Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Eric Hughson

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© Shitong Shou 2014

Abstract

In this paper we will be studying and backtesting a particular investment strategy by buying and holding dividend stocks. We think dividend stock is an important type of investment to investors and portfolio managers because of its cash implications, especially in a high volatility equity market. Furthermore, we think that consistency in a company’s ability and willingness in distributing dividends to its shareholders is a strong indicator of its financial strength and operational success. How portfolio managers should pick the best performing dividend stocks would then become an important issue. In this paper, we will be testing the historical performance of a portfolio of dividend stocks that we construct and adjust based on a list of parameters associated with companies’ operational performance, cash position, and dividend yield. Hence, the main way we select stocks in the portfolio is based on fundamental analysis. Our research is conducted relying exclusively on the Wharton Research Data Services database (WRDS). In addition to evaluating the investment attractiveness of our portfolio, the strategy may also have implications regarding several other topics including the semi-strong form market efficiency and active portfolio management. Therefore, this paper covers also potential benefits to be gained from the strategy other than its investment payoff.

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