Remembering Dr. Harry Markowitz

Dr. Harry Markowitz

Dr. Harry Markowitz, a member of Matson Money’s Academic Advisory Board, passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2023. He was 95 years old.

Markowitz won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contribution to financial economics and in 1999, he was named “Man of the Century” by the financial newspaper Pensions & Investments. 1

He developed the foundations of Modern Portfolio Theory in the 1950s, which demonstrates how an investment portfolio can be engineered to maximize return for any given level of risk. Markowitz’ dissertation, “Portfolio Selection”, challenged the popularity of stock picking and created a systematic process to portfolio creation. Charting what he called a “frontier”, his research measured the correlation between a diverse assortment of stocks to construct the most efficient portfolio where no additional return could be achieved without increasing risk.

He also explored the human behavior dimension of wealth creation. He was regarded as a pioneer in behavioral finance, as his work delved into the study of how people make choices around their money and investing.

For more than 30 years, Markowitz’s work has helped lay the foundation for how Matson Money constructs portfolios; we assert his research will continue to work for generations to come, offering families an opportunity for peace of mind around their money.

In addition to his contribution to Modern Portfolio Theory, Markowitz was renowned in two additional fields. In 1954, He developed “sparse matrix” techniques that help solve large mathematical optimization problems.1 These techniques are now standard practice in production software. In 1962, he helped design and develop Simscript, a programming system designed to facilitate the writing of large-scale simulation programs.1

In 1989, Markowitz was honored with the John von Neumann Theory Prize from the Operations Research Society of America for his work in all three fields – portfolio construction, sparse matrix techniques, and Simscript.

Markowitz’ contribution to academic investing principles and the Matson Methodology will continue to influence how we construct portfolios. His legacy will continue to live on through advisors and investors, committed to prudent and disciplined investing strategies based on academic investing principles.


This content is based on the views of Matson Money, Inc.  This content is not to be considered investment advice and is not to be relied upon as the basis for entering into any transaction or advisory relationship or making any investment decision.  

This content includes the opinions, beliefs, or viewpoints of Matson Money.  All of Matson Money’s advisory services are marketed almost exclusively by either Solicitors or Co-Advisors.  Both Co-Advisors and Solicitors are independent contractors, not employees or agents of Matson.  

Other financial organizations may analyze investments and take a different approach to investing than that of Matson Money. All investing involves risks and costs. No investment strategy (including asset allocation and diversification strategies) can ensure peace of mind, guarantee profit, or protect against loss.    


Academic Advisory Board members receive compensation from Matson Money for their services which include, but are not limited to, independent leadership consulting; co-authoring white papers; and speaking at Matson Money conferences. Advisory Board members may also provide insight to Matson Money on portfolio construction, asset allocation, quantitative analysis, investor behavior and other areas of expertise, as needed. 

Modern Portfolio Theory 

Markowitz, Harry. Portfolio Selection: Efficient Diversification of Investments. New York. Wiley. 1959. Print. 

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics, is an award for outstanding contributions to the field of economics, and generally regarded as the most prestigious award for that field. 

Markowitz, Harry.  “Portfolio Selection.”  Journal of Finance.  1952. 

Harry Max Markowitz is an American economist, and a recipient of the 1989 John von Neumann Theory Prize and the 1990 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Markowitz is a professor of finance at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. 

1. Harry Markowitz, Nobel-Winning Pioneer of Modern Portfolio Theory, Dies at 95. The New York Times. Published June 25, 2023. Retrieved from: