Category: Step-by-Step Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

If you are reading this, the chances are that you’ve decided to take control of your investments. You may have been investing for some time but feel you could do better. Many of you may be new to investing, or have previously left the management of your money to professionals, and are thinking of taking […]

Chapter 2: Balance sheets

SharePad is packed full of useful financial data. This data holds the key to understanding the financial health and value of any company you are looking at. To a new or inexperienced investor the mass of numbers may seem a little daunting. That’s quite understandable but it shouldn’t be. If you understand basic arithmetic then […]

Chapter 3: Analysing balance sheets

In the previous chapter we looked at how a balance sheet was put together and the numbers that go into it. In this chapter, we are going to take all those numbers from the balance sheet and turn it into useful information for investors. A company’s balance sheet contains a wealth of information for investors. The numbers […]

Chapter 4: Income statements

Hopefully, you will now understand balance sheets and how important and useful they are. Let’s move on to a set a numbers which most people think are even more important – profits. Just as we did with balance sheets, I am going to explain the numbers in an income statement in this chapter. In the next chapter, I’ll […]

Chapter 5: Analysing income statements

Now that we’ve dealt with the basic format of an income statement it’s time to move on and show you how SharePad turns those numbers into really useful information. Knowing your way around an income statement is vital to understanding what makes a company tick. However, to get the most out of it you need to be […]

Chapter 6: The cash flow statement

The last four chapters have been spent looking at the balance sheet and income statement and how to use them. In this chapter, we will move on to arguably the most revealing piece of financial information that a company gives investors – its cash flow statement. When a company’s financial results are talked about in […]

Chapter 8: Is this a good business?

How to measure company returns In the previous chapter, we learnt that profits and cash received (cash flow) are rarely the same value. We looked at free cash flow conversion which tells how good a company is at converting its profits into free cash – that is, cash available to pay dividends, pay off debts […]

Chapter 9: Share valuations 

How to tell when shares are cheap or expensive In the previous chapter we looked at how to find out if a company was any good or not. In a nutshell, good companies get back a lot of profit or cash flow as a percentage of the money they invest – they earn high financial returns. As […]

Chapter 10: Value investing

The previous chapters have hopefully shown you how useful SharePad can be when you are sifting through the finances of a company. Information that might have taken you hours or even days to obtain can be worked out in just a few minutes. Understanding how money flows around a company’s financial statements is an essential […]

Chapter 11: Dividend investing

If you are watching or listening to the news at the end of the day you will usually be told what happened to the stock market that day. More precisely, you will be told whether it went up or down in price. Yet investing in shares is not just about changes in prices. When you […]

Chapter 12: Growth investing

The last couple of chapters have focused on two particular styles of investing – dividend investing and value investing. Both these approaches to owning shares are largely based on the current state of a company – its profits and its dividends. In this chapter, we are going to turn our attention to a different approach […]

Chapter 13: Investing in bonds

Despite their names, ShareScope and SharePad are not just all about shares. They can help you with other investments as well. In this article I’m going to tell you how you can use the information in them to invest in bonds. We’ve recently added some additional data for bonds into SharePad and this will go […]

Appendix A: Putting it all together

In this chapter, I use the data and tools in SharePad to show you how I analyse shares but it also applies to ShareScope. Even if you are not a subscriber, you should find this article extremely useful as a guide to making informed investment decisions. One of the main selling pitches of the fund […]