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Financial Accounting for Investing

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Any recommendations on books or resources to get a better in this area? Particularly something with a deliberate process or structure when analyzing financials / key metrics (ex. ROIC, GM, etc).


My due diligence on the financial side is lacking. I know basic metrics like P/E, P/B are not enough.  I've primarily been focused has been looking at the bigger picture, strategy, product positioning, and competitive advantages, and I feel like I am not diligent enough when looking at the fins, capital structure, credit, etc.


Anyways, thanks.

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Stephen Penman has some really great books on this, in my opinion. He is one of the few authors that I know of that takes both accounting and investing and intertwines the two subjects.





Lighter Reading


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Go to the library and check out a couple of elementary accounting books.  Read the chapters on "ratios" and you will have a good start. Get at least 2 versions as usually one will click with you more than the other.

There are other books on just analyzing financial statements, but first you must walk then you can run.. THEN you can get Benjamin Graham's books


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^Many roads lead to Rome but (from what you mention) i'd consider the CFA material (the previous editions would likely work fine for your purpose).

You can go on ebay and get 'pre-owned' editions: Level I, volume 3 and Level II, volume 2, each titled Financial Reporting and Analysis.

Here's some kind of a condensed form which i just googled, to be used as a sample if you like the style:


If you want to go deeper, there are many options with basic (and boring to various degrees) accounting texts and you want a text that fits with your reading (and comprehension) style. There's Intermediate Accounting (12th edition, Kieso and others) which i still use and like, to work around specific questions with updates from the world wide web.


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McKinsey's Valuation treatise may work for you.  It does a good job of, among other things, walking you step-by-step on how to rearrange GAAP financial statements to look at underlying returns on capital.

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There's Intermediate Accounting (12th edition, Kieso and others) which i still use and like, to work around specific questions with updates from the world wide web


There must be a certain Canadian slant here because the Kieso book was also my financial accounting textbook, way back when.


Personally I think financial accounting changes at a snails pace and is relatively straightforward, any used textbook from the last few years will be just fine.


The McKinsey valuation book and other such books do touch heavily on financial statements but are also very involved with what metrics are important and why. It is a good primer.


Other aspects you are mentioning will touch other topics such as marketing, distribution, product/industry specifics...many of this is only learned with experience or specific expertise (e.g. medical knowledge, engineering knowledge, etc.)

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