This page is prepared essentially for those with an interest in the fundamental evaluation and
analyzation of common stocks. The interested will probably be a DIY (Do it Yourself) and the
writer would suggest that the DIY have some experience dealing with stockbrokers and/or mutual
funds and have some knowledge as to what they can do and not do. A good stockbroker is difficult
to find meaning one that puts your interest first and not his/her interest first, his/her employer second
and the DIY last.
The writer has found that the discount broker Charles Schwab to be a very satisfactory arrangement
in that stocks can be purchased or sold with a few strokes of the keyboard and in addition the cash
account can be linked to most banks in order to transfer funds easily. Be advised, that there are now
brokers offering stock free trades, one being Bank of America. However Charles Schwab is
relatively inexpensive as outlined below and with the other services offered, the modest fees are
worth it. The writer generally trades in blocks of 1000 shares at a cost of a very reasonable $9.95,
the last time a full service broker was used this transaction would have cost $175.00, some of the
larger brokers would have charged $275.00. Further, and depending on the type of account,
Schwab provides various research report free of charge such as S&P, Argus and others. Schwab
can be found as listed in the box or at www.Schwab.com. Another advantage is there would be no
salesman calling attempting to sell unwanted products.
There are various tools for such valuations as listed above, one being Stock Analyst purchased from
NAIC (National Association of Individual Investors), address as listed in the box below. There are
others however SA is the writers favorite and as far as these programs go, it is relatively inexpensive,
about $99.00 for members as of this writing. One feature among many others is that a stock can be
updated in all aspects each quarter or annually by wireless Internet in a few seconds. Like most of
these programs, the growth rate of various functions is projected four or five years hence thus giving
buy, hold and sell recommendations. This is somewhat mechanical and does not take into account
changing economic conditions, company prospects and hidden intrinsic values. An example of the
latter would be the purchase of Sears by Kmart on the basis that the real estate owned by Sears was
not properly reflected in the stock.
Therefore, Sears was purchased at a premium over market. In regards to the above the reader
should not bet the farm on the buy, hold and sell recommendations. Further, none of these programs
divulged not a thread of evidence concerning the present credit crises however, we all took a bath
with the exception of the investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs, they sold their sub primes
before hand but then their former CFO is the Treasury Secretary.
In addition to Stock Analyst, NAIC (Better-Investing) provides several other programs of interest
to the DIY, Portfolio Manager 5 and a program similar to Stock Analyst, ToolKit 5. Portfolio
Manager is an accounting program for stocks preferred by the writer as opposed to the stock
manager feature of the ubiquitous Quicken which is somewhat awkward to use. As indicated, these
programs can be updated in a few seconds by a wireless Internet connection however, a NAIC data
subscription is required. An interested DIY can obtain additional information by viewing the NAIC
website as listed below. The DIY should then note the 30 day free trial period downloads. We note
that after some additional research, a new program will be soon available, Toolkit 6. After review,
this program appears to be a merger between Toolkit 5 and Stock Analyst. Therefore, it is
suggested that the interested DIY wait and buy Toolkit 6.
There is another site similar to the NAIC site, ICLUB, URL as listed below. This site sponsors and
sells the investment tools as listed above. There are a few differences in that there is more interaction
between members and that NAIC obtains data from S&P while ICLUB obtains data from
Morningstar. The reader will note the second chart listed below with the identifier of xls., these are
spreadsheet files for the stock attached and are completed on MS Excel.
For the parsimonious amongst us, the writer submits SAT 2072 as listed below. This program
provides essentially the same results as Stock Analyst and Toolkit but does it on the "cheap". SAT
or Stock Analyst Tools are written on MS Excel and instead of the ssg data files, the data can be
obtained from Value Line and the annual company reports downloaded from the company website.
Further, most libraries subscribe to Value line so the pertinent pages can be photo copied for a
modest cost of about .20 cents, compare this to the almost $600.00 subscription fee of Value Line.
The Stocks as listed in the first chart below are SAT files and it would be the writers suggestion that
one or two of these files be reviewed and note the considerable amount of data contained. It is the
writers understanding that a later version of the program is able to download ssg files which would
be of help since it takes the writer about an hour to install a year of data for one stock using Value
Line and the annual report. While hunched over the computer keyboard, the writer felt like a
character from a Dickens novel, the one that worked for Ebenser Scrooge. This program has not
been used by the writer for about five years and is included here to apprise the reader of the internal
finances of a particular company and how the data is used to value a stock. The program is
freeware and the instructions for use are included in the DOC, MS Word, file listed in the chart
|USB ---U.S. Bancorp
BMY---Bristol Myers Sq
BAC----Bank of America
PM------Phillip Morris Int.
JNJ.......Johnson & Johnson
The randomly selected files as listed above are updated Sat 2072
files reflecting current conditions as of the writing. Further, the
files should be considered a study rather than research. The
individual forms with the exception of Data Entry may be
downloaded for free in pdf format from Better Investing
however they do not have the ability to interact with each other
as do Stock Analysis Tools, the Sat 2072 program as listed above.
To use these tools you may use Value Line, S&P or the detailed
information from the Income & Balance sheet sections of the
company's annual reports. If you use the annual reports to enter
the data, it will take longer to input the data but you will have the
added bonus of examining the various ratios which are
automatically calculated. These ratios will allow you to see the
company's Profitability, Leverage, Short Term Liquidity positions
over a ten year period if the information is available. These
ratios, in addition to the NAIC style reports, provide an indication
how the company's financial picture has changed over the years.
The writer has been a full time investor since 1983 and had done reasonably well as a DIY using the
tools as outlined and listed on this page and since for the most part, the readers of this page will
consist of sailors, the writer advises that a proper investment in common stocks is one of the few
ways that one can sail his boat off to Timbuktu and return richer than he was before starting. At this
point in life, money is no longer money but capital and must be treated as such. It makes no
difference if it is being used for frying hamburgers with a McDonald's franchise, manufacturing
computer chips, investing in stocks or whatever, its the rate of return that counts, an 18% return on
equity is just that, an 18% return on equity regardless of the source. Ideal for a cruising sailor with a
credit card linked to the cash account.
UPDATE: The above was penned prior to the mortgage , banking, and credit crises and as this is
being written in the early fall of 08, the 18% return as listed above, has evaporated like the morning
More to follow, above and below.