering products and services, including hedge-fund beta replication strategies and managed futures mutual funds. In 2015, he co-founded BridgeBio Pharma, a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies for genetic diseases. And in 2019, he co-founded QLS Advisors LLC, a health care analytics and advisory company focused on applying data science and artificial intelligence to managing biomedical portfolios. Lo is also a director of Atomwise, BridgeBio and Roivant Sciences, a member of the Board of Overseers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an advisor to the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Impact Fund and a member of the NIH’s National Center for Translational Sciences Advisory Council and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board.

Lo received a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1980, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1984.

Andrew W. Lo is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops, and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest

(Princeton University Press, August 2021)

Financing Correlated Drug Development Projects

(Journal of Structured Finance, Spring 2021)

World of EdCraft: Challenges and Opportunities in Synchronous Online Teaching

(SSRN, February 2021)

An Empirical Evaluation of Tax-Loss-Harvesting Alpha

(Financial Analysts Journal, June 2020)

Financially Adaptive Clinical Trials via Option Pricing Analysis

(Journal of Econometrics, November 2020)

Macroeconomic Models for Monetary Policy: A Critical Review from a Finance Perspective

(Annual Review of Financial Economics, November 2020)

Measuring Risk Preferences and Asset-Allocation Decisions: A Global Survey Analysis

(Journal of Investment Management, September 2020)

Macro-Finance Models with Nonlinear Dynamics

(Annual Review of Financial Economics, September 2019)

Spectral Factor Models

(SSRN, November 2018)

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought

(Princeton University Press, May 2017)

Maximizing Predictability in the Stock and Bond Markets. Working Paper No. LFE-1030-96R

(Leopold Classic Library, March 2016)

Is it Real, or is it Randomized?: A Financial Turing Test

(SSRN, January 2015)

The Evolution of Technical Analysis: Financial Prediction from Babylonian Tablets to Bloomberg Terminals

(Bloomberg Press, August 2010)

Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective (New Edition): An Analytic Perspective

(Princeton University Press, July 2010)

The Heretics of Finance: Conversations with Leading Practitioners of Technical Analysis

(Bloomberg Press, January 2009)

The Industrial Organization and Regulation of the Securities Industry (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report)

(University of Chicago Press, April 2008)

Dynamic Asset-Pricing Models (International Library of Financial Econometrics)

(Edward Elgar Publications, June 2007)

The Derivatives Sourcebook (Foundations and Trends(r) in Finance)

(Now Publishers Inc., May 2006)

The Dynamics of the Hedge Fund Industry

(Research Foundation of CFA Institute, August 2005)

Media

It’s Possible to Measure the Impact of Impact Investing

October 19, 2021

Now Is the Time to Prepare for the Economic Shocks of Battling Climate Change

September 30, 2021

Don't Panic Over Panic Selling: MIT Researchers

September 21, 2021

Does the Stock Market Freak You Out? How to Be a Calmer — And More Successful — Investor

August 31, 2021

Book Excerpt: The Quest for the Perfect Portfolio

August 27, 2021

7 Principles for the ‘Perfect Portfolio’ From a Top MIT Economist

August 5, 2021

New MIT Sloan Study Applies Gamification Techniques to Improve Online Teaching Techniques and Learning Outcomes for Students

April 2, 2021

A Brainier Approach to ESG Investing

March 26, 2021

New Framework for Measuring the Impact of Life Sciences Patents Highlights the Growing Importance of Academia in Accelerating Biomedical Innovation

March 11, 2021

How Financial Engineering Can Save Lives

February 10, 2021

Out of Grief, MIT’s Andrew Lo Invented a Better Way to Finance Biomedical Innovation ($)

February 5, 2021

MIT Sloan Study Shows Larger Nonprofit Endowment Funds Generate Higher Returns

May 28, 2020

MIT Sloan Study Shows Larger Nonprofit Endowment Funds Generate Higher Returns

May 26, 2020

New Statistical Approach to COVID-19 Clinical Trials Aims to Accelerate Drug Approval Process and Attract More Funding

May 18, 2020

To Navigate the Current Markets, Look Back to 2008 — And 1918

March 19, 2020

Wall Street Journal

The Stock Market Barely Faltered in the 1918-20 Pandemic. Is History Repeating Itself?

September 7, 2020

Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research? (Audio)

August 26, 2020

Using Data Science to Forecast Clinical Trial Outcomes May Help Biomedical Stakeholders De-risk Their Portfolios

July 8, 2019

A-Z Name

Lo, Andrew W.

Biography

Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of MIT’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a principal investigator at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Lo is the co-author of “In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest” (Princeton University Press, August 2021) and “Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought” (Princeton University Press, May 2017).

Lo’s current research spans five areas: evolutionary models of investor behavior and adaptive markets, systemic risk and financial regulation, quantitative models of financial markets, financial applications of machine-learning techniques and secure multi-party computation, and health care finance. Recent projects include: deriving risk aversion, loss aversion, probability matching and other behaviors as emergent properties of evolution in stochastic environments; constructing new measures of systemic risk and comparing them across time and systemic events; applying spectral analysis to investment strategies to decompose returns into fundamental frequencies; and developing new statistical tools for predicting clinical trial outcomes, incorporating patient preferences into the drug approval process and accelerating biomedical innovation via novel financing structures.

Lo has published extensively in academic journals, and his awards include Batterymarch, Guggenheim and Sloan Fellowships; the Paul A. Samuelson Award; the Eugene Fama Prize; the IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year; the Global Association of Risk Professionals Risk Manager of the Year; the Harry Markowitz Prize; the Managed Futures Pinnacle Achievement Award; one of TIME’s “100 most influential people in the world;” and awards for teaching excellence from both Wharton and MIT. “Adaptive Markets” has also received a number of awards, including the 2018 PROSE Award, in two categories (Social Sciences and Business, Finance & Management). He is a Fellow of Academia Sinica, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the Society of Financial Econometrics.

Lo has also taken his research ideas from theory into practice. In 1999, he co-founded AlphaSimplex Group LLC, an asset management company that has received numerous awards for its pioneering products and services, including hedge-fund beta replication strategies and managed futures mutual funds. In 2015, he co-founded BridgeBio Pharma, a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies for genetic diseases. And in 2019, he co-founded QLS Advisors LLC, a health care analytics and advisory company focused on applying data science and artificial intelligence to managing biomedical portfolios. Lo is also a director of Atomwise, BridgeBio and Roivant Sciences, a member of the Board of Overseers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an advisor to the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Impact Fund and a member of the NIH’s National Center for Translational Sciences Advisory Council and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board.

Lo received a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1980, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1984.

Andrew W. Lo is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops, and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

  • Health care finance
  • Behavioral finance, investor psychology, the neuroscience of economic decision making
  • Financial engineering
  • Financial regulation
  • Financial technology
  • Culture and ethics in finance
  • The Adaptive Markets Hypothesis (finance and evolution)

Media

Array

Books & Research

Array

Recommendations

Praise for “In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio”

“What if you could get inside the minds of some of the greatest investors in history? It would be nice if you had a window straight into their heads, but in reality it would take years of hard work to learn to think the way they do. . . . Or, you could simply read. . . . In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio. 

―Mark Reeth, Business Insider

“A good look at the development of portfolio theory, starting with Markowitz.”

―Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

“This is a delightfully written account of the finance pioneers who have shaped our understanding of how to build optimal investment portfolios. Masterfully illuminating the lives and wisdom of Nobel Laureates and important investment professionals, In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio offers provocative insights for academics and practitioners.”

Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street


“Throughout recorded history, people have looked to safeguard their future through the stewardship of their assets. This wonderful book describes how, in the twentieth century, a group of scholars and practitioners developed systematic approaches to this endeavor. By exploring the differences between these pioneers, In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio puts forth a framework that enables each of us to reflect on our own investment portfolios.”

Diane Coyle, University of Cambridge

“Ever wonder if there is a better way to invest? In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio does a marvelous job setting out answers by taking readers through the evolution of modern investment management. Combining interesting anecdotes with fulsome explanations, the authors provide a roadmap for how portfolio selection has developed. Accessible to new and experienced investors, this book makes clear that the search for the perfect portfolio is an engaging and never-ending quest.”

Maureen O’Hara, former president of the American Finance Association

“Lo and Foerster tell the stories of ten innovators that helped to produce a revolution in the investing field these past fifty years. The authors delve into the personal histories of these individuals and explain how their innovations have improved investment experiences for millions of investors, big and small. This entertaining book gives a great overview of the development of modern finance.”

David G. Booth, chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors

“Lo and Foerster construct a ‘perfect portfolio’ of intimate biographies and divergent yet complementary ideas that will inform today’s most thoughtful investors. Not only does this book help individuals determine what approach would best suit them, it also offers institutions a tantalizing blueprint for better personalized investment solutions.”

Peter Hancock, former president and CEO of AIG and former CFO of J. P. Morgan

“Lo and Foerster have produced an essential book on investing. Everyone should read In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio to find out what featured Nobel Laureates and investment thought leaders have to say about choosing the right portfolio mix. The authors do a splendid job of explaining in nontechnical language the similarities and differences in approach among those profiled.”

Zvi Bodie, Co-Author of Investments

“This highly rewarding book walks us through the foundations of modern portfolio theory and incorporates the powerful insights of the practitioners who helped make it all happen. A perfect read!”

Ben Golub, chief risk officer of BlackRock

Praise for “Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought”

“Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award for Excellence in Social Sciences, Association of American Publishers”

“Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award for Business, Finance & Management, Association of American Publishers”

“Finalist for the 2017 TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA Institute”

“Shortlisted for the 2017 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award”

“One of the CNBC 13 Best Business Books of 2017”

“One of Foreign Affairs Best of Books 2017 – Economic, Social, and Environment / Finance”

“One of The New York Times Deal Book “Business Books Worth Reading” 2017 (chosen by Andrew Sorkin)”

“One of Exame’s “9 books that will help you get rich in 2018””

“One of MoneyWeek’s “Five of the best books of 2017” (chosen by Dr. Matthew Partridge)”

“One of The Wall Street Journal’s What Business Leaders Read in 2017”

“One of the Microsoft Best Business Books of 2017”

“One of Financial Times (FT.com) Best Books of 2017: Economics”

“One of Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2017, chosen by Vitor Constancio”

“One of Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2017, chosen by Robert Shiller”

“Mr. Lo’s book offers a unique way to think about the idea of ‘efficient markets’–a new hypothesis worth considering about how markets can be rational and irrational at the same time.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

“Mr. Lo makes a convincing argument and he also uses the book to lay out some interesting ideas–such as a huge, diversified fund that would invest in a range of potential cancer treatments.”

― Economist

“[A] remarkable new book. . . . Lo’s book will be read and read widely. . . . His insights should allow investors and regulators alike to manage risks better. They should read it.”]

― John Authers, Financial Times

“[Adaptive Markets is] a fascinating read, cogently situating financial behaviour within what we know about human behaviour and evolutionary history.”

―Diane Coyle, Nature

“This new book will become another essential read for anybody interested in financial markets. . . . [It] is a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable read. It is not technical, the explanations are super-clear, and there is some excellent story telling.”

― Enlightened Economist

“[Lo] has a knack for providing a telling anecdote or story to illustrate his point. More important, he also avoids being condescending or triumphalist.”

Matthew Partridge, Money Week

“Using research in evolutionary biology, psychology, neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Mr. Lo . . . explains how human behavior shapes the markets, leading to swings between stability and instability, profit and loss, innovation and regulation.”

― Pensions & Investments

“Andrew Lo’s Adaptive Markets is a masterly synthesis of the traditional, rationality-based approach and new approaches based on psychology and neuroscience, evolutionary theory, and techniques such as computer simulations and artificial intelligence.”

― Diane Coyle, Project Syndicate

“Andrew Lo’s ambitious book offers a welcome, fresh look at how financial markets work and why they sometimes fail. . . . Adaptive Markets makes a valuable and welcome contribution, rewarding the reader by broadening and improving our understanding of finance and markets–in stable and unstable times.”

―Milton Ezrati, City Journal

“The financial markets we create similarly reflect ‘principles of evolution–competition, innovation, reproduction and adaptation’. In this important book, Lo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates the radical implications of this insight.

―Martin Wolf, Financial Times

“[Adaptive Markets] is a summation of developments in fields ranging from economics and behavioral finance to neuroscience and artificial intelligence–all influences on the adaptive markets hypothesis Lo proposes as a framework for finance that considers both rational and irrational behavior.”

― Institutional Investor

“By reading Adaptive Markets, investors and their advisors will benefit from a better understanding of the reasons, based in biology and human nature, that the market is not efficient.”

― Laurence B. Siegel, Advisor Perspectives

“Lo’s new book is a fascinating exploration of the evolution of financial innovation. It’s filled with fascinating stories of what drives human behavior and, ultimately, markets.”

Larry Swedroe, ETF.com

“[Adaptive Markets] doubles as a kind of intellectual history of the global financial system and the innovations that have shaped it. . . . The book abounds with interesting anecdotes drawn from many fields, including the author’s own experiences.”

― Foreign Affairs

“A new theory should be able to capture all that its predecessors have to offer while adding new features. Lo’s adaptive-markets hypothesis is just such a replacement. . . . This book is essential reading.”

― IISS

“Lo writes beautifully, and the book reads quickly. . . . Powerful, ageless, memorable, and fun.”

―Janet J. Mangano, Financial Analysts Journal

“When Lo writes, investors should listen. . . . I have never before read a book with so many memorable quotes that enrich its content and meaning.”

―Janet J. Mangano, Financial Analysts Journal

“Andrew Lo combines wonderfully broad scholarship and a delightfully instructive style to present dramatically new perspectives on how markets work and how they can be regulated more effectively. This important book will teach and entertain, and should influence those charged with keeping markets healthy.”

―Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

Adaptive Markets will appeal to anyone who distrusts dogmatic economic theories and thirsts for a coherent view of how market economies produce both great gain and great pain for societies. Andrew Lo integrates a deep understanding of finance with a broad knowledge of biology, psychology, and ethics to offer a tantalizing vision of how financial engineering could become a powerful force for a more just, healthy, and prosperous world.”

―Peter Hancock, President and CEO, AIG

“We tell stories, we learn from them, and we make them up. In this magnificent book, Andrew Lo explains how our attraction to stories drives markets, explains past catastrophes, and suggests future opportunities for world-saving financial engineering. And he packages it all in fascinating stories of his own.”

―Patrick Henry Winston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Andrew Lo is a brilliant financial economist, visionary innovator, bold contrarian, gifted writer, and an unrelenting idealist. These traits are evident in this wonderful book, which traces the ‘evolutionary explosion of financial innovation’ that began with Vanguard’s creation of the first index mutual fund in 1974, tracking the S&P 500 Index. I continue to hold to index funds, but Dr. Lo’s book persuades me to keep a mind that is open―or at least ajar―to the new world of investment technology, investor preferences, and transaction efficiency, and to the wisdom of those who are smarter than I am.”

―John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and the First Index Mutual Fund, and author of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

“This is a wonderful book. Andrew Lo traces a journey in which he reconsiders rationality in economics, moving from the efficient market hypothesis to his own Adaptive Markets Hypothesis through psychology, neuroscience, biology, and studies of financial innovations and crises. The book presents many valuable findings and is also full of emotion―enthusiasm, joy, frustration, and pain. It is itself a manifestation of the important finding that rational thinking and emotion go together.”

―Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Princeton University

“Andrew Lo combines wonderfully broad scholarship and a delightfully instructive style to present dramatically new perspectives on how markets work and how they can be regulated more effectively. This important book will teach and entertain, and should influence those charged with keeping markets healthy.”

―Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

Adaptive Markets will appeal to anyone who distrusts dogmatic economic theories and thirsts for a coherent view of how market economies produce both great gain and great pain for societies. Andrew Lo integrates a deep understanding of finance with a broad knowledge of biology, psychology, and ethics to offer a tantalizing vision of how financial engineering could become a powerful force for a more just, healthy, and prosperous world.”

―Peter Hancock, President and CEO, AIG

“We tell stories, we learn from them, and we make them up. In this magnificent book, Andrew Lo explains how our attraction to stories drives markets, explains past catastrophes, and suggests future opportunities for world-saving financial engineering. And he packages it all in fascinating stories of his own.”

―Patrick Henry Winston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Andrew Lo is a brilliant financial economist, visionary innovator, bold contrarian, gifted writer, and an unrelenting idealist. These traits are evident in this wonderful book, which traces the evolutionary explosion of financial innovation’ that began with Vanguard’s creation of the first index mutual fund in 1974, tracking the S&P 500 Index. I continue to hold to index funds, but Dr. Lo’s book persuades me to keep a mind that is openor at least ajar–to the new world of investment technology, investor preferences, and transaction efficiency, and to the wisdom of those who are smarter than I am.”

―John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and the First Index Mutual Fund, and author of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

“This is a wonderful book. Andrew Lo traces a journey in which he reconsiders rationality in economics, moving from the efficient market hypothesis to his own Adaptive Markets Hypothesis through psychology, neuroscience, biology, and studies of financial innovations and crises. The book presents many valuable findings and is also full of emotion–enthusiasm, joy, frustration, and pain. It is itself a manifestation of the important finding that rational thinking and emotion go together.”

―Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Princeton University

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