Harry Markowitz Biography
Birthday: August 24, 1927 (Virgo)
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Harry Max Markowitz is an American economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contribution to the field of financial economics. He shared the prize money with two other American economists, Merton H. Miller and William F. Sharpe. His research opened up a completely new field of study related to financial economics where the effect of risks, diversification and correlation were very important. Markowitz had already developed a portfolio theory in the early 1950s on the ways in which returns on investments could be optimized. Economists at that time stressed on diversification of portfolios and were against putting all their money in one place. Markowitz came up with ways to measure the risk involved for each security and how to make a combined portfolio that could bring maximum returns for the risk taken. He showed how two shares, both having equally high risks and high returns, can be combined in a portfolio to lower the overall risk. This could be possible if the price of one share had a tendency to fall when the other rose thus minimizing the total risk while keeping the level of returns quite high. Makowitz’s idea caught on very fast and all portfolio managers and investors started to use this technique to keep the money flowing into their bank accounts.