“I have read some of your Singular Diligence content and one of the most interesting parts of the reading are the notes that you and Quan used and published in those reports.
So one of the most remarkable things that I have noticed in the notes is that you did not use a lot of information in the annual reports. And this sounds intriguing to me since I am a regular reader of your blog and you have always emphasized how important it is to read (the) 10-K, annual reports, (and) quarterly reports. Having said that, it would be good to understand why did you not use more info from those sources. Moreover, I was actually curious how do you allocate your time when doing research? I am currently also doing research so I was looking to see which sources you prioritize?”
It depends on what you mean by prioritize? If a top priority is the thing you read first, then I make 10-Ks a top priority. If a top priority is the thing you spend the most time on, then SEC filings are a low priority. And then, if a top priority is something you quote a lot – as you mentioned – SEC filing are a very low priority for me.
I’ve said before that I always read the newest 10-K and the oldest 10-K of a stock I’m researching. So, imagine I am researching a U.S. stock that has been public for a long time. The SEC’s database of company filings – which includes 10-Ks (annual reports), 10-Qs (quarterly reports), and “going public” or spin-off documents if the company has any of those. If the company has been public in its current form for a long time, the oldest annual report (10-K) will be something from maybe 1994-1996. That’s around the time companies started being required to file electronic copies of their 10-Ks with the SEC. As a rule, a U.S. company that has long been public will now have about 20 years of annual reports for you to read in full.
Don’t do that. I just read the 2016 (last year’s) annual report and then the 1994 or 1995 or 1996 – or whatever the oldest report you can find is – annual report. I want to get a sense of how the business has changed.
The 10-K – when read on its own – is of limited value when making an investment. All of the financial data that Quan and I used to create the “datasheet” of a Singular Diligence comes from the 10-K. So, the financial statements – especially the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement – are useful. The datasheet we presented was usually a 15-25 year history of a company’s finances. It’s by far the most important thing in those reports. It may be possible to make an investment based purely on the financial statements if you have both income statement and balance sheet data for …Read more