Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Janet Smith

Reader 2

Manfred Keil

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© 2017 Tania G Salomon


This thesis evaluates the risk-return characteristics and diversification benefits of fine wine investment. It compares the historical performance of wine to that of equity, fixed income, real estate, and commodities. I calculate the correlation, volatility, and expected returns of these assets to examine whether adding wine to a portfolio increases its risk-adjusted return. I do this through the Markowitz portfolio optimization technique. The findings suggest that wine has a low correlation with traditional assets, providing diversification benefits. My results also show that adding wine to a portfolio increases its risk-adjusted return only when there is an allocation constraint of 0 to 25% per asset. This does not hold, however, when there are no asset allocation constraints.