Research Topics & Ideas: Finance

120+ Finance Research Topic Ideas To Fast-Track Your Project

If you’re just starting out exploring potential research topics for your finance-related dissertation, thesis or research project, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll help kickstart your research topic ideation process by providing a hearty list of finance-centric research topics and ideas.

PS – This is just the start…

We know it’s exciting to run through a list of research topics, but please keep in mind that this list is just a starting point. To develop a suitable education-related research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap, and a viable plan of action to fill that gap.

If this sounds foreign to you, check out our free research topic webinar that explores how to find and refine a high-quality research topic, from scratch. Alternatively, if you’d like hands-on help, consider our 1-on-1 coaching service.

Research topic idea mega list

Corporate Finance

These research topic ideas explore a breadth of issues ranging from the examination of capital structure to the exploration of financial strategies in mergers and acquisitions.

  • Evaluating the impact of capital structure on firm performance across different industries
  • Assessing the effectiveness of financial management practices in emerging markets
  • A comparative analysis of the cost of capital and financial structure in multinational corporations across different regulatory environments
  • Examining how integrating sustainability and CSR initiatives affect a corporation’s financial performance and brand reputation
  • Analysing how rigorous financial analysis informs strategic decisions and contributes to corporate growth
  • Examining the relationship between corporate governance structures and financial performance
  • A comparative analysis of financing strategies among mergers and acquisitions
  • Evaluating the importance of financial transparency and its impact on investor relations and trust
  • Investigating the role of financial flexibility in strategic investment decisions during economic downturns
  • Investigating how different dividend policies affect shareholder value and the firm’s financial performance

Investment Banking

The list below presents a series of research topics exploring the multifaceted dimensions of investment banking, with a particular focus on its evolution following the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Analysing the evolution and impact of regulatory frameworks in investment banking post-2008 financial crisis
  • Investigating the challenges and opportunities associated with cross-border M&As facilitated by investment banks.
  • Evaluating the role of investment banks in facilitating mergers and acquisitions in emerging markets
  • Analysing the transformation brought about by digital technologies in the delivery of investment banking services and its effects on efficiency and client satisfaction.
  • Evaluating the role of investment banks in promoting sustainable finance and the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria in investment decisions.
  • Assessing the impact of technology on the efficiency and effectiveness of investment banking services
  • Examining the effectiveness of investment banks in pricing and marketing IPOs, and the subsequent performance of these IPOs in the stock market.
  • A comparative analysis of different risk management strategies employed by investment banks
  • Examining the relationship between investment banking fees and corporate performance
  • A comparative analysis of competitive strategies employed by leading investment banks and their impact on market share and profitability

Private Equity & Venture Capital (VC)

These research topic ideas are centred on venture capital and private equity investments, with a focus on their impact on technological startups, emerging technologies, and broader economic ecosystems.

  • Investigating the determinants of successful venture capital investments in tech startups
  • Analysing the trends and outcomes of venture capital funding in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, or clean energy
  • Assessing the performance and return on investment of different exit strategies employed by venture capital firms
  • Assessing the impact of private equity investments on the financial performance of SMEs
  • Analysing the role of venture capital in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Evaluating the exit strategies of private equity firms: A comparative analysis
  • Exploring the ethical considerations in private equity and venture capital financing
  • Investigating how private equity ownership influences operational efficiency and overall business performance
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of corporate governance structures in companies backed by private equity investments
  • Examining how the regulatory environment in different regions affects the operations, investments and performance of private equity and venture capital firms
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Asset Management

This list includes a range of research topic ideas focused on asset management, probing into the effectiveness of various strategies, the integration of technology, and the alignment with ethical principles among other key dimensions.

  • Analysing the effectiveness of different asset allocation strategies in diverse economic environments
  • Analysing the methodologies and effectiveness of performance attribution in asset management firms
  • Assessing the impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria on fund performance
  • Examining the role of robo-advisors in modern asset management
  • Evaluating how advancements in technology are reshaping portfolio management strategies within asset management firms
  • Evaluating the performance persistence of mutual funds and hedge funds
  • Investigating the long-term performance of portfolios managed with ethical or socially responsible investing principles
  • Investigating the behavioural biases in individual and institutional investment decisions
  • Examining the asset allocation strategies employed by pension funds and their impact on long-term fund performance
  • Assessing the operational efficiency of asset management firms and its correlation with fund performance
Research topic idea mega list

Hedge Funds

Here we explore research topics related to hedge fund operations and strategies, including their implications on corporate governance, financial market stability, and regulatory compliance among other critical facets.

  • Assessing the impact of hedge fund activism on corporate governance and financial performance
  • Analysing the effectiveness and implications of market-neutral strategies employed by hedge funds
  • Investigating how different fee structures impact the performance and investor attraction to hedge funds
  • Evaluating the contribution of hedge funds to financial market liquidity and the implications for market stability
  • Analysing the risk-return profile of hedge fund strategies during financial crises
  • Evaluating the influence of regulatory changes on hedge fund operations and performance
  • Examining the level of transparency and disclosure practices in the hedge fund industry and its impact on investor trust and regulatory compliance
  • Assessing the contribution of hedge funds to systemic risk in financial markets, and the effectiveness of regulatory measures in mitigating such risks
  • Examining the role of hedge funds in financial market stability
  • Investigating the determinants of hedge fund success: A comparative analysis

Financial Planning and Advisory

This list explores various research topic ideas related to financial planning, focusing on the effects of financial literacy, the adoption of digital tools, taxation policies, and the role of financial advisors.

  • Evaluating the impact of financial literacy on individual financial planning effectiveness
  • Analysing how different taxation policies influence financial planning strategies among individuals and businesses
  • Evaluating the effectiveness and user adoption of digital tools in modern financial planning practices
  • Investigating the adequacy of long-term financial planning strategies in ensuring retirement security
  • Assessing the role of financial education in shaping financial planning behaviour among different demographic groups
  • Examining the impact of psychological biases on financial planning and decision-making, and strategies to mitigate these biases
  • Assessing the behavioural factors influencing financial planning decisions
  • Examining the role of financial advisors in managing retirement savings
  • A comparative analysis of traditional versus robo-advisory in financial planning
  • Investigating the ethics of financial advisory practices
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Insurance

The following list delves into research topics within the insurance sector, touching on the technological transformations, regulatory shifts, and evolving consumer behaviours among other pivotal aspects.

  • Analysing the impact of technology adoption on insurance pricing and risk management
  • Analysing the influence of Insurtech innovations on the competitive dynamics and consumer choices in insurance markets
  • Investigating the factors affecting consumer behaviour in insurance product selection and the role of digital channels in influencing decisions
  • Assessing the effect of regulatory changes on insurance product offerings
  • Examining the determinants of insurance penetration in emerging markets
  • Evaluating the operational efficiency of claims management processes in insurance companies and its impact on customer satisfaction
  • Examining the evolution and effectiveness of risk assessment models used in insurance underwriting and their impact on pricing and coverage
  • Evaluating the role of insurance in financial stability and economic development
  • Investigating the impact of climate change on insurance models and products
  • Exploring the challenges and opportunities in underwriting cyber insurance in the face of evolving cyber threats and regulations

Quantitative Finance

These topic ideas span the development of asset pricing models, evaluation of machine learning algorithms, and the exploration of ethical implications among other pivotal areas.

  • Developing and testing new quantitative models for asset pricing
  • Analysing the effectiveness and limitations of machine learning algorithms in predicting financial market movements
  • Assessing the effectiveness of various risk management techniques in quantitative finance
  • Evaluating the advancements in portfolio optimisation techniques and their impact on risk-adjusted returns
  • Evaluating the impact of high-frequency trading on market efficiency and stability
  • Investigating the influence of algorithmic trading strategies on market efficiency and liquidity
  • Examining the risk parity approach in asset allocation and its effectiveness in different market conditions
  • Examining the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in quantitative financial analysis
  • Investigating the ethical implications of quantitative financial innovations
  • Assessing the profitability and market impact of statistical arbitrage strategies considering different market microstructures

Treasury Management

The following topic ideas explore treasury management, focusing on modernisation through technological advancements, the impact on firm liquidity, and the intertwined relationship with corporate governance among other crucial areas.

  • Analysing the impact of treasury management practices on firm liquidity and profitability
  • Analysing the role of automation in enhancing operational efficiency and strategic decision-making in treasury management
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of various cash management strategies in multinational corporations
  • Investigating the potential of blockchain technology in streamlining treasury operations and enhancing transparency
  • Examining the role of treasury management in mitigating financial risks
  • Evaluating the accuracy and effectiveness of various cash flow forecasting techniques employed in treasury management
  • Assessing the impact of technological advancements on treasury management operations
  • Examining the effectiveness of different foreign exchange risk management strategies employed by treasury managers in multinational corporations
  • Assessing the impact of regulatory compliance requirements on the operational and strategic aspects of treasury management
  • Investigating the relationship between treasury management and corporate governance

Financial Technology (FinTech)

The following research topic ideas explore the transformative potential of blockchain, the rise of open banking, and the burgeoning landscape of peer-to-peer lending among other focal areas.

  • Evaluating the impact of blockchain technology on financial services
  • Investigating the implications of open banking on consumer data privacy and financial services competition
  • Assessing the role of FinTech in financial inclusion in emerging markets
  • Analysing the role of peer-to-peer lending platforms in promoting financial inclusion and their impact on traditional banking systems
  • Examining the cybersecurity challenges faced by FinTech firms and the regulatory measures to ensure data protection and financial stability
  • Examining the regulatory challenges and opportunities in the FinTech ecosystem
  • Assessing the impact of artificial intelligence on the delivery of financial services, customer experience, and operational efficiency within FinTech firms
  • Analysing the adoption and impact of cryptocurrencies on traditional financial systems
  • Investigating the determinants of success for FinTech startups
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Commercial Banking

These topic ideas span commercial banking, encompassing digital transformation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the evolving regulatory and competitive landscape among other key themes.

  • Assessing the impact of digital transformation on commercial banking services and competitiveness
  • Analysing the impact of digital transformation on customer experience and operational efficiency in commercial banking
  • Evaluating the role of commercial banks in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Investigating the effectiveness of credit risk management practices and their impact on bank profitability and financial stability
  • Examining the relationship between commercial banking practices and financial stability
  • Evaluating the implications of open banking frameworks on the competitive landscape and service innovation in commercial banking
  • Assessing how regulatory changes affect lending practices and risk appetite of commercial banks
  • Examining how commercial banks are adapting their strategies in response to competition from FinTech firms and changing consumer preferences
  • Analysing the impact of regulatory compliance on commercial banking operations
  • Investigating the determinants of customer satisfaction and loyalty in commercial banking

International Finance

The folowing research topic ideas are centred around international finance and global economic dynamics, delving into aspects like exchange rate fluctuations, international financial regulations, and the role of international financial institutions among other pivotal areas.

  • Analysing the determinants of exchange rate fluctuations and their impact on international trade
  • Analysing the influence of global trade agreements on international financial flows and foreign direct investments
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of international portfolio diversification strategies in mitigating risks and enhancing returns
  • Evaluating the role of international financial institutions in global financial stability
  • Investigating the role and implications of offshore financial centres on international financial stability and regulatory harmonisation
  • Examining the impact of global financial crises on emerging market economies
  • Examining the challenges and regulatory frameworks associated with cross-border banking operations
  • Assessing the effectiveness of international financial regulations
  • Investigating the challenges and opportunities of cross-border mergers and acquisitions
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Choosing A Research Topic

These finance-related research topic ideas are starting points to guide your thinking. They are intentionally very broad and open-ended. By engaging with the currently literature in your field of interest, you’ll be able to narrow down your focus to a specific research gap.

When choosing a topic, you’ll need to take into account its originality, relevance, feasibility, and the resources you have at your disposal. Make sure to align your interest and expertise in the subject with your university program’s specific requirements. Always consult your academic advisor to ensure that your chosen topic not only meets the academic criteria but also provides a valuable contribution to the field. 

If you need a helping hand, feel free to check out our private coaching service here.

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