Utilizing Momentum Trading Strategy on the UK Stock Market: Challenging Efficient Market Hypothesis
A number of studies have illustrated that stock returns may be predictable through implementing a momentum trading strategy, which contradicts the whole concept of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. This paper will discuss the Efficient Market Hypothesis and focus on its challenges in the face of behavioral finance. In addition, empirical research is conducted to test whether a momentum strategy can be implemented to successfully beat the market.
This dissertation draws on the framework developed by Jegadeesh & Titman (1993), while also taking ideas from other relevant scholars in the field, and analyses the monthly returns generated from the momentum strategy used, examining whether the returns in each constructed portfolio is greater than the return of the UK stock market (FTSE All-Share market index) for the period 2016, based around Brexit, an event which had an influence on the stock market as a whole, and construct another set of portfolios one-year prior to the event, to act as a control for comparability and to test validity of the momentum strategy being used to generate excess returns.
From the empirical data, it is seen that in the Brexit portfolios, every portfolio beat the market, however for the pre-Brexit portfolio, a few portfolios under performed the market, with the majority beating the market. Although the two time periods tested had dissimilar results, this dissertation can still confirm that the use of the momentum strategy can be used to predict future returns, and manage to earn abnormal returns.
This dissertation is inspired by the desire to gain a greater understanding of the financial markets, through implementing momentum trading strategies and examining anomalies to exploit any market inefficiencies. The research is motivated by a strong personal interest in the general topic areas and perceived gaps in existing literature. Moreover, financial market efficiency is the central importance to practitioners, investors, corporations and regulators, with financial theory being based around the belief that financial agents and markets are rational.
Furthermore, investors depend greatly on strategies which observe stock market behaviour, a key focus of this research. Also, with the continuous success of individuals such as George Soros and Warren Buffett, they represent the most immutable contradiction of market efficiency theories, that returns are unpredictable.
Momentum Trading Strategy Dissertation
Background to the study
Importance of the study
Structure of the dissertation
2: Literature Review
An introduction to the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)
Testing the efficient market hypothesis
Testing the weak-form efficiency
The Filter approach
The Dow Theory
Testing the semi-strong form efficiency
Testing the strong-form efficiency
The calendar effect
The January effect
Under-reactions, over-reactions and contrarian strategy
Time period to test
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit)
One year prior to United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (pre-Brexit)
Formation Period and Holding Period returns
The Zero-Cost Trading Strategy
Null Hypothesis (H0)
Alternative Hypothesis (H1)
4: Results and Analysis
Results for 3-months formation period
Results for 6-months formation period
Results for 9-months formation period
Results for 12-months formation period
Testing the validity of the research results
The January Effect
Effect of the EU Referendum on the test results
Summary of research results
Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research
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Capital Structure and Corporate Decision Making: The Role of Compensation Plans on Managerial Decisions in Relation to Stock Performance in the Financial Markets
This dissertation attempts to answer the research question as to whether compensation plans provide better incentives for managers to take risks and increase stock performance in financial markets by corporations. Objectives aimed at examining whether compensation plans influenced managerial decisions and overall future stock performance in corporations. Another objective assessed effectiveness of compensation plans towards managerial risky decisions and performance. The author’s central argument was that compensation arrangements and efficient market information functionality motivated managerial decisions that increased future stock performance in corporations. The research methods adopted comprised of qualitative research methods that linked past evidence, theories and research works by other scholars to reaffirm or refute previous theories.
The methodology maintained an empiricist paradigm and research that made sense through objectivity realised from collected data. The models sought explanations and predictions with an aim of confirming, or substantiating relationships, as well as assembling generalisations on theoretical frameworks. Qualitatively, trends, gaps and opportunities were critically examined using desktop appraisal of secondary literature, documents, journals, books and reports. Content analysis method detailed systematic assessment of substances in specific materials aimed at identifying patterns, themes, or biases.
The review finds consistent literature to demonstrate that indeed compensation arrangements contribute to performance by managers. Organizations that link compensation plans with individuals could attract egoistic kind of CEO. Extrinsic incentives, particularly money, correlated with the largest productivity in terms of stock performances. Skills-based compensation plan now forms the new trend when identifying potential CEOs. Additionally, when designing compensation arrangements, one should balance with conflicting objectives by the shareholders, executives and corporations. What worked for firm A cannot be assumed to work for firm B because each corporation is distinct in size, philosophy, values and objectives.
To examine whether compensation plans influence managerial decisions and overall stock performance in corporations
To assess effectiveness of compensation plans towards managerial risky decisions and performance
1 – Introduction
Statement of the Problem
2 – Literature Review
Does Compensation Plan and Risky Decision Taking Translate to Better Performance?
The Role of Financial Markets in Managerial Decision Making
Forms of Compensation Plans
Effectiveness of Compensation Plans, Risky Managerial Decisions and Performance
3 – Research Methodology
4 – Research Findings
The Hard Facts
Why Compensation arrangements and Performance Metrics?
Short and Long-term Bonus Measures
Human Resource Methods
The Bogey Plan
Relative Performance Evaluation (RPE)
Informational Function of Managerial Decision Making by Financial Markets
The Correlation between Compensation Plans, Risky Decision Making and Performance
Reasons for compensation plans
Reasons against compensation plans
Compensation arrangements and its Effectiveness towards Performance
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Title: Forecasting Stock Price Volatility – This dissertation addresses the question of whether there might exist a more accurate method of forecasting volatility that those in common use today. More specifically the project restricts its scope to stock prices since historical data, including pricing, for these assets are transparent, readily available and voluminous. Before moving on to the research hypothesis, however, a final general observation about volatility is, perhaps, in order.
Volatility is a useful proxy for risk and it is commonly treated as such in the financial literature and mathematical models. However there is a countervailing viewpoint that volatility is not exactly the same thing as risk. A stock that rises exhibits high volatility, but if that rise is based on business fundamentals then the underlying risk may not have moved. The research hypothesis for this dissertation is that recent advances in machine learning and deep neural nets allow the construction of a high performance volatility forecasting model that is easier to configure correctly and more stable against changes in model hyperparameters or inputs.
An LSTM based recurrent neural network architecture is proposed as suitable for time series forecasting. Data from the CRSP US Stock Database and Google Trends is used to construct training patterns and testing patterns and the model is subjected to fifteen different training scenarios. These scenarios vary the model hyperparameters and inputs, and compare the consequent performance against three common benchmark forecasting models.
The model is found to perform well in most scenarios, be easy to configure and demonstrates good resilience to hyperparameter and input changes. In the highest performing configurations, the model demonstrated an RMS error rate less than 50% of the next best performing benchmark.
1 – Introduction
2 – Research Goal
3 – Theory
Artificial Neural Networks
Recurrent Neural Networks
Long Short-Term Memory
4 – Data Sources
5 – Model Design
Google Trends Features
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on Forecasting Stock Price Volatility. There are many other dissertation titles available in the Finance Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to finance students and practitioners. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of finance such as Financial Management, Global Finance, International Banks, Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, Investment Banking, Corporate Strategy, Risk Management, Finance Portfolios, Share Prices, Capital Investment, Financial Planning and Micro-Finance to name a few. I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.
A Summary of How Revenue is recognized within the Construction Industry under IAS 11
Title: Revenue Recognition: Construction contracts are designed to meet specifications for the negotiations on how assets are constructed or combined to meet their ultimate objectives (Buschhüter, Michael & Andreas 2011). Contract constructions may involve fixed prices where some are subjected to the cost escalation costs. On the hand, a cost plus contract involves reimbursements or allowable and percentages of costs or the fixed rates present. The changes were made to meet the standards of Financial Accounting (IFRS 15 2014). Revenue is considered to be income earned from everyday activities as it goes by different names such as royalties, dividends, interest, fee or sales.
Revenues that are to be recognized would be from the selling goods, providing services royalties and interest. However, in this case, revenue is to be recognized from the construction of contracts. Construction contracts may be either fixed or cost plus contracts or a combination of the two (IAS 11 2011).
In this regard, a contractor needs to identify and determine what contract to use to know when to recognize revenue and costs as well. When the outcome can be properly estimated, the contract revenues and costs would be recognized as revenues and expenses respectively at the end of the contract period. A loss is also recognized as an expense by the accounting standards.
In fixed price contracts, construction contracts are estimated reliably once total contract revenues are reliable. The revenues are considered as benefits since the effects will be felt positively by any business. Stages of contract completion, as well as, the contract costs have been reliable to meet the standards. All contract costs are to be measured reliably to account for the actual contract costs that would be incurred when compared.
Similarly, for cost plus contract to be enforceable, the economic benefits of the contract have to be passed to the entity. The costs have to be also clearly and easily identified for measurements to be done reliably (IFRS 15 2014). The recognized revenue at the end of a contract is considered to be the percentage of completion. This whereby the contract revenues are matched with the contract costs and then reported in the books of account.
Afterward, the contract revenues and costs are recognized as revenues costs in the profit and loss account. The expected excess of costs over revenues is treated as expenses. If the outcomes are not measured reliably, the revenues will not be recognized and perhaps not even recoverable in the business. An entity will then disclose the revenues recognized during the accounting period as techniques of arriving at the revenues will be recognized as well.
A Description of the Process of Developing New Standards IFRS 15
The International Financial Reporting Standard had to be formed by the Internal Accounting Standards Board; IASB to provide rules and procedures on how to account for revenues that are from customers. There were significant differences between IASB and the IFRS when it came to the definitions of revenue.
Even though they were almost similar, the different understanding of revenue resulted in different ways of treating revenue in financial accounting. The IASB thought they had not given enough revenue standards, policies and procedures on how revenue was treated (IAS 18 1993).
The IASB began working on the issues to try and formulate ways it could solve the issue from 2002.Their first review paper was released in 2008 as they further discussed it and gathered information from relevant sources. Afterward, a release on the exposure draft was done proposing the new accounting standards in 2010 and 2011. After a long process of deliberations and reviews that took several years, the IASB issued the final standard on 28th May 2014.
Changes made about the IAS 18 included recognizing and measuring financial tools revised in 2003 and the 2004 revision of insurance contracts. In 2007, the presentation of financial statements was reviewed through amendments in the different terms used. Their first issued review in 2008, involved investment costs in jointly controlled entities and subsidiaries as well as improvements on the IFRS. The same year also saw IFRIC agreements on issues relating to the constructions of the real estate.
The IFRIC 15 also dealt with issues of the non-monetary contributions by investors in entities that are jointly controlled as they evaluated all legalities in leasing or substance transactions. Barter trade and service concession agreements were also made as they issued customer loyalty programs in 2007 (IAS 18 1993). The IFRS 15 model follows procedures that begin with the; identification of the contracts as well as all individual parties involved.
Transaction prices are also determined as the prices are allocated to the different obligations in accounting. Revenues are finally recognized as the performance obligations are fulfilled. The amount of revenue to recognize and when acquiring costs are capitalized as assets are under the guidelines of the IFRS 15. Any of the expenses not capitalized as assets are considered to be expenses incurred. After all proper recognitions are reporting is done, financials are to be properly disclosed by the company.
Why the Process of Developing New Standards has proven to be difficult and Time-consuming
The new revenue recognition standards had left out key areas that bring in revenue and had not been recognized. New standards on how to recognize revenue had to be set for businesses to follow by the relevant bodies. The objective of the new set of rules and procedures is to explain how the different revenues would be treated.
Revenue recognition is recognized when it estimated to bring economic benefits that are measurable to the business in the future. Therefore, practical guidance is given on how the criteria will be met. The International Accounting Standards Board adopted previously issued the construction contracts and the new standards of recognizing revenue.
IAS 18 was put in place to replace the former methods of recognizing revenue while the IAS 11 replaced some accounting rules on the construction of contacts (Buschhüter, Michael & Andreas 2011). This is to help in knowing how to treat costs and revenues that are associated with the nature of activities undertaken.
Also, due to the then existing rules, changing to new standards had to take long processes of deliberations that were time-consuming. Steps had to be followed as described above as company’s found it hard to easily and quickly adapt to the new set of rules. The new set rules had to be then applied first to see if they would meet the specifications with no interference of other accounts that would result in imbalances in the financial statement and misappropriation and misallocation of resources.
Changing one side would have to result in changing of the other side to cancel out the effects. For instance, in ledger accounts, a debit entry has to be followed a credit entry and vice versa is also true.
What people do not know is that different firms have different accounting rules they follow. A majority however, follow the international standards while others follow the U.S. GAAP principles (Kieso, Jerry & Terry 2010). Unlike the U.S. GAAP, the International Financial Reporting Standards does not always give extensive regulation prompting the need of having some exercises in judgments in some instances. The U.S. GAAP accounting is based on standards while the IFRS focuses more on principles.
The accounting differences have made the financial comparison between different organizations difficult. For instance, actuarial gains and losses are treated differently. They are treated as off-balance sheet items by the IFRS standards unlike under the U.S GAAP. The off-balances in the balance sheets would cause volatilities and fluctuations. Therefore, the IASB is trying as much as it can to harmonize the differences in the standards. This would also take time as the harmonization would require changes in almost every aspect of accounting (IASB 2006). Adaptation by firms would take time as well making it a difficult and a long, tedious process.
A Summary of how the New Standard IFRS 15 would Deal with a Construction Contract where Construction Happened Over One Accounting Period
The important principle of IFRS is that a company would have to recognize revenue for it to be related to the transfer of the commodities and services that were promised and what the company is expected to get. Services rendered depend on the agreement of the specific time it should cover. The period might exceed one accounting period as would be expected.
An accounting period is often considered to take one year. This, therefore, means that more than one accounting period takes more than one year. The work done at construction contracts usually take more than one accounting period. Therefore, rules have to be set that best suit the situation. One of the methods is to recognized revenues or profit at the end of the contract. This would be through following the IAS 18 – Revenue (IAS 18 1993).
Recognizing profit at the end of the period does not show that profit was accrued. Under the IAS 11 all revenues and costs will be matched to the accounting period and documented at the end of each financial period (IAS 11 2011). Recognition of profit at the end of the contract would see the company reporting spikes or rises in profits that may not often be matched with the accruals. This is because the revenues would have accumulated to amounts exceeding what would have been recognized in one accounting period (Ursachi, Antonela, & Geanina 2014).
In this regard, revenues and costs are only recognized once estimations of the outcome are reliable. As stated earlier, properly estimated outcomes from contracts should be reliable for use and interpretation. An expected contract loss should be recognized immediately. The completion stage would be calculated on the basis of sales, costs, and physical proportions.
Revenue recognition done at the end of the construction contracts is known as the percentage of completion method. The reported revenue and costs would later be credited to the proportion of work that was completed (IAS 11 2011). The contract revenue is recognized as revenues while the contract costs as expenses in the profit and loss accounts. Similar to when accounting was done in one accounting period, expected amount that exceeds when contract costs are more than contract revenues are treated as expenses.
Buschhüter, M & Andreas S 2011, ‘IAS 11–Revenue Recognition & Construction Contracts’, Kommentar Internationale Rechnungslegung IFRS. Gabler, 374-391.
International Accounting Standards Board Revenue Recognition: (IASB) 2006, ‘International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS’s): Including International Accounting Standards (IAS’s) and Interpretations’, International Accounting Standards Board.
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Corporate Accounting – Significance, Application and Standards
Corporate Accounting is one of the major parts in financial management procedures of an organization. Accounting practices are necessary for a company in order to show how an organization has been successfully operating over the course of the year and making future plans for budgets and expenditures (Das, 2011). However, it is studied that accounting is a broadest term which have several branches and areas for different business and for different purposes. In which some of them are financial accounting, cost accounting and corporate accounting (Malwitz, 2008). However, this paper is merely focusing on defining the corporate accounting by incorporating corporate accounting theories, significance, concepts, legislation, applications and standards.
Corporate accounting is a special branch of accounting which can be defined as the quantity, recording and interpretation of financial information and data of a limited company which can be either a public limited company or a joint stock company (Fyler, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Moreover, it is found that corporate accounting is an accounting which is particularly for larger companies since smaller-scale companies, sole traders or partnerships business cannot implement corporate accounting to maintain their financial record or information.
It is because smaller-scale companies, sole traders or partnerships businesses have not much requirements and demands in order to fulfil the accounting standards and to meet with accounting principles (Ijiri, 1980). On the other hand, large scale organizations or limited companies have sufficient financial information and data that they have to show to the general public and regulatory bodies therefore they have to maintain proper financial records with the help of corporate accounting (Fyler, 2013; Ijiri, 1980; Das, 2011).
Furthermore, it is studied that corporate accounting also deals helps the limited companies or large scale organizations in term of preparing final accounts, maintaining cash flow statements, analysing and interpreting financial results of the respective company particular for any specific events such as amalgamation, absorption, and helps company in preparation of consolidated balance sheets (Paton & Littleton, 1986).
By reviewing several studies, it is identified that the corporate accounting has some basic principles and foundations on which the overall accounting practices are based. The key foundations of corporate accounting include Accounting Cycle, Double Entry Accounting, and financial statements (Bennett, 2013). In which Accounting Cycle involves the regular recording and reporting of financial data or information. The accounting cycle completed within a specific period of time as per the policies of companies. Usually, it completed in a month or year.
Corporate Accounting Cycle
The accounting cycle begins by recording all financial transactions such as cash exchanges or debits and credits by using a general ledger approach. General Ledger is a precise and clear summary of all accounts including payable and receivable (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). The next stage of accounting cycle is the adjustment of general ledger which can be done by taking items or entries which are not the direct transactions, such as bad debt, taxes and accrued interest. Thus, it is a key area therefore accountants must ensure that revenues and expenditures are match up as per each accounting period. In case, of accountant failed to do this properly, it can lead to confusion over financial irregularities and at the end of the period it can create confusion in overall revenue and total profit for the period (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980).
The second key element of the corporate accounting is double entry accounting, which can be defined as the standard accounting concept used by limited companies or large scale organizations. The basic of double entry accounting is based on the notion that for all actions there is an equal and opposite reaction (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). It means that when a financial gain takes place in any part of financial statement, it should be escorted by a loss somewhere else on the balance sheet.
Suppose that of if a limited purchases a product to sell, so it will show the decrease in cash in financial statement and in the same way it will show the increase in inventory of certain organization (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Finally, the financial statement is another key aspect of corporate accounting, which is refers to the financial reports prepared at the end of the company’s financial year.
This financial report basically includes the cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements for the previous 12 months. The financial reports of an organization show the summary and of all financial activity including overall profits or losses incurred by respective company (Bennett, 2013; Ijiri, 1980). Furthermore, it has been examined that the financial report helps accountant of a limited company in terms of preparing tax returns, while stockbrokers and investors use the same financial reports for the comparison between respective company and international business performance.
In addition to this, it is found that the financial reports also help the managers of certain company in terms of a assessing the performance of the company as well as in making proper plan and budget for company to successfully execute its operation in upcoming year. Following is the table that represents the different accounting terms used in UK and USA (Joos & Lang, 1994):
Table 1 – Accounting Terms as Per UK and USA Standards
United States of America
Balance sheet/Statement of financial position
Accounting for loss contingencies
Profit and loss Reserves
Paid in surplus
Shares premium account
Management’s premium of operations
Management’s discussion of financial resources and liquidity
Income statement/Statement of earning
Profit and loss account
Earnings per share
Net income per share
Balance sheet/Statement of financial position
Tangible fixed assets
Property, plant and equipments
In addition to the above, it is identified that in most of the limited companies particularly in UK (United Kingdom) and USA (United States of America), for the preparation of financial reports or execute corporate accounting practices specific accounting standards are used which are only set in common law (Joos & Lang, 1994). However, in different countries, it has been studied that the corporate accounting are different from each other therefore different countries uses different accounting regulations in order to maintain financial records and for the preparation of yearly financial reports.
Furthermore, it has been examined that throughout the world there are two types of accounting standards are used which includes the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).In which International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) provides rules for business affairs from the global perspective in which the accounts and financials of a company can be understood and compared across international boundaries (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007). On the other hand, General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) provides rules to collect and interpret financial data for multinational competitors with the help of financial statement (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).
International Financial Reporting Standards
It is further examined that the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are mostly adopted by the companies operating throughout the European Union. Beside it, the organization in several countries like Australia, South Africa and Russia are also now widely followed IFRS accounting standards for the recording of financial information and analysing and interpreting financial data. In contrast, specifically in the United States limited companies are bound to utilize the GAAP accounting standards for all kinds of accounting practices (Young & Wiley, 2011; Everingham, et al., 2007).
Thus, it has been concluded that, the corporate accounting system allow companies to successfully maintain financial data as per their company policies, regulated accounting standards and accounting principles or laws determined by common law.
Bennett, R. (2013) Corporate Accounting Basics. Free Press.
Das, B. (2011) Is Corporate Accounting a science or an art? Accounting, pp. 1-1.
Everingham, G. K., Everingham, G., Kleynhans, K., Posthumus, L., Kleynhans, J. E., & Posthumus, L. C. (2007) Principles of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice. Juta and Company Ltd.
Fyler, T. (2013) What Is A Definition Of Corporate Accounting
Ijiri, Y. (1980) An Introduction to Corporate Accounting Standards: A Review. The Accounting Review, 620-628.
Joos, P., & Lang, M. (1994) The Effects of Accounting Diversity: Evidence from the European Union. Journal of Accounting Research, 32, 141-168.
Malwitz, M. (2008) Financial Consolidation and Reporting Solutions: Adding Value to Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. Oracle Paper, pp. 1-21.
Paton, W. A., & Littleton, A. C. (1986) An Introduction to Corporate Accounting Standards. Amer Accounting Assn.
Young, E. &., & Wiley, J. (2011) International GAAP 2012 – Generally Accepted Accounting Practice Under International Financial Reporting Standards. John Wiley & Sons.