Many investors use financial statements when they make value investing decisions. So if you rely on your own analysis, make sure you have the most updated information and that your calculations are accurate. If not, you may end up making a poor investment or miss out on a great one. If you aren’t yet confident in your ability to read and analyze financial statements and reports, keep studying these subjects and don’t place any trades until you’re truly ready.
One strategy is to read the footnotes. These are the notes in Form 10-K or Form 10-Q that explain a company’s financial statements in greater detail. The notes follow the statements and explain the company’s accounting methods and elaborate on reported results. If the footnotes are unintelligible or the information they present seems unreasonable, you’ll have a better idea of whether to pass on the stock.