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Research paper on Finance

Research paper on Finance: where to look for relevant statistics for your research

Nov 26, 2012 - Posted to  Research Paper Writing
A well-crafted finance paper takes a considerable amount of time and thought. You'll need to designate a bit of energy on the interpretation of financial data as well as to the understanding and realistic application of finance theories attached to your main argument. So once you've identified a suitable topic to investigate, have narrowed it down in the best manner possible, and are ready to piece together your thesis statement, the search for relevant and fitting evidence, such as statistics, reports, and other data-to support your main argument- should be begin.
For finance papers, data collection and statistical reports play a very important role as they are the driving forces behind major financial decisions and investments; as well as the backbone of business forecasting and budgeting. Therefore to properly formulate any finance argument, whether empirical or theoretical, a great deal of evidential support is needed (with statistics being a primary source of such support).

Locating financial statistics

When composing a financial research paper a lot of emphasis is placed on how well you present and interpret financial figures. Statistics also allow you to accurately explore the financial end of a topic or businesses and provide clear, professional, documented evidence to support any claims or statements.
Individual organizations and government bodies are great places to start when conducting financial information searches. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) for example provides online international financial statistics for over 200 countries as well as a host of other resources (for instance, a global financial stability report focusing on the crisis in Europe). Depending on the subject of your research paper you may find this type of financial data very useful. For example, if your objective is to examine investment strategies in the euro market according to a particular theory or model. the information organized and collected by this organization may be of a benefit.

US financial statistics

Two popular sources for US financial statistics are the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) which is under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The FDIC is well known to many people and is an independent agency ran by the US federal government that insures bank deposits as well as monitors and addresses any possible risks to funds. The statistics available on the FDIC's online database include, but are not limited to, industry and historical trends for FDIC-insured institutions. This valuable resource can be of a benefit to someone conducting research on the probability of bank failure for example.
Another major source, BEA, reports on things such as US national consumer spending, corporate profits and fixed assets. The BEA provides records on international transactions, detailed trade in goods data and foreign direct investments. These reports can prove very useful when constructing your research paper whether you are conducting primary research or answering a posed problem with a more theoretical approach.

Identifying relevant sources

The relevancy of a source is easily determined by identifying whether or not the information it contains can assist you in accomplishing your main objective or solving your proposed problem. Often times in the course of research students will accumulate a massive amount of documents, articles, books, and data-much of which will actually not make it into the research paper (though they do need to be cited if consulted). Knowing what to keep and what to toss is a big part of outlining and organizing your final draft.
In pinpointing statistics that will be beneficial for the formulation of your paper you need to carefully consider how the data you identified will help to support your thesis statement. If your thesis relates to answering a question related to monetary policy for example, then you need to pay attention to specific figures related to inflation rates for whatever country you are considering investigating. The point being, a strong argument is demonstrated by strong supportive evidences, and weak or thinly connected data is detrimental to this effort.

Reliability

A relevant source is usually also a reliable source. And reliable sources for obtaining statistics are those organizations that are credible and reputable and can provide references as well as methods and procedures for the information they have obtained. The organizations mentioned previously are just a handful of the many reputable organizations available with financial statistics that may aid you in your research process.

Statistics and research types: what type of research paper are you writing?

The statistics you decide to incorporate into your paper have a lot to do with the type of research you are conducting. If your research is empirical or experimental, this means that you will be conducting hands-on or primary research. Hands-on does not necessarily mean that you have to hand out surveys and questionnaires but it may also be achieved by using data systems or databases for example. With this type of original research students can create their own tables, charts, and graphs based on information pulled from various records.
*For example, programs such as Customized Financial Analysis allow users to compare various companies within the same industry or sector using RMA (Risk Management Association) databases. If conducting research on a particular industry such as pharmaceuticals, information comparing companies can be easily obtained by using this program. In this way students can conduct original research by formulating fresh analysis and creating unique financial reports and observations (that perhaps have not been or are rarely examined in such a way).

Theoretical papers

If your research is more theoretical or literature-based this means that you will be relying heavily on secondary research or primary research that is not your own. Many people utilize this type of research as well to analyze finance models and to make educated assumptions on the best way to go when making major decisions. Financial theories are interesting to investigate and are fairly new in terms of theory development as compared to other disciplines.
*For example, finance theories can prove effective in many scenarios such as preventing market failure or disruption.
Statistics find their way into theoretical papers as well. Students can easily provide statistical examples to demonstrate how or why a particular theory was proven effective or ineffective for a business, industry, or nation.
Interpretation and incorporation of data, including formulas, statistics, reports, and models are a crucial part of proper argument development and support. The paragraph structure, likewise, that provides the framework for such data is also a decisive component when arguing a point or proving a hypothesis as supported or unsupported. In all, whether your research is empirical or theoretical, lots of energy and attention spent towards these specified areas shall not be done in vain.
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