Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Bonnie Van Ness

Relational Format



The focus of this thesis is to examine the added benefits of actively managing a portfolio of securities from an individual investor's perspective. More specifically, managing a market portfolio with the combination of a selected few actively managed securities can, in some instances, create excess return. The active portfolios are formed based on the firms' specific industries or region in which they operate. The idea is that an investor can forecast that a specific industry will outperform or underperform other industries during different periods in the market. Using the investor's forecasts can provide excess returns if the forecast is accurate. On the other hand, investors can hold beliefs about local companies and use those beliefs to forecast firm performance. The logic here is that an investor in his or her local region may have more knowledge about a local company's performance with the notion that company information is more readily available to locals compared to remote investors. I collected data on the securities that make up the S&P 500 from CRSP. I then made separate portfolios based on the location of the company headquarters and the company industry. I followed a formulation model derived by Jack Treynor and Fischer Black (1973). The purpose of this model is to show how combining a market portfolio with an actively managed portfolio consisting of a few securities can create excess return if predicted returns are correct. If the combined portfolio, a portfolio of selected mispriced securities and the market index, result in an increased slope of the Capital Allocation Line when compared to the CAL of the market portfolio, then the actively managed portfolio has created an alpha return. My findings show that the implementation of this model for an individual investor is not plausible. I found that creating accurate forecasts of security prices must involve a team of skilled security and economic analysts. Using historical price returns for my empirical testing provided no definite pattern and therefore I believe that empirical testing may have produced superior results if I forecasted security prices and returns during some prior period and analyzed my accuracy with the portfolio model discussed in this thesis for today's price returns.

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