Resources to help you begin to invest
Here are some products I have discussed previously and I have found helpful.
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On Financial Statements:
Ever wanted to know how the grandfather of value investing looked at financial statements? Then look no further. The Interpretation of financial statements is a short book, only about 100 pages in total, but full of information of a company’s balance sheet statements and income statements. All full of Graham’s thoughts about reading financial statements; what to ignore and what to focus on when reading financial statements. This is a great beginners level book to get you started with balance sheet and income statement analysis before moving on to more complex books such as The Intelligent Investor or Security Analysis.
By Thomas R. Ittelson.
This was the book that really made financial statements “click” for me. More in depth than some of the other beginner level books, but still very easy to understand. Ittelson has a great way of easily explaining concepts and showing how everything is connected between the 3 main financial statements. Then readers go through the creation of a new company, Appleseed Enterprises. You get to see how a company’s financial statements develop, from starting with nothing all the way to the company going public with a complex balance sheet. You will understand financial statements at the end of this book.
On Investing and Portfolio Construction
By Benjamin Graham
Far and away the “must have” book for any serious do-it-yourself investor. Learn from one of the best investors of all time and the grandfather of value investing. Before you get into selecting individual stocks for your portfolio, read this book! Never editions have great commentary after each chapter relating the content to today’s markets. Chalked full of examples and in depth research, this book will not disappoint!
By Ben Graham and David Dodd
It seemed to me that this book shows its age more than Intelligent Investor does. Some sections within the fixed income chapters seemed out of date for today’s investors. Much more in depth than the Intelligent Investor on analysis of financial statements and certain fundamental analysis topics (This book was the text book for Ben Graham’s course at Columbia after all!), but that advantage comes with some extra “dryness” to the reading . If you have made it through Intelligent Investor and want to dig deeper into one of the best investing minds that ever lived, than you have 800+ pages to look through here. For many professionals, this is considered the benchmark of security analysis work, and is currently used as a textbook for many college level security analysis courses.
We have an introductory guide on comparing investment brokers here: Selecting and Using a Stock Broker
But generally we recommend any of the following brokers:
Motif Investing (See our review of Motif Investing here)
SEC’s EDGAR system – From here, just type in the desired company’s name or ticker symbol and you will receive all of the financial reports and disclosures that the company has made. You can also export those annual and quarterly reports in an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis.
Bogleheads Forum – A forum named after Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. A great resource with a large knowledgeable community.