As I’ll mention to anyone that asks, I have no formal training in securities analysis – and I’ve come to believe that is a good thing. Learning the basics on my own before becoming familiar with how to create a discounted cash flow model helped me realize the spreadsheet is only as valuable as the numbers that are inputted into it.
I thought it would be helpful to others to create a resource page that contains everything necessary to start valuing stocks and other assets. I’ll add to it as I learn more.
Learn Excel with Lynda.com
Nobody likes building spreadsheets, but it’s a necessary evil and you may as well do it properly. After unsuccessfully trying to learn Excel through books and online tools, and years of doing calculations manually, I finally bought a Lynda.com membership and picked up everything I needed in about a month. I can’t recommend it enough.
Finding Financial Statements with Sedar and SEDI
The electronic filing systems for all publicly traded Canadian companies. Knowing how to use these systems effectively is essential.
Sedar is where you can find current and historical financial statements for publicly traded companies. You’ll also find a treasure trove of data on executive compensation, the terms and conditions attached to warrants, debentures, debt. You’ll also find technical reports, independent valuations of assets and Management’s discussion and outlook for the business (MDA).
Sedar also contains mutual fund data on holdings, large purchases and initial cost prices versus the current market price.
Who owns what, when they bought it, how much they paid for it, and when they sold it. Unless you own a Bloomberg terminal, this is the only way to accurately get this information.
Here’s the brief article on how to find what you are looking for that I wrote for Business News Network a few years back.
Understanding asymmetrical risk
The Art of Vulture Investing