Multi-Asset Portfolio Dissertation

How The Role Of Property In A Multi-Asset Portfolio Has Been Affected By The Credit Crunch

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The existing literature argues property’s role in a multi-asset portfolio to be a means of risk reduction opposed to a method of returns. However, with the recent credit crunch having an adverse effect on the property market, this study will look into the affect it has had upon property’s role. To reach this finding, a combination of primary and secondary data will be used. The secondary data was obtained through a literature review and the primary data from interviews and a questionnaire. The findings were that the credit crunch has left the UK property in a position where it can offer investors opportunity to make capital gains and a secure income through rents. This has led to property’s role now being mainly focused on returns but still included as a means of risk reduction.

Multi-Asset Portfolio Dissertation
Multi-Asset Portfolio Dissertation

In a multi-asset portfolio an investor will likely include property to diversify and better their overall returns. However, with property values falling, it is likely investors were wishing to pull out of this asset class, cut their losses and venture elsewhere due to their risk adverse attitudes. A negative correlation when comparing property with stocks and bonds makes the later pair appears the way forward. Reason being; they should theoretically be outperforming the current property market rectifying diversification in a multi-asset portfolio. If investors make this decision and reduce the amount of real estate, levels of diversification will decrease, increasing specific risk. The chance of disposing their property is extremely slim however because of property’s liquidity being further extenuated by a market downturn. Property is evidently not offering the attributes investors’ want, yet they are unable to dispose of this unwanted asset. This puts investors in a very difficult situation of being left with a depreciating asset in their multi-asset portfolio. A possible solution to this would be identifying potential emerging markets, such as Latin America and India, which may offer the desired benefits currently unattainable in the UK. So with property still existing among UK fund managers’ portfolios the role it now offers must be determined. This dissertation will be based on three key assumptions namely:

  • Investors’ main reason for including property in a multi-asset portfolio is to reduce risk
  • Due to the poor performance of property in recent years, investors are reducing the property exposure in a portfolio and replacing it with more traditional methods such as bonds
  • Even with the recession being a global problem, certain investors feel there are still benefits from international property investment

The opening chapter of this dissertation has been produced to give readers an understanding of the overall study and what the upcoming chapters will be exploring. Chapter two will be a literature review analysing applicable company publications and academic literature, relating to the use of property within a multi-asset portfolio. It will clarify why various investors wish to include property, its characteristics, alternative assets to invest in and overseas investment. Each of these points will be tackled in their own independent section. The following chapter (three) will exhibit clearly the use of methodologies used throughout the dissertation to find out how the actions of investors has changed towards property during the credit crunch. Within the chapter it will also justify why these research methods were best suited for this field of research. The fourth chapter will bring together the results from the literature review, interviews and online questionnaire, clearly explaining what has been identified.

The final chapter of the dissertation shall be the conclusion. It will summarise the key findings answering the aims and objectives outlined at the start of the paper, identifying how the role of property within a multi-asset portfolio has been affected by the credit crunch. It will also make clear the limitations of the study and recommendations for similar studies in the future.

This research will help support many other studies that have been carried out over the years in regard to property’s role within a multi-asset portfolios. This paper will differ to previous studies, carried out by the like of Bryne and Lee, as it is primarily focusing on an economic downturn opposed to data over long periods with varying market conditions. There is a distinct lack of existing literature on this matter. By shedding light on this aspect, it will give an investor’s insight on how property is best used in a multi-asset portfolio during a struggling market.

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What Is A Dissertation

What Is A Dissertation?

Many students ask us the question – What Is A Dissertation?… Well, your dissertation will be the most challenging aspect of your university study. It may also be an unfamiliar mode of assessment that requires you to engage independently with your subject matter, at a level of both breadth and detail that is perhaps not typical of most other forms of assessment. A crucial aspect of all this is to ensure that you are aware of all the elements involved in the dissertation writing process and that you allow yourself adequate time to do your dissertation topic justice. At most universities around the world, a dissertation or thesis is an extended piece of academic writing based on extensive reading of a subject area and independent research at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. Having been the longest established sample dissertations website we are here to assist and support you in preparing your own dissertation project by giving you some general information on how a dissertation is structured and what a dissertation is.

Many of you will be expected to construct and submit your own original idea for a dissertation topic, though students in certain disciplines (e.g. business) may either be given a specific topic, or expected to choose from a list of suitable projects. Nonetheless, it is advisable that you start to think about your choice of dissertation topic at the earliest possible early stage of your final year, if not earlier. Let’s make no mistake about it, your dissertation research project is probably the single most important task you will undertake whilst at university or college, and is often a key indicator of your true capabilities as a student and researcher. In addition to the information contained in this article, you must refer to the instructions and guidelines outlined in your nominated study program. It is worth noting that different subject areas have different expectations, referencing styles and support mechanisms for the dissertation. For example, in some areas you are able to formulate your own dissertation title, whilst in others you will be required to choose from a list of predefined titles. The content and structure of a dissertation can differ across national boundaries and level of study.

What Is A Dissertation
What Is A Dissertation

The structure of an undergraduate dissertation written at a UK university can differ immensely to an undergraduate dissertation written at a North American university. This is due to how learning content is delivered and taught and many words can be used interchangeably. For example a dissertation abstract can be referred to as a dissertation synopsis. Similarly, a dissertation appendix can be referred to as an annexure. Some universities encourage The Harvard System of referencing while other universities prefer citing dissertations using the APA, MLA, Chicago and AAA Styles, the list goes on. Nonetheless, a dissertation is, in essence, a piece of research submitted in support of submission for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author’s research and findings. Never lose sight of this. We at will give an insightful overview to what a dissertation is:

A Dissertation Adheres To Certain Fundamental Principles Of Academic Writing:

  • It is a structured piece of writing that develops a clear line of thought in response to a central question or plan.
  • What Is A Dissertation?… A dissertation is an extended piece of work, usually divided into chapters, and containing a significantly more detailed examination of your subject matter and evidence than is the case for most essays.
  • Because you usually have much more responsibility in choosing your research topic, and for sourcing supporting material, your dissertation provides evidence of your ability to carry out highly independent study and research.
  • You are typically expected to be clear about the methodology you have used to gather and evaluate your evidence. This aspect of producing a dissertation has much greater emphasis than in a typical essay or assignment.
  • Those of you undertaking analysis of quantitative data must similarly ensure that you adhere to the methodological requirements expected within your academic discipline and that you utilise the appropriate software such as SPSS and SYSTAT. You must satisfy yourself as to these requirements within your subject area.

It is highly advisable for you to ask your supervisor where you can find details of any regulations about your dissertation, such as its word count, structure and submission details. You should pay special attention to this. Hopefully, we have answered your question of what is a dissertation.

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Social Media and Consumer Decision Making

Social Media Influence In Consumer Decision Making


The impact reference groups or social connections have in an online marketing environment, on the product purchase decisions of consumers is analyzed in this article. The influence of social media in the decision making process of consumers is investigated, and the influence of the strength of social ties on the final decision are discussed. The article discusses theories and concepts related to social relations, social media, and consumer purchase decision making process. To understand the impact social media has on consumer purchase decision, interview is conducted with micro and macro business owners using Facebook business pages, and having over 50 fans for their fan page. To analyze the data statistical analysis, and descriptive analysis methods are used. The research concludes that a strong tie in social relations serves to influence the purchase decision making process of consumers positively. To create a successful business by adopting an online marketing strategy, building strong social relations is important.

Research Overview

Social scientists have for a long duration highlighted the importance of group membership when it comes to determining individual or group behavior. The fact that individuals act according to a reference frame produced by groups to which they have widely been accepted has been perceived as a sound premise for some time. Marketers have widely accepted the construct of a reference group as critical in at least some forms of consumer decision-making. With the growth of the internet, and online marketing, social media is becoming an indispensable part in everyday lives of people. People are social beings, and at present, consumers are participating in activities like sharing experiences, knowledge, and opinions online. They also take part in online discussions to share their experiences with a product or a service.

The speed with which information transfers has increased with the electronic word of mouth growing more rapidly. Positive recommendations and discussions online have the potential to bring in increased business volume for firms in a short time. There is also the probability of a negative complaint online that can cause mistrust in a service or a product. A new form of social communication has been made possible by online media. Groups or individuals who might never meet in person are able to influence consumer behavior and their purchase decisions. The increasing use of social media is evident from the growth in online population using social network sites. Facebook the leading social media website has observed 23% growth in its user population during 2013, with 1.1 billion users making use of the site each month.

Social Media Decision Making
Social Media Decision Making

This study investigates the influence of reference groups online brand and product purchase decisions by looking at the interrelations between forms of product use conspicuousness and forms of influence from reference groups in social media. Consumers have a wide access to different types of social media, tools, and platforms. Social media significantly impacts the process of information sharing amongst individuals in the online shopping environment. Through this research, the role played by social media reference groups in forming strong or weak relationships with consumers that can influence the consumer decision making process are investigated.

Problem Statement

The study proposes to investigate the relationship between the social media influence of online users, the behavior intentions of consumers, and the role of social media influence in consumer decision making process. The strategy of information search online is adopted by consumers to reduce the risks involved in a purchase decision. Increasing technological advancements lead to ease of information access. Consumers can easily obtain information about services or products through social media before making a purchase. This research is focused on making both practical and academic contributions. Academically, it serves to bridge the gap between consumer decision making and the influence of social media reference groups in forming weak or strong relationship with consumers. Practically, social media marketers benefit from the research results. They can gain a deeper understanding of an online shopping consumer’s decision making process.

Research Questions

Research questions to be explored to investigate the social media phenomenon in online shopping are;

  1. What are the characteristics of social and online influence groups and references?
  2. Personal and demographic factors like gender, age, education, and profession have an influence on information shared through social media. Their experience and prior knowledge influences their level of social influence.
  3. What are the ways through which information and ideas travel through such a reference group or an online community?
  4. The credibility of the source depends on the reference group and the way in which information is conveyed. An understanding of how information or ideas travel through the reference community helps in identifying factors that have a high level of influence on consumer decision making.
  5. What are some forms of ties or connections do consumers have to other consumers in the communities?
  6. Consumers form ties in the online community, resulting in the establishment of a reference group or community. By investigating in what ways and how such communities are formed, social media marketers can leverage their online advertising campaigns.
  7. How is consumer decision making influenced by social media reference groups and communities.
  8. Social media reference groups, and communities alike, are proposed hypothesized to play a major role in the purchase decision of consumers.

Research Aims and Objectives

The research aims to investigate the ways in which social media influences consumer decision making during an online purchase. The various ways in which a social media group or community is used as a reference, the ways through which such groups or communities are accessed, and ways in which information is accessed from these groups by consumers are investigated. Main objectives of research are;

  • To identify the ways in which social media has established a source of power and leveled the playing field for consumers?
  • To investigate in what ways leaders of these reference groups or opinion leaders develop in online communities or any other reference group.
  • To analyze what some of the roles of social capital play when it comes to value of the social communities created on social media?
  • To offer recommendations to social media marketers on how reference groups and communities can be leveraged to their firm’s advantage.

Rationale for Research

The results obtained from this research could offer considerable evidence on the influence social media has on online marketing. The overall process of consumer decision making while making an online purchase decision, combined with the influence of social media helps managers reduce risks involved in social media marketing, at the same time offering recommendations on the ways in which they can increase their online credibility. Research on social media marketing is relatively new in marketing research. Negligible research exists on interrelating social media marketing and its influence in the consumer decision making process. This research focuses mainly on online shopping, social media, and reference group influence on consumer decision making. So, the theoretical contribution of this research helps fill in the gap in previous literature.

Research Methodology

Business pages created on Facebook are the central tool and the key research methodology is action research. Action research involves making systematic observations, and collection of data, that can be used to solve problems, and improve professional business practices. Micro and small businesses are focused. Data is gathered through interview and by using questionnaire. Facebook pages created by small entrepreneurs are used to create a fan base for their small enterprises. As the page continuous to grow and increase in size when it comes to the fan base of about 50 to 60 users data is to be conducted, mainly by carrying out semi- structured interviews.

The research design is action, qualitative research oriented with the conviction that reality is virtual created by factors of socio- economy. Primary data is gathered through semi- structured and open interviews. Data regarding the experiences of the entrepreneur while using and adopting social media like Facebook is focused upon. Secondary data is generated by the recording transcripts from the weekly training and interaction with the participants to understand their requirements and experiences. Tertiary collection of data is carried out through virtual ethnography by carrying out internet-based interviews through Google talk, chat, Skype and blogs.

Structure of Article

To ensure research meets its aims and objectives, clear research questions and research focus are developed first. Analysis of theories and concepts is done in the literature review part. Here theories and concepts relevant to social media as a marketing tool, and consumer decision making process are explored. Research methodology is developed based on literature review, and research aims. This gives a detailed outline of the research methodology to be employed for data collection. The research approach, philosophy, choices, ethical issues and methodologies are explained. Analyzed data gathered from semi – structured interview, and research findings are presented in based on which, conclusion discusses the research concisely, using which suitable recommendations are offered.


The way in which consumers make purchase decision has changed with the advent of social media. Rather than waiting for messages or advertisements giving information about a service or a product from companies, consumers are now seeking information on social media directly. Online community has the greatest amount of influence, especially on online shoppers. Research proposes to investigate the characteristics of online communities and reference groups involved in social media. The ways in which such groups influence the consumer decision making process is explored. For data collection, semi – structured interviews are conducted with online micro and small business entrepreneurs making use of social media tools like Facebook and blogs.

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Example Dissertation Abstracts

Dissertation Abstracts

So, what is a dissertation abstract? Many academic institutions across different countries have contrasting views to what a dissertation abstract is. At we believe that an abstract, in its purest form, is a concise summary of the entire dissertation this includes the dissertation topic, rationale and overview of the conclusions. A primary objective of an abstract is to provide the reader with a firm understanding of the content of the dissertation; this would include a concise synopsis of the dissertation aims and objectives.

It is important to note that the abstract will help a reader decide whether to read the whole dissertation or thesis in detail, or skip to the key findings. It is important to write an engaging and meaningful abstract so that you can inspire interest in your dissertation. Some students write a disjointed abstract which leads to low interest shown towards the dissertation, it is advisable that you engage the reader from the outset. Be mindful that a dissertation abstract is not an introduction its primary purpose is to summarise not introduce, many students lose sight of this.

In most cases the abstract is found at the beginning of the dissertation immediately after the dissertation title page. Dissertation or thesis abstracts tend to be separate from the main body of research and are often held in a university’s database of dissertation abstracts, there will be many dissertation abstracts contained within your university’s database. You may find that the abstract is available but not the entire dissertation project, you will have to contact the author to gain access to the research if this is the case. Nonetheless, you will get a clear understanding of the dissertation project from the contents of the abstract.

How Long Should A Dissertation Abstract Be?

As previously mentioned, dissertation abstracts differ depending on institution, location and level of study. A typical undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation abstract written at a UK university will be approximately 350 words in length. It is worthwhile noting that word count is important, 350 words will be adequate provided you write concisely and are summarising your dissertation. Be mindful that academic electronic databases automatically truncate abstracts beyond a certain length. It is safe to say that academic databases such as ETHOS and JSTOR will omit sections of the abstract if it is deemed too long or convoluted, 350 words would suffice.

How To Write A Good Dissertation Abstract

Writing a good dissertation abstract has its perils, there is so much reference material and advice available at your disposal but in some cases this advice appears confusing and often conflicts with what you already know. We suggest you consult your university library in the first instance and have a conversation with your dissertation tutor; this will definitely set you on the correct path.

There are key points of interest you need to include in your abstract. Why did you undertake the study? What were you examining or investigating in the dissertation project. Be sure to return to your research question and ensure you have defined it concisely and succinctly. A good opening is often, “This dissertation study tested…”, “This dissertation study investigated…”, “This dissertation study examines…”. A dissertation abstract example will be included in this post. It is advisable to include what was done and how you achieved it. Be precise, don’t make broad statements. This is will differ depending on whether your dissertation is an empirical or a literature review structured research project. What did you find? Include specific outcomes and highlight conclusions on the research you will present. “The results from the survey questionnaire found that 83% of UK respondents are not aware that the European Court of Human Rights impacts the UK law system…”. “There was a significant relationship between low employee morale and high employee turnover…”

Example Dissertation Abstracts
Example Dissertation Abstracts


Example Dissertation Abstracts

This dissertation study examines what drives the children of the self-employed to enter self-employment themselves. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and from the subsequent development that many working places have been outsourced, the Danish government has elaborated an initiative to increase the rate of entrepreneurs to support economic growth in Denmark. It has been found that it is the enterprises of those new entrepreneurs, which are the primary engine in creating new jobs. However, research shows that despite the Danish welfare system, which provides safety in terms of unemployment, Danes are very reluctant in becoming entrepreneurs. One exception to this rule is the children of entrepreneurs. Their chances of entering self-employment are much higher, as investigated on basis of statistical data from IDA.

Through a constructivist approach, this dissertation seeks to investigate what drives the children of the self-employed to enter self-employment themselves in their later life. This investigation is performed on three cases of second generation self-employed. The theories used in this dissertation to investigate the aforementioned are all within the constructivist paradigm. Building on Karl Weicks sensemaking theory, this dissertation views sensemaking as meaning constructed through stories. Those stories are analysed with a narrative framework, through this analytical tool the construction of motivational and supportive parameters are analysed. Furthermore, building on discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe, this dissertation views social reality as constructed through language, in respect of articulations and discourses. Those discourses are analysed through the application of discourse analysis. With this analytical tool the articulation of the difference between the self-employed and the employee, and also the articulation of the upbringing of the second generation self-employed are analysed. Lastly, the analyses are being integrated through the sense making perspective. Finally, the dissertation concludes that the exposure to the self-employed as a role-model in childhood, plus the insight and emotional values attached to the identity of being self-employed, on one hand gives aspirations to enter self-employment, but on the other hand excludes the second generation self-employed from choosing a career as an employee.

Did you manage to find some relevant research strategies of your own in this post? What are your thoughts on writing a dissertation abstract and how would you implementing them? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Advertising Dissertation Topics

Outstanding Advertising Dissertation Topics

Advertising is an interesting and an interactive area of study that is closely associated to the field of marketing. Each year, brands spend vast amounts of money on research and development to find out the characteristic of their target audience and then trying to capitalize on that using cutting edge advertising techniques in order to beat the competition. With this in mind, when you have chosen your advertising dissertation topic you will begin to learn much more about products, consumers, marketing strategy and a wide variety of advertising media. There are other advertising and marketing concepts that may influence the design and content of your advertising dissertation topic. Try to do as much investigative work at the beginning of your dissertation, don’t change your advertising dissertation topic part way through your dissertation as this will prove problematic, you have time constraints when writing your dissertation and this will set you back.

Advertising has evolved so much and it has not stood still. It is safe to say that many advertising strategies used decades ago would not suit today’s fast moving ecommerce driven environments. Modern advertising requirements have seen the introduction of graphic design and media design agencies.

Be mindful that advertising has a wide range of research fields that touches all walks of life around the world. An advantage of writing your own advertising dissertation topic is that you have to follow the conventional rules of advertisement and this will unearth many questions. Why have adverts and advertising techniques changed so much over the past three decades? Why are advertising campaigns from previous eras not as effective as current advertising techniques? Today’s advertising world has been influenced by social changes, globalization, technology, political and cultural developments, it may be worthwhile incorporating these questions into your own advertising dissertation topic.

What is required from an outstanding advertising dissertation topic? Your dissertation needs to be refreshing, on topic, fluid and needs to engage the reader. Don’t deviate away from your chosen advertising dissertation topic. Keep on track, be concise when needed and ensure you adopted the correct structure for your advertising dissertation. What areas can you assess when writing your advertising dissertation topic?

Online Marketing and Advertising on the Internet

Online marketing and the internet is an interesting area to look into. The internet has transformed advertising and it is an important and wide-reaching tool that has become an effective marketing tool for companies around the world. Basing your advertising dissertation topic in this field does have its advantages as there will be copious amounts of research available to you. There is every chance that the available research is up to date and current.

Advertising Dissertation Topics
Advertising Dissertation Topics

It is safe to say that the internet has become the foremost selling tool for businesses, regardless of business size, industry and location. Advertising on the internet is a task that can have a profound impact on a business if deployed correctly and on the other hand advertising can be costly if not performed correctly. There are many examples of failed advertising campaigns for you to investigate along with success stories. The effectiveness of advertising strategy would make an ideal advertising dissertation topic to investigate.

There are many areas of internet advertising you may wish to consider:

  • The rise of online video marketing
  • Subliminal advertising using imagery
  • Comparisons between current online advertising and conventional advertising strategies
  • Implications of Web 2.0 interactive advertising

If you decide to investigate this field it is advisable to examine the aspects of online advertising in depth in order to form a robust advertising dissertation topic. There will be existing advertising dissertation topics for you to critique and this will give you a valuable insight into what is needed to write an outstanding advertising dissertation. Take inspiration from advertising dissertations written by successful university students this is a fundamental principle of our website.

Use of Social Media in Advertising

Social media is used heavily in the modern advertising world. It is rare for any business to launch an advertising campaign without the use of social media. Social media is used as an interactive toolset to communicate with an audience. You may wish to base your advertising dissertation topic on this field of study. Examining how social media interactive tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and blog comments contribute to the outcome of an advertising campaign. Social signals are an important factor of online advertising strategy.

Print Media

Is print media still relevant? Graphic designers who specialise in physical and print media advertising state that these techniques are still relevant to modern advertising. There is still demand for magazines, novelty items, vehicle design and billboards. Even though the internet has affected the print media industry there is still a demand for this advertising medium. It may be worth basing your advertising dissertation topic on this subject area. Explore why print media advertising campaigns resemble internet advert design – is this to offer an internet-like visual experience? I’m sure writing an advertising dissertation topic in this area will prove divisive and engaging for the reader.

Advertising Dissertation Ideas

Below is a list of advertising dissertation topics for you to assess. I do hope you take inspiration from these advertising dissertation topics in an attempt to kick start your own dissertation. Please be mindful that the below advertising dissertation topics have been submitted to universities and are offered as a guide for reference purposes.

Dissertation – The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Behaviour

Dissertation – Advertising and Semiotics as Meaningful Signs

Dissertation – Effects of Advertising and Its Impact on the Consumption of Alcohol by Young People

Dissertation – Creative Advertising versus Direct Marketing

I do hope you found this article helpful and you are now in a position to write your own outstanding advertising dissertation topic. Please feel free to leave a comment below and I will endeavor to respond to any questions you have.

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