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Unlocking Financial Data by Justin Pauley

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Chapter 9. Creating Reports

If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.

Albert Einstein

This section makes use of most of the lessons from earlier chapters to demonstrate building two-page analytic (“Tear Sheet”) reports for individual companies including historical financials, comparative analysis, and relative value. Designing reports is a bit of an art form; this chapter walks you through different techniques and helpful examples, but people have very different ideas and preferences on how reports should look. The term tear sheet refers to Standard & Poor’s one-page reports on public companies back when brokers tore them out of a book, but today there are numerous online sources of one-page analytic reports. Bloomberg has some useful ones in its Excel Template Library (XLTP <GO>).

However, the entire point of this book is to give you an edge by enabling you to create your own reports, with data from multiple sources combined with your views and insights, laid out exactly the way you want. Your input on how companies should be categorized, which index is an appropriate comparison, incorrect or incomplete data that you’ve overridden or enhanced, and the comments you’ve recorded will make the reports designed in this chapter a much more powerful tool than the ones that every other investor uses. Moreover, there are thousands of pieces of financial data, including multiple ways of calculating earnings. Deciding which fields and calculations are appropriate is as personal and ...

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