Everyone should keep some sort of value investing notebook. You don’t need to kill trees and put it in an old fashion three binder like I do, but you do need to keep track of several aspects of your investing endeavor. As individual value investors our time is a precious commodity, we can’t afford to repeat work that has already been completed.
I actually keep several investing notebooks for ChromaInvesting. I will outline what I like to keep in my Notebook below.Value Investment Screener Results
I like to keep a list of stocks that have passed my screening criteria.
I have several criteria I use and I keep a list for each one. For example, I have a screener that I use for 80-20 Investing.
I re-screen each week and then put the results in a blue 3 ring binder. Yes, I know there are newer ways to store information, but this is what works best for me. I set up the screener in Stock Investor Pro.
Another example of a stock screen I will keep in my investing Notebook is a screen of Magic Formula Stocks.
It is important to keep the screen results, because many of these companies will not pass further scrutiny and you will need to return your screener lists for further research.Research on Potential Investments
Some companies will make it through your screening process and you will commitment a certain amount of time compiling your investment thesis and accompanying financials on this company. The first tool I use for this is OSV spreadsheets. You can quickly get a whole bunch of information on the stocks that pass your screens. It may not work for some ADR’s and OTCBB stocks. At this point Two things can happen.
First, while the company has attractive qualities in some area, you do not want to buy the equity now. It may that the price is too high, or the debt. Some factor that you can record in your notes on that company. If you return to that company later, you can refer to your notes and return to the reasons that you did not invest and see if circumstances have changed. Many of these stock will go on your Watchlist.
Second, You want to buy shares in the company in which case the research you have done becomes part of theStock Portfolio Notebook
To me it is important to keep this information separate. You always want to have your investment thesis and research handy for stocks you own. You can easily refresh your mind on what your expected catalyst is or what your risks are. Being able to refer to your investment thesis is important when your company’s stock price is being hit hard, or conversely rising. You will need to understand if the downdraft is a time to sell, reinvest or hold. If the stock rises suddenly, is that part of your investment notion, has it hit your fair value. If so, you might sell.
But to track all this information it is not enough to have a quick note in your brokerage account or on google finance. You need your Value Investing Notebook