Sample PHD Finance and Accounting Dissertation Proposal

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An Analysis of the Impact of Financial Volatility Estimates and Option Pricing Methods on the Returns and Risk Assessment in the Saudi Stock Market


Volatility is defined as the statistical measurement of the dispersion in a market index considering the returns (Abdalla and Suliman, 2012). The central banks and regulatory authorities of stock exchanges have highly focused on volatility modelling and forecasting by using asset pricing models for measuring risks and using option pricing formulas for maximising returns.

The Black-Scholes model is an option pricing formula that delivers the scope of portfolio management of stocks along with delivering reliable estimates of volatility (Bhowmik & Wang, 2020). The Saudi stock exchange is also known as Tadawul and it was established in 2007. Tadawul has a market cap of SAR 8.23 trillion and its trade volume amounts to SAR 380.89 billion.

The research topic is to conduct an analysis of the impact of financial volatility estimates and option pricing methods on the returns and risk assessment in the Saudi Stock Market.

Reason for Choice

The research topic has been selected as volatility has become an integral component of the present financial markets and most of the studies conducted by the past authors have focused on the relationship between volatility of the oil prices in Saudi Arabia and the stock prices. This research will evaluate how the estimation of financial volatility along with using option pricing models can be used for increasing the returns in the Saudi stock market along with conducting a financial risk assessment.

This research will provide more information regarding the dependencies among financial volatility and the Saudi Stock Market along with evaluating the significance of forecasting methods for maximizing gains and minimising risk. The research will provide the investors with better decision making parameters considering the alterations in returns due to financial volatility.

The Objectives and Expected Research Contribution

This study research aims to evaluate the influence of financial validity extremists and option pricing methods on the returns and risk assessment in the Saudi Stock Market. The research objectives include analysis of the significance of financial volatility modelling and estimates in the Saudi stock market.

The research will also contribute in the domain of option pricing models that can be used for evaluating the risk associated with the stock prices for guiding the decision making of the investors. The present condition of the Saudi stock market along with its dependencies on oil and other commodities will also be evaluated as an objective of this research.

Lastly, the ways in which returns of investment can be maximized in the Saudi stock market by conducting a proper risk assessment by using financial volatility forecasting and option pricing models will also be discussed. This will facilitate the foreign investors to understand the fluctuations in the Saudi stock along with helping the risk manager is and investors to raise awareness about the risk in Tadawul.

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Research Background and Questions

In Saudi Arabia, the volatility of the stock market and the overall financial industry in the last decade was due to the changes in oil prices. However, the BASEL accords were updated to implement BASEL III for improving the banking and financial regulations. The stock prices in the nation have been declining since 2015 due to the fall in the price of crude oil (Kalyanaraman, 2014).

The government of the country has established a model for Vision 2030 by integrating financial forecasting mechanisms to reduce the dependence on oil for the economy (Simmons, 2006). Volatility is desired in the market as stagnant stock prices do not yield any profits. However, high volatility also implies high risk for the security, and it is measured by using variance and standard deviation among the returns from the market index.

The research questions are:

  1. What is the importance of financial volatility estimates in the stock markets?
  2. In what ways do option pricing models facilitate risk assessment and decision making in the stock market?
  3. What is the present condition of the Saudi Stock market considering the dependencies, returns and risk?
  4. What is the impact of financial volatility estimates and option pricing methods on the returns and risk assessment in the Saudi Stock Market?

Literature Review

The financial assets have the characteristics of providing returns on the investment but are also susceptible to market risks due to the returns being variable (Black, 1976). The volatility of the assets remains variable, requiring the forecasting of stocks to analyse the market risk involved. Examination of the stock volatility is crucial for minimising the risk and losses while contributing to increasing financial gains.

Option pricing methods refer to the parameter of volatility for evaluating the price of the stocks (Birge and Zhang, 1999). This is beneficial for risk assessment applications and general portfolio management of the stocks. As per Bhowmik & Wang (2020), price volatility estimation enables the financial institutions to become aware of the current volatility value of the assets they are managing and estimating the future values for maximising investors’ returns. According to Lim and Sek (2013), the two methods of determining financial volatility forecasting include using the GARCH and ARMA models.


The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of estimating financial volatility and option pricing methods on the return on investments and risk assessment in the Saudi Stock Market. This research will be conducted using the positivism philosophy for using first and information for deriving the findings.

The research will be conducted using an inductive approach and considering an experimental design to establish the linkage among the variables in the research topic (Saunders et al., 2007). The research will be conducted by conducting a semi-structured interview with 10 Saudi stock exchange employees to understand the implications of financial volatility forecasting and option pricing models.


The research limitations include time and budget restrictions that inhibit surveying with the investors in the Saudi Stock exchange.


The research will require 180 days or six months to complete.

Time Table

The time table relates to the same research is as follows;
Time Table

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The research will be conducted by analysing the data collected from the interview by forming a thematic analysis for evaluating the open-ended responses. Secondary data will also be considered in this research for comparing the findings from the immediate reactions.


This investigation will identify the measures that are best suited for guiding the investors and financial advisors regarding the maximisation of returns and risk minimisation in the Saudi stock market by using financial volatility estimates and option pricing.


Abdalla, S. Z. S. (2012). Modelling Stock Returns Volatility: Empirical Evidence from Saudi Stock Exchange International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, 85, 166-179.

Bhowmik, R., & Wang, S. (2020). Stock Market Volatility and Return Analysis: A Systematic Literature Review. Entropy, 22(5), 522.

Birge, J.R. and Zhang, R.Q., 1999. Risk-neutral option pricing methods for adjusting constrained cash flows. The Engineering Economist44(1), pp.36-49.

Black, F. (1976). Studies of stock market volatility changes. 1976 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association Business and Economic Statistics Section.

Kalyanaraman, L. (2014). Stock market volatility in Saudi Arabia: An application of univariate G.A.R.C.H. model. Asian Social Science, 10(10), 142.

Lim, C.M. and Sek, S.K., 2013. Comparing the performances of GARCH-type models in capturing the stock market volatility in Malaysia. Procedia Economics and Finance5, pp.478-487.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P.H.I.L.I.P. and Thornhill, A.D.R.I.A.N., 2007. Research methods. Business Students 4th edition Pearson Education Limited, England.

Simmons, M.R., 2006. Twilight in the desert: The coming Saudi oil shock and the world economy. John Wiley & Sons.

Frequently Asked Questions

To write a Ph.D. dissertation proposal:

  1. Choose a research topic.
  2. Develop a clear problem statement.
  3. Outline objectives and methodology.
  4. Review literature.
  5. Present a timeline.
  6. Seek feedback from advisors.
  7. Revise and finalize the proposal before submission.