I recently read the book "One Up on Wall Street" by Peter Lynch. It was a very readable book and I feel as if I learnt a lot which built on my beginner level knowledge.
Whilst reading I made notes and I'm looking to compile a 'cheat sheet' of the most valuable knowledge so I can sit down and study some companies.
I have already experimented buying stock in a few companies with minimal research but having now read this book I feel like my decision making processes were 'school boy' compared to even having a basic foundation.
Below is my current 'cheat sheet' so far. I would be grateful to have feedback- is this a worthwhile process? What other 80/20 'low hanging fruit' knowledge have I missed? Is what I've got so far any good? or am I totally missing the point. Apologies if this question is considered too wide in scope. I have reviewed the criteria.
- Boring name, boring occupation. Find a company with a boring name that does something boring.
- Does something simple
"When somebody says, “Any idiot could run this joint,” that’s a plus as far as I’m concerned, because sooner or later any idiot probably is going to be running it."
For every single product in a hot industry, there are a thousand MIT graduates trying to figure out how to make it cheaper in Taiwan.
Company diversification. The company is not trying to diversify into unrelated industries, but related industries, therefore benefiting from the synergy of existing experience.
Growth category - Sort the stock into a growth category - slow growers, stalwarts, fast growers, cyclicals, asset plays, and turnarounds.
Company Growth Cycle. There are three phases to a growth company’s life:
the start-up phase, during which it works out the kinks in the basic business;
the rapid expansion phase, during which it moves into new markets;
the mature phase, also known as the saturation phase, when it begins to prepare for the fact that there’s no easy way to continue to expand.
Two minute monologue about what the company does. What is the company trying to do to enhance its position? Be able to tell the story so that anyone can understand it. (It would be good to know what methods are available to get information about a company)
- How well do I know the company, industry, product?
Profit. Revenue - costs = Profit. Rising profits year on year.
- Current overall-cash position. For example: \$5.672 billion in cash and cash items, plus \$4.424 billion in marketable securities. Compared year on year, If the company is putting away more cash - sign of prosperity.
- Debt reduction. When cash increases relative to debt, it’s an improving balance sheet. When it’s the other way around, it’s a deteriorating balance sheet.
- Company buying back shares. Shown by shares outstanding reducing year on year. Are the directors buying shares.
- Price to earnings ratio. Market Value per Share / Earnings per Share.
- suppose that a company is currently trading at \$43 a share and its earnings over the last 12 months were \$1.95 per share. The P/E ratio for the stock could then be calculated as 43/1.95, or 22.05.
Divide the \$8.35 billion in cash and cash assets by the 511 million shares outstanding. There’s \$16.30 in net cash to go along with every share of Ford.
Find the long-term growth rate. Company X’s is 12 percent. Add the dividend yield - company X pays 3 percent. Divide by the p/e ratio - Company X’s is 10. 12 plus 3 divided by 10 is 1.5. Less than a 1 is poor, and 1.5 is okay, but what you’re really looking for is a 2 or better. A company with a 15 percent growth rate, a 3 percent dividend, and a p/e of 6 would have a fabulous 3. If the p/e of Coca-Cola is 15, you’d expect the company to be growing at about 15 percent a year, etc. But if the p/e ratio is less than the growth rate, you may have found yourself a bargain.
In general, a p/e ratio that’s half the growth rate is very positive, and one that’s twice the growth rate is very negative.
Balance Sheet. A normal corporate balance sheet has two sides. On the left side are the assets (inventories, receivables, plant and equipment, etc.). The right side shows how the assets are financed. A normal corporate balance sheet has 75 percent equity and 25 percent debt.
Type of debt. It’s the kind of debt, as much as the actual amount, that separates the winners from the losers in a crisis. There’s bank debt and there’s funded debt. Funded debt gives companies time to wiggle out of trouble.
Inventory. With a manufacturer or a retailer, an inventory buildup is usually a bad sign. When inventories grow faster than sales, it’s a red flag. The items held in the inventory are correctly valued.
In my research I did find a great channel on youtube called Moneyweek, with lectures by Tim Bennett youtube.com/watch?v=xlYDonZLoHg which are a great addition.
This question is of a similar nature: How to evaluate stocks? e.g. Whether some stock is cheap or expensive?