Hayley J. Douglas, Mark F. Kocoloski



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The period 2008-2012 in the stock market has been characterized as highly volatile. During the period, it was not uncommon to see the Dow Jones Index up or down 200 points in one dat. One would expect, therefore that risk adverse investors would be using a flight to safety investment strategy. If this is indeed the case, we should expect stocks with lower debt to equity, higher dividends, and dividend yields to outperform. To test this hypothesis we select the 10 worst performing industry groups and the 10 best performing industry groups in 2012 and compare their average and median metrics for debt to equity, dividend levels and dividend yields. We would expect the top performing industry groups to have lower debt to equity ratios, and higher levels of dividends and dividend yields.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Robert D. Dean

Primary Advisor's Department

Business-Office of the Dean


Stander Symposium project

The Role of Safety and Risk in the Returns to Stocks in Volatile Markets