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From Slide Rules To Spread Sheets: Coping With 'Analytic Overload'

May 02, 2021 6:47 AM ETAIF, ARDC, ECC, EXG, GLO, HTD, KIO, MCI, OXLC, UTG, XFLT84 Comments


  • When I started in the financial business, calculators were few and far between, and pencil and paper were our primary analytical tools. Forget about computers and spreadsheets.
  • Now we have a plethora of tools and data. But the basic questions - what is important? and what does it mean? - haven't changed.
  • I cut through the "analytic overload" to focus on what is most important to me.
  • Here are the factors I look at most carefully in evaluating closed-end funds as candidates for my Inside the Income Factory® portfolios.
  • Pretty basic stuff: What are the fund's objectives? Does it meet them? How does it do it? Can we count on it continuing to do so? Price and discount attractive?
  • I do much more than just articles at Inside the Income Factory: Members get access to model portfolios, regular updates, a chat room, and more. Learn More »
calculating with a slide rule
Photo by Gabriele Grassl/iStock via Getty Images

From Pencil & Paper to Analytic Overload

When I started working at the Bank of Boston many decades ago, we used to "spread statements" by hand, transposing balance sheet and income data from a corporation's annual reports onto forms that were then typed onto

I launched Inside the Income Factory because many of my 11,500 followers and readers of my book The Income Factory® (McGraw-Hill, 2020) said they wanted more interactive dialogue than I could provide through public articles. It allows me to answer more member questions about how to use an Income Factory to earn "equity returns" from more predictable "non-equity" asset classes.

The great majority of those who have tried our FREE TWO WEEK INTRODUCTORY SUBSCRIPTION decide to stay with us. 

So we must be doing something right. Why not give it a shot: click here to learn more.


Steve Bavaria

This article was written by

Steven Bavaria profile picture
Create your own Income Factory Exclusive insights and ideas!
Steven Bavaria publishes a boutique marketplace service - Inside the Income Factory - here on Seeking Alpha, which helps members implement the strategy outlined in his book "The Income Factory: An Investor’s Guide to Consistent Lifetime Returns" (McGraw Hill, 2020).

Bavaria introduced the Income Factory® philosophy in his Seeking Alpha articles over the past 12 years, drawing on his fifty years experience in credit, investing, journalism and international banking. His earlier book "Too Greedy for Adam Smith: CEO Pay and the Demise of Capitalism" exposes the excesses in the CEO pay arena. Both books are available on Amazon. 

Bavaria began his career at the Bank of Boston, handling international credit workouts that included managing a fleet of ships, chasing a Vatican-owned bank in Switzerland, and leading the turnaround of troubled branches in Australia and Panama.
Then he did a stint as a journalist, writing about the financial markets for Investment Dealers Digest (IDD). There he wrote some of the first articles about novel securities, like CLOs, that have now become mainstream, and covered the early evolution of corporate loans to a public, tradable asset class. 
Later he worked at Standard & Poor's, where he introduced credit ratings to the leveraged loan market, helping to open the loan asset class to pensions, mutual funds and specialized investment vehicles like CLOs.

Bavaria graduated from Georgetown University and New England School of Law. He lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida.


Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long ALL THE FUNDS MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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