"A must read for any investor serious about knowing what they own." (Herb Greenberg, Columnist, TheStreet.com, Fortune Magazine
"It's beautifully written, combining both warmth and clarity, and as easy to read as it is to understand." (Better Investing Magazine, October 2003)
"The Financial Fine Print here is readable, useful and potentially profitable!" (Barron's Magazine, December 1, 2003)
"In my opinion "Financial Fine Print" is a must-read for any investor who wants to pick his or her own stocks." (Pittsburgh Tribune, December 21, 2003)
"With a book as indispensable as this, there's no...excuse to avoid wading into the thicket of footnotes before making financial decisions." (Better Investing Magazine, December 2003)
"Financial Fine Print: Uncovering a Company's True Value is one of the most informative books ever written for investors" (From the Foreword by Thornton "Ted" Oglove)
From the Inside Flap
"Always read the fine print." Its one of lifes basic maxims, and for the individual investor, still smarting from recent market meltdowns, the saying goes double. Too many claims of miraculous earnings have been revealed as accounting mirages, with small shareholders among the biggest losers.
Prudent investors want the whole story, not just the rose-colored version of events that managers tend to portray. Yet how do you uncover it, given the huge amount of available information? The trick is simply knowing where and how to look.
Financial Fine Print is a great place to start. Written by veteran financial journalist Michelle Leder, this book lays bare the accounting tricks companies use to whitewash their numbers. Using a clear, no-nonsense style and pointing out numerous scandals and red flags, Leder sheds light on the most obscure yet most essential aspect of annual reports and SEC filings: the footnotes.
With the knowledge and techniques detailed in Financial Fine Print, youll learn:
- Why one number buried deep within the pension footnote can speak volumes about whether the companys other numbers are trustworthy
- What sorts of insider transactions investors need to pay close attention to
- Where companies tend to hide their debt and other obligations
- How some companies seem to take "special" charges every quarter and how that impacts the bottom line
- When to avoid a stock because the red flags are simply too numerous
"Too many companies would prefer that you not read the footnotes," notes former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. "That should be incentive enough to delve into them." As investor skepticism builds and the specters of Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, and Global Crossing loom large, companies trying to prove themselves above-board have added more footnotes and documentation than ever to their reporting. This makes learning the lessons of Financial Fine Print all the more important. Because the simple fact is that if you want to own individual stocks, you need to do your homework.