Investment Checklist for Stock Selection


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Following on from the discussion of my first investing checklist, it’s time to reveal my new investment checklist.

Rather than a checklist of yes/no answers, the new checklist focuses on sets of core to do tasks with the real checklist being only a handful of questions in the “Final Evaluation” section.

I’ve also made it visual so that it makes it quicker and easier to follow. Rather than having a checklist of 100 items thrown at you, having a flow chart will make it easier to manage and keep track of what stage of the investing process you are on.

Investment Checklist Flowchart

Edit: Link has been deleted.

Core Investment Checklist

Here is the text version.

But before that, maybe you want a printable version of the checklist? Just click on the image below to get the best investment checklist to help you organize your thoughts and make it easier for you.

download investing checklists

Do the Pre Work

Preliminary Background Reading

  • Read previous thesis on Blogs / Investing Sites / Forums / Alerts
  • Read news headlines

Valuation

Financial Statement Analysis

Dirty Work

  • 2 annual reports
  • 3 quarterly reports
    • specific attention to footnotes at the end of the report
    • managers discussion – consistency, candidness
  • 2 letter to shareholders
    • compare words, numbers to annual report numbers
  • Latest proxy
    • CEO compensation (% of sales)
    • Greed factor (bonuses, reimbursements, planes, boats, family donations)
    • Insider ownership
  • Search CEO history, track record, personality

Emotional Check

  • Write down how you are feeling
  • Beware of
    • wanting to just buy and study later
    • hindsight bias
    • overconfidence
    • obligation to buy due to amount of research
    • reluctance to accept differing opinions
    • social proof bias
  • If required, take a break and clear your mind. Get away from the excitement and  noise.

Final Evaluation (the only checklist you need at this point)

  • What can go wrong?
  • What are the risks? How likely are the risks?
  • How can you lose money?
  • How would you categorise this investment?
  • How attractive is this idea compared to the other holdings? (There can only be ONE best idea. Not 2 or 3.)
  • What is the expected holding time frame?
  • What should be the portfolio sizing?
  • What price will you sell?

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