Finance and MSN Money and find lots of information about every industry and I

Finance and msn money and find lots of information

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You can dig around in Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money and find lots of information about every industry, and I encourage you to do that. You just never know where digging around will lead you. But I want to show you the most streamlined, fastest way to get up to speed on a business. Here’s one nice trick: The CEO of any public business is going to get asked industry-related questions during the quarterly conference call he holds with analysts. You can listen in or, if you missed it, you can listen to the recording on the company’s website. Some of the more enlightened CEOs, like John Mackey at Whole Foods, publish a transcript of the call on their website. A transcript makes it easy and quick to scan for new information. Here’s the page from the Whole Foods website that gets you access to years of these quarterly calls. If you wanted to understand Whole Foods as a business, a couple hours of reading or listening to this stuff would teach you a whole lot about how the company works. This is way cool, because only a few years ago it was impossible to do this. As in, no matter how much money you had to throw at it, you couldn’t do this sort of backdated research. Now you can with the click of a mouse.
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Another good research target is a company’s annual report, also available (usually along with five years’ worth of past reports) right on the company’s website. Warren Buffett’s research consists primarily of reading annual reports. If Mr. Buffett does it, and you want to be a successful and rich investor, perhaps you should do it, too. Another great information source is a company’s SEC quarterly and annual filing—the 10-Q (quarterly) and 10-K (annually). These reports are required for every public company and are supposed to disclose everything investors need to know to make an informed decision about investing in that business. In these reports you’ll read about the risks inherent in the business, who the key competitors are, and what the business has to do to compete. Here’s an example of a 10-Q filing from Whole Foods:
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In the General section, Whole Foods says this about how it intends to compete: “We aspire to become an international brand synonymous with not just natural and organic foods, but also with being the best food retailer in every community in which we are located. We believe our heavy emphasis on perishable products, along with our unparalleled customer service [my emphasis], is helping us reach that goal, differentiating our stores from other supermarkets and enabling us to attract a broad base of loyal customers.” Use the 10-Q and 10-K filings to read about the industry and how your target business intends to compete. Then read the filings for a few other businesses competing in this industry. If you’re willing to spend a few hours reading, you’ll become pretty knowledgeable about an industry very quickly. The more you read, the more and more meaning the industry will have to you.
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  • Spring '20
  • Warren Buffett

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